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Caring for the Community

by glynch — last modified 31 Oct, 2017 03:37 PM

14 new Lay Pastoral Assistants commissioned in South Wiltshire

Caring for the Community

Photo (C): Steve Connor

On Sunday evening, St Mary’s church in Alderbury welcomed the Archdeacon of Sarum, the Ven Alan Jeans on Sunday evening, as he commissioned fourteen Lay Pastoral Assistants (LPA’s) for ministry in Alderbury Deanery.

Having received the bishop’s authorisation, they are now authorised to engage in pastoral ministry on behalf of their local church, in partnership with clergy and other lay ministers.

The Ven Alan Jeans, Archdeacon of Sarum, said,  “Visiting the parish church at Alderbury on a Sunday evening to find every seat occupied was a real joy! We were all there to support fourteen new Lay Pastoral Assistants: a sign that our congregations are taking seriously their responsibility for ensuring the local church is truly caring for the wider community.

“These wonderful people will be out and about bringing God’s love and compassion in prayerful and practical ways.  We are truly thankful.”

LPAs may visit the sick, the recently bereaved and the elderly, and work with children and young people. They can also receive additional training to be able to take communion to those who are unable to come to church and some LPAs specialise in particular areas such as hospital or prison visits, baptism and confirmation preparation, or phone support.

Debbie Orriss, the Diocese’s Discipleship Co-ordinator, said,  “The ministry of an LPA calls for a loving and compassionate heart and a willingness to listen and support those in need. If you are feeling a call to this ministry talk to your parish priest, have a look at our Salisbury Calling website at, and perhaps attend a vocation enquiry day.”

To celebrate the start of their ministry, a special cake was made and enthusiastically consumed after the service.

The new LPAs are Carol Beswarwick from Bramshaw, Zoe Clewer and Jane Legat from Whiteparish, John and Sue Fuller from Alderbury, Jill Houghton from Winterslow, Renate James and Ron Perry from Redlynch, Jo Laing from West Grimstead, Amelia Misfud from Downton, Debbie Musselwhite from Harnham, Catherine Poole and Sheila Youings from Morgan’s Vale and Val Powley from Pitton.

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