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21st January 2006
Readers to be debated in General Synod
The proliferation of new categories of minister, both ordained and lay, appears to have resulted in a feeling of marginalisation amongst some Readers and is adversely affecting morale. Nigel Holmes has put forward a motion for debate.
Although the motion has been entitled Readers, it is not intended that it should be a party political debate on behalf of the Reader movement. But that the future shape of lay ministry within the Church of England should be carefully considered and any change properly managed. A number of questions are raised: Should a significant number of Readers move to other expressions of ministry ? Should people be encouraged to consider this and if it seems right for it to be facilitated more simply ? If the range of categories is too extensive, how can people clearly discern a calling ? There is value in visible boundaries. But where should they fall ? There are a lot of strands of thinking which should be brought together, both theological and practical, and with many implications not least for training.