15 SEPTEMBER 1950, Page 12

MEN FOR THE MINISTRY SIR,—The only cure for the shortage

of clergy is for more suitable men to offer themselves for ordination. But there is one way to reduce the heavy burden on overworked incumbents. Lay readers, duly ad- mitted by the bishop, not only read the lessons and assist in the Sunday services, but many conduct matins and evensong in the absence of a clergyman. In some cases the bishop authorises selected lay readers to administer the chalice at Holy Communion, a great help where there are many communicants.

As things are, services have to be curtailed, and one has heard of churches and mission huts having to be closed simply because there are not enough clergy to go round. There are many lay readers who feel it a great privilege to help in this way. Were the number doubled, the burden on the clergy would be appreciably lessened. Surely there are many earnest Christians among the laity who could offer themselves

for this service.--Your obedient servant, V. W. S. LEATHERDALE. Aston, Lammas Lane, Esher.