Licenced Lay Ministry (Reader Ministry)

Licensed Lay Ministers (formerly known as Readers) hold a national licence which is transferable between Dioceses. This lay leadership role is focussed on a threefold ministry: Teachers of the Faith; Enablers of Mission; Leaders in Church and Society. Licensed Lay Ministers work collaboratively with their clergy in leading their parish church, often taking responsibility for lay discipleship courses, catechism or outreach, for example, under the supervision and authority of their incumbent and PCC.

Licensed Lay Ministers can come from any walk of life. God calls people, through the Church, into particular ministries. The discernment process involves the local Church (incumbent and PCC), a selection committee, and those involved in offering training. Trainee Licensed Lay Ministers spend time in theological training and in a programme of formational activities such as parish placements and formational mentor groups. There is also assessed preaching and worship leading every term. On successful completion of their training they are commissioned by the Warden of Readers at the end of course Eucharist.  They then spend a  formational year in their parish, preaching, teaching, leading worship and assisting in other areas of the mission and ministry of church life as agreed with their incumbent along with further training (termly). Licensing takes place a year later by an Area Bishop.

Exploring Licensed Lay Ministry 

If you are interested in learning more about the role of a Licensed Lay Minister (Reader) in the Church of England and exploring a vocation to this ministry, please contact the Warden of Readers, the Venerable Bill Braviner, at

Read more about Reader (LLM) Ministry on the Transforming Ministry website, including How do you become a Reader (LLM) and more Information & Guidelines. 

A quarterly magazine provides additional resources and information.  Find out moreDownload and browse a recent edition (there is a small charge). 

Helen Jackson, licenced as an LLM in the Diocese of Leeds in 2019, speaks about the joys and wonderful opportunity that LLM training and ministry offer. Helen undertook LLM training at Leeds School of Ministry (LSoM) between 2016 – 2019 at the Mirfield Hub. This video is an encouragement to both those who are currently undertaking LLM training and for those who are discerning if God is calling them to this lay ministry.



Ruth Haldane, the Central Readers' Council's Reader Training Project Manager, was the guest speaker at the Bradford Episcopal Area Bishop's Annual Study Day and Readers' Licensing Service on September 28th.  She spoke about her role and the training materials that she is developing for Readers that will be launched at the Central Readers' meeting in Birmingham - April 2020.  This is a recording of her bible study from 1 Peter 3.15 and talk, which links to her article in the current Reader magazine.  The Bible study is about 25 minutes and the talk about 60 minutes in length. Download and listen to the talk here.

Handbook for Licensed Lay Ministry

The Diocesan LLM Handbook brings together information concerning the importance of LLMs in the work of the Church and the practicalities of applying for, training for and fulfilling this important role. Access the handbook here.

Leeds School of Ministry

Across the Diocese of Leeds there are plenty of exciting opportunities through Leeds School of Ministry to grow in faith as well as to develop our skills and gifts in order to serve God and all God's people within and beyond the Church. 

Leeds School of Ministry provides two training hubs for Licensed Lay Ministers (previously known as Readers) through Common Awards (Durham University) at Bingley in The Trinity Centre and in Mirfield, at The Mirfield Centre. For more information on the School of Ministry click here.

Common Awards Officers


Principal: Leeds School of Ministry & the

Bingley Hub 

Rev'd Helen Collings                   

Honorary Assistant Principal

Bingley Hub

Revd Canon Dr John Lawson

Rev'd Canon Dr John Lawson

Part-time Principal: Mirfield Hub

Rev'd Dr Erik Peeters

Rev'd Dr Erik Peeters

Honorary Assistant Principal

Mirfield Hub

Shuna Hartley

School of Ministry Administrator

The Warden of LLMs and the team

The Ven Bill Braviner
Warden of LLMs and Archdeacon of Halifax

Michael Pemberton             

Deputy warden of LLMs for the Bradford episcopal area

Ian Grange 

Deputy warden of LLMs for the Huddersfield episcopal area

Ann Nicholl 

Deputy warden of LLMs for the Leeds episcopal area

Bib Matthews 

Deputy warden of LLMs for the Ripon episcopal area

Freda Jackson 

Deputy warden of LLMs for the Wakefield episcopal area

Powered by Church Edit