Called to Licensed Lay Ministry?

First published 6th October 2015

Following the wonderful licensing service at Bristol Cathedral on Saturday 26 September, we now have over 200 licensed lay ministers in the Diocese of Bristol.

Licensed Lay Ministry (Reader ministry) is nationally recognised as a highly significant ministry for the Church of England today, and is a vital part of our diocesan strategy for ministry and mission in the 21st century.

It is for this reason that we invest significant time, effort and commitment to developing this ministry, and encouraging vocations to this specific call.

Licensed Lay Ministers are significant, valued members of ministry teams. Some are in full-time work, some retired, some in positions of leadership within industry, some full time parents or carers… All are trained and equipped, canonically authorised (that's by Church of England law) and episcopally licensed (as in by a Bishop), and freely give their ministry as people who know themselves called by God to this vocation.

Licensed Lay Ministry is exercised in diverse ways and not necessarily restricted to the congregational life of the church community, but to kingdom-wide service and connectedness, in areas and relationships that are beyond intentional Christian gathering.

Some of our Licensed Lay Ministers have significant involvement in mission and outreach, schools work and witness, offering a ministry of the word and pastoral responsibility in opportunities for making connections both within and outside the church, and beyond the traditional model of preaching and teaching.

Licensed Lay Ministers go through a structured training programme of theological study (usually Exploring Christianity) and a formation year, where areas of leadership, pastoral ministry, preaching and leading worship are developed. The local community is an important part of the formative journey, and the support of local learning groups during this stage is key to individuals growing into the ministers God is calling them to be.


Could this be your story?

Am I Called to be a Licensed Lay Minister? is a special session being held on Thursday 19 November 2015 from 7pm until 9.30pm at the Diocesan Office, Hillside House. Come along to find out more about Licensed Lay Ministry. Tea and cake will be available from 6.45pm!

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