In order to celebrate those in lay ministry in our Diocese, Bishop Christopher has declared the weeks from the 1st Sunday after Trinity (19 June) to the 4th Sunday after Trinity (10 July) as a Season of Lay Ministries.

This is an opportunity to thank those engaged in lay ministry for all that they do in the Diocese, and for them to consider whether they might be being called by God to a further development in their ministerial life. It also gives clergy and laity alike the chance to encourage others to think about whether they too may be called to affirmed, commissioned or licensed ministry.

To help mark the Season, we have created a series of sermon outlines and prayers, which you will find below. We would encourage you to incorporate this material into your services, and also to signpost people to further information about the lay ministries available in the Diocese of Southwark: Reader ministry, Pastoral ministry, Evangelist, Lay Pioneers and Children, Youth & Family ministry.

Week 1: First Sunday after Trinity

Week 2: Second Sunday after Trinity

Week 3: Third Sunday after Trinity

Week 3: sermon outline

Week 3: prayer

Other reading: ‘Incarnational Ministry, being with the church’ and ‘Incarnational Mission being with the world’ by Samuel Wells, Canterbury Press, Norwich.

Week 4: Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Types of lay ministry

In the Diocese of Southwark we are committed to encouraging more lay ministry and vocations and have a wide range of recognised lay ministries. But, whether lay or ordained, Christians are called to work together to carry out God’s mission both within the Church and in the wider world. Find out more about our affirmed, commissioned and licensed ministries below.

Affirmed ministries

Affirmed ministries are locally driven and respond to local need. They often involve partner organisations in the community. They are discerned within the local context and training takes place locally.  Sometimes this is a day-long course and sometimes the course lasts for a few weeks. People taking on this kind of ministry are then blessed or affirmed at Area, deanery or parish level.

Examples of affirmed ministry include:

  • people in pastoral ministry such as Street Pastors, Volunteer Lay Chaplains in hospitals, or leaders of food banks, overnight shelters and local Christian charities
  • people working with children and young people (CYP) as church representatives on school, college, and university governing bodies, or those teaching CYP
  • worship leaders
  • people facilitating roles in new monastic communities
  • workplace ambassadors.

Commissioned ministries

Commissioned ministries operate Diocese-wide and are discerned at Diocesan level. The Diocese provides training, which usually takes two years part-time. Once trained, people undertaking this kind of ministry are commissioned by the Diocesan Bishop.

Examples of commissioned ministries include:

  • Southwark Pastoral Auxiliaries (SPAs)
  • Commissioned Lay Pioneers
  • Commissioned Youth and Children’s Ministers.

Licensed ministries

Licensed ministries are nationally recognised. People undertaking this kind of ministry are discerned at Diocesan level and the Diocese provides training to national standards (Level 4 or equivalent, which usually means two years’ part-time academic study plus two years ‘on the job’).

After training, people are licensed by the Diocesan Bishop. They may transfer their licence to another Diocese.

Examples of licensed lay ministers include:

  • Readers
  • Licensed Lay Pioneers
  • Licensed Lay Ministers (Youth and Children)
  • Licensed Lay Ministers (Pastoral)
  • Church Army Evangelists.
The South London Church Fund and Southwark Diocese Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee (No. 236594).
Registered Office: Trinity House, 4 Chapel Court, Borough High Street, London SE1 1HW. Registered Charity: (No. 249678).

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