Caring in Christ’s Name

by Gerry Lynch last modified 12 Jul, 2018 04:05 PM

New Lay Pastoral Assistants commissioned for Devizes and Calne

Caring in Christ’s Name

Photo Credit: Steve Connor

The 12th Century church of St Mary the Virgin in the Wiltshire market town of Devizes, was the setting for the commissioning of Lay Pastoral Assistants (LPAs) to the benefices of St John and St Mary, Devizes, and the Marden Vale Team, centred on Calne.

The intimate service was led by the Archdeacon of Wiltshire, the Ven Dr Sue Groom whose sermon spoke powerfully about Gods unchangeable love for us and how the little things people do for each other, show how they care.

David Munday was commissioned to The Marden Vale Team and said, “I became an LPA because God has done so much for me and I want to share his love with other people.

“The training was great. We were reminded of the importance of listening and being sensitive to others. We used case studies in a wide variety of circumstances and were encouraged to consider how to respond to the needs of others.”

Rev Jacqui Clark, Team Vicar of St John and St Mary, who helped lead the training course, said, “We met in all weathers and the trainee LPAs really grew together as a group. They grew in faith through the gift of fellowship and it was a real pleasure to have travelled this journey with them.”

The other LPAs commissioned were Marlene Wright and Claire Arden, both to St John and St Mary.

LPAs are trained and authorised to engage in pastoral ministry on behalf of the local church, working as part of a team of clergy and laity.

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.

All LPAs focus on pastoral care, but an individual’s ministry varies according to their gifts and skills, and the local situation.

In all cases the ministry calls for a loving and compassionate heart, and a willingness to listen and support those in need.

Find out more about what LPAs do and how to explore if God might be calling you to serve Him and His Church through this ministry of care on the Diocesan website.

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