Information for incumbents

Training with All Saints is a partnership between Course, Diocese and Home church – and the role of the incumbent or equivalent in the home church is crucial part of Reader training.

There are two main elements to Reader training – learning that takes place in course sessions and learning that takes place in the placement context (by which we mean ministry experience and supervision both in their external placement and in their home church). Both elements of the training are equally important – and it is important to be helping trainees make connections between the learning on course sessions and how they practise ministry in a church context.

In their training readers operate in two placements – their home church and a short-term external placement at another church.

Throughout their training, they are required to have a supervisor in their home church setting. Generally speaking, incumbents (or equivalent) tend to act as supervisors for trainee Readers – though this can be shared with or delegated to others in the ministry team (eg associate minister, curate, Reader etc) where appropriate. Even where the task of supervision is shared with others, the Course and Diocese need to know that the incumbent or equivalent in the home church is happy for their trainee to continue training and move towards licensing.

Supervision and feedback

Reader trainees are expected to meet regularly with their supervisor for prayer, discussion, supervision and feedback on their preaching, worship-leading and other ministry skills. At the start of the course, students and supervisors agree and sign a Working Agreement form that sets out expectations such as when they will be meeting, how often they will be preaching, leading worship and taking part in other ministry activities.


Each year the supervisors are asked to write a report on their trainee – this (along with feedback from external placement supervisors, reflections from the trainee and input from Course staff) then feeds into the report that the Director of Studies sends to the Bishop.

External placement

It is important to be aware that in putting someone forward for Reader training, you need to be willing to let them go for a while. As well as going to weeknight evening sessions, trainees attend 6 study days each year, most of which are on Sundays – so your trainee will not be at their home church for those Sundays. Also, part of the first year of Reader training is a placement in another church – so for a significant part of the first year of training, your trainee will be at another church.

Click here for more detail on the placements.

What if I have someone who is interested in Reader training?

Selection for Reader training is usually handled by the Warden of Readers in the Diocese, though exact processes vary between dioceses. The Director of Studies for Readers in each Diocese will be able to put you in touch with the right people to ask about Reader selection, as well as answering any questions you might have about the training. While you have someone in training, the Director of Studies in your diocese will be your key contact with the course.

Click here for contact details for Director of Studies in the different dioceses that work with All Saints.

Click here if you want to know a bit more about the Directors of Studies and other staff on the All Saints course.