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Commissioned Lay Pioneer

by Adrian Smale last modified 18 Jul, 2019 11:30 AM

What is a Commissioned Lay Pioneer?

A Commissioned Lay Pioneer (CLP) is trained and authorised to work with others to gather people into new expressions of Christian community.

A CLP has a sense of calling to mission outside the regular church structures, and a desire to identify and respond to new opportunities for mission. They are able to reflect prayerfully on where and how God is at work, and their place within this.

In the Diocese of Salisbury we warmly encourage the participation of lay people in all aspects of the Church’s mission and ministry including reaching those outside the church with the good news of the gospel. We also want anyone involved in this ministry, whether lay or ordained, to do it well. With this in mind we offer training, commissioning and on-going support for Commissioned Lay Pioneers so that they can feel confident in the ministry that has been entrusted to them.

The ministry of a CLP is recognised by their parish priest and the PCC. Receiving the Bishop’s commission means that you are formally recognised as a minister of the Diocese.

What do Commissioned Lay Pioneers do?

This will depend on the particular context within which you will be ministering. Some examples of outreach include growing a Christian community from:

  • a church initiative such as Café Church or Messy Church
  • a craft, or walking group
  • developing relationships on a new housing estate
  • gathering community together to explore faith, in a secular context e.g. pub, coffee shop
  • enabling people to explore faith in a secular work context

 Click here to see brochure

 Could it be you?

Commissioned Lay Pioneer ministry is a vocation not just a job to be done.

There are three tried and tested ways of discerning if this is how God is calling you.

  • Do you have a sense of inner call?
  • Is this call affirmed by others?
  • Is there a need for this ministry to be undertaken on behalf of your church?

Commissioned Lay Pioneers also need to be:

  • baptised and confirmed
  • a regular worshipper in their home church
  • rooted in their local community, and trusted by those around them
  • Safely Recruited according to House of Bishops’ and Diocesan requirements
  • able to undertake an initial 10 session course and engage in Continuing Ministerial Development


What can I do next?

 Ask God in prayer ... how you may become all that God intends you to be and how best you may serve him.

Reflect on your gifts ... are you drawn to communicate the faith to others? Do you have a desire to reach out to those beyond your church congregation? Are you willing to try new things? Are you able perceive the needs of others and point them to God?

Talk to your parish priest or chaplain ...  who will be able to advise you and put you in touch with the Vocations Team.

Attend a Vocation Enquiry Day ... held regularly throughout the year.  Details of the next one are available on the Diocesan website, from your parish priest, or from the Vocations Team.



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