By virtue of their baptism, every member of the Church is part of the body and every every member of the Church shares in the responsibility of its pastoral care. Each of us has gifts which we can use in fulfilling that responsibility and whilst we do not need official sanction to be a ‘good neighbour’ or speak about Christ, the church does recognise a number of particular roles for which it offers training and support:
Lay Pastoral Assistants are authorised to take part in the Church’s ministry to those in need. This is most commonly exercised through ministries such as taking communion to those unable to attend Church, undertaking to maintain pastoral contact after events such as Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals, and taking part in the ministry of prayer for healing.
Licensed Lay Minsters (called Lay Readers in the past) were originally created to provide suitable people to lead non-eucharistic worship when there was no ordained minister available. The office of Licensed Lay Minister has developed into a key ministry with both pastoral and liturgical aspects, depending on the individual’s skills.
If you want to know more about these ministries, or are interested in knowing how you might be trained and supported in your ministry please speak to a member of the clergy.