40 people received a certificate from Bishop John last Sunday to mark the completion of their courses to become Authorised Lay Ministers (ALMs). The special service at Worcester Cathedral was a celebration of this form of lay ministry.
Authorised lay ministers train over a year to be equipped for specific roles in the parish. This year’s ALMs have been in trained in either administration, children’s and youth work, pastoral work or as worship leaders.They will work alongside ordained clergy and licensed lay ministers as part of the ministry teams in their individual parishes.
During the service, the Revd Canon Doug Chaplin, Lay Development and Discipleship Officer, gave an address to the newly authorised ministers. He said: “We are ministering in interesting and challenging times. To be ministers of Christ we first need to become disciples of Christ; we are all called to be lifelong learners of how to live our lives in Jesus’ image. We also need each other’s gifts, ministry and service – ministry in the New Testament is always shared and only together can we be the body of Christ. And finally, to be ministers we need wisdom, which comes through regular study and reading of the scriptures. To love and seek wisdom is to love and seek Jesus.”
Caryl Mills from the parish of Hampton in Evesham was authorised as an Administrator. She said: “It was a good and very interesting course. I’ll definitely be able to use different elements in my parish and it was great to swap ideas and learn from the best practice of others.”
Stanley Condliffe from Badsey in the East Vale and Avon group of parishes trained as a Children’s and Youth Work ALM. He said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant. The tutors had a great sense of humour and the course was filled with relevant, up to date information.”
Claire Charley from St Mary, Pickersleigh, Eve Canbray from the Four Rivers Churches and Jane Bowen from St Peter’s Church in Droitwich all completed the course to become Pastoral Workers. They said: “We really enjoyed the course and learnt a lot from each other. It was a close supportive group and we’ve committed to praying for each other as well as continuing to meet. It was a comprehensive course which will be very useful in our parishes.”
Claire Cox from the Gornal and Sedgley team was authorised as an ALM Worship Leader. She said: “I loved it! The structure of the course was great and the tutors were brilliant. It’s given me more confidence to be able to structure a service and know how everything links together. I’ve also been completing the Bishop’s Certificate and together the two courses have really helped me to go back into the parish to talk to others about God’s love.”
The Diocese of Worcester is one of 42 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.
From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester.
Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516