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Licensed Lay Ministers

by Michael Ford last modified 11 Sep, 2020 10:42 AM

A public ministry where a non-ordained minister represents the church.

Updated Listing = latest updates

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.

Ministers hold the Bishops’ licence after a period of theological and practical training. By virtue of their calling and training, ministers are seen as theological educators in their parishes and as ministers of the word, leading worship and preaching when asked to do so.

Licensed Lay Ministers usually work as part of a ministerial team under the guidance and direction of their incumbent or priest-in-charge. A lay minister’s main area of work may be in the parish, or it may be in a chaplaincy environment such as a hospital or prison.

Both the diocese and the Church of England place a high value on this ministry: theological education, on a degree of parity with their clergy colleagues, is regarded as essential.

God is calling

Is God calling you to be an LLM? Click the graphic to download a leaflet.

God is Calling LLM



Downloads are available from the box on the left (under 'In this section').

If you are considering a call to this ministry, it is worth reading Reader Ministry Explored (2009) by Cathy Rowling and Paula Gooder (SPCK Library of Ministry)

Click here for the Central Readers' Council website 

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