In the Diocese of Oxford Readers are known as Licensed Lay Ministers. These are lay people in the Church of England from all walks of life who are called by God, theologically trained and licensed by the Church to preach, teach, lead worship and assist in pastoral, evangelistic and liturgical work.
I was born in Oxford and went to university in London. After working for CMS in Uganda I returned to England and was ordained in the Diocese. Three parish jobs followed, and I was an incumbent twice. After that I had a number of jobs in diocesan training, all the time working with LLMs.
I am excited about the future of LLM ministry. While some worry about the development of other ministries like authorised preacher, I see such developments as an opportunity for LLMs to take up mentoring and training roles.
There is enormous potential for new ministry in the housing that is going up everywhere. The move to a more missional based LLM ministry is beginning and I would love to see a large group of LLMs involved in pioneering. The future has great possibilities, if we step out in faith led by the Spirit.
If you are moving into the Diocese, do fill in the LLM Transfer Form. If you are thinking of starting Licensed Lay Ministry, there is more information about the ministry and training in this section of the website. Do look around, consult with your incumbent and fill in the application form. We want to see a continuing large number of people joining this ministry.
There are two key events when the LLM community gets together: a teaching day in the spring which we call the Forum and a summer conference. Do keep an eye out for these — we would love to see you at them.
Above all, God bless you in your ministry and may you be fruitful in the work of the Lord.
Revd Dr Phillip Tovey, Warden of LLMs
Recordings of talks by Bishop Victoria Matthews at the LLM conference June 2016