Authorised, non-ordained ministers
Lay Ministers are licensed to work alongside ordained colleagues in the parishes where they serve. In some cases their ministry is rooted in the community or in the workplace rather than in the life of the local church.
Readers are a nationally trained and authorised ministry in the Church of England. These ‘lay theologians’ preach the gospel, teach and enable others to grow as disciples of Christ. They may lead and participate in worship, conduct funerals and offer pastoral care. In the Diocese of Salisbury, we call Lay Readers 'Licensed Lay Ministers'.
Some Lay Ministers have a ministry with a different focus to that of the traditional ‘Reader’. Instead of a focus on preaching, teaching and enabling learning, they proclaim the gospel primarily through pastoral care.
Lay Ministers are often seen as a ‘bridge’ between the church and the world. They may be able to minister in contexts where clergy are not so readily accepted. Lay Ministers are constantly discovering new and flexible ways in which to serve.
Warden of LLMs: The Bishop of Sherborne
Vice Warden of LLMs: Canon Chrysogon Bamber
LLM Training Officer: Philip Jones
Lay Pastoral Assistants assist with the pastoral ministry of the parishes where they live. They are chosen by their incumbent priest and PCC, ministering under the direction of their incumbent. They may work with children and young people, the sick, the recently bereaved and the elderly and housebound. They may take communion to those unable to come to church. Many benefices have teams of LPAs, some of whom specialise in a particular area.
Ramsbury Area LPA Officer: Mrs Pip Symonds
Sherborne Area LPA Officer: Mrs Beth Buchan
Lay Worship Leaders (LWLs)
Lay Worship Leaders assist with planning and leading worship in the parishes where they live. Like LPAs, they are chosen by their incumbent and PCC and minister under the direction of the incumbent. They may be part of a worship committee or worship planning group, preparing acts of worship, leading morning and evening prayer, all age worship and other non sacramental acts of worship, although they do not preach.
Arrangements for the selection, training and support of Lay Worship Leaders are currently being put in place – more details soon. Please contact the Learning for Discipleship and Ministry Team for further information.