New lay ministers to join the Diocese of Lichfield

Lichfield Cathedral. Pic: James Stringer

Lichfield Cathedral. Pic: James Stringer

Churches across the Diocese of Lichfield are set to receive a boost as 16 new lay ministers join more than 400 already deployed to local churches across the region.

Among them are the first two lay pioneer ministers – authorised to develop fresh expressions of church in their communities – to be licensed in the diocese.

The 11 new licensed readers, three pastoral care ministers and two pioneer ministers will be admitted, authorised and committed to ministry by the Bishop of Lichfield during a special service at Lichfield Cathedral at 5.30pm on September 6.

The Bishop will also recognise six readers who have moved into the Diocese in the past 12 months and give long service awards to two readers who have each clocked up 50 years service; and six readers who have each clocked up 25 years service.

The traditional role for lay ministers within the Church of England is that of licensed reader, but for a number of years the Diocese of Lichfield has provided an expanded list of specialist roles for licensed lay ministers, including pastoral care, evangelism and outreach, prayer guides and youth and children. The new lay pioneer minister role is one of two new specialist local ministries – with students already training for deployment as community social entrepreneurs, who will be authorised to work for the regeneration of their local communities.

The Revd Elizabeth Jordan , director of local ministry for the Diocese of Lichfield, said:

“These 16 people have been meeting together for several years, learning, praying and living with each other.  They are now ready to be ministers in their own churches, working with those who know them well and building the Kingdom in that place.”

The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, the Bishop of Lichfield, said:

“The special service in Lichfield Cathedral marks the exciting start of a new chapter of service for the 16 candidates; but as well as new start it is also a continuation – a continuation of hundreds of years of lay ministry in the long history of this diocese and a continuation of the individual candidates’ service to the church.

“I am always excited about the start of a new ministry and I’m particularly delighted on this occasion as we authorise two people to develop fresh expressions of church in Stoke and Tamworth – providing a warm spiritual welcome to those for whom traditional church doesn’t appeal.”

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