Ministry in the Scottish Episcopal Church

All baptised Christians are called to minister in God’s Church. Our baptismal vows in the Scottish Episcopal Church commit us to proclaim the good news, serve Christ in all people and to work for justice and peace, as well as to continue our faithful ministry of Christian worship.

Some Christians are called to minister in particular ways. There is a wide range of ministries in most congregations, including serving at the altar, ministry to children and young people, being a Vestry member, welcome, administration and maintenance.

There are also different kinds of authorised public ministry for members of the Scottish Episcopal Church. You can find detailed information about them and how people are selected and formed for them here.

Lay Readers

Lay Readers preach and teach as lay theologians, and are often involved in pastoral work too. They may take services using the Reserved Sacrament, and also funerals. They work closely in collaboration with their priest to support and develop the life of the congregation.

Some of them have a particular ministerial role in the wider community. Readers are trained to at least Certificate level by Scottish Episcopal Institute. They are not normally paid a stipend for their work.

Find out more about the discernment process for Lay Readers here.

Deacons

Working closely with the Bishop and the priests with whom they serve, Deacons are heralds of God’s kingdom, proclaiming the good news in church and community.

They seek out ways to serve others, and bring the concerns of the world back to the congregation in preaching and intercession, and encouraging Christians to bring the love of God to their communities in mission.

Deacons are trained to at least Diploma level by the Scottish Episcopal Institute. Deacons may be paid a stipend for their work, or may be self-supporting.

Find out more about the discernment process for deacons

Priests

Priests are called to gather and nurture communities of Christians through preaching, teaching, sacramental ministry and pastoral care. They lead congregations in mission, encouraging God’s people to share the good news of the Kingdom with those around them.

Priests are trained to at least Diploma level by the Scottish Episcopal Institute (SEI), and normally complete degree level training within 6 years of training.

They are normally ordained as a Deacon first, and then as a priest after a year. Priests may be paid a stipend for their work, or may be self-supporting.

Find out more about the discernment process for priests

Chaplains

Some lay or ordained ministers may be called to work as a chaplain in a school, hospital or university. They will normally have had some experience of congregational ministry first, and may or may not be paid a stipend.

The Religious Life

Some people may be called to be a nun or a monk, a friar or a sister. They may live in community, or continue their life outside as an oblate, or associate member.

Find out more about the Religious Life in the Scottish Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion.