Accredited Lay Ministry
Christians who feel called to exercise a public ministry in either the Church or the world, but who are not called to ordination, are known as accredited lay ministers. They undergo selection and training for their ministry which may be nationally recognised (as in the case of lay Readers) or locally recognised (as in the case of Southwark Pastoral Auxiliaries or SPAs).
Licensed lay ministry is often quite specialised: Reader ministry is primarily a preaching and teaching ministry; SPA ministry is essentially pastoral.
Selection for both ministries is at Diocesan level. If you think that God is calling you to ordained ministry see Exploring your call for more information from the Diocese of Southwark, or see the national Church of England information. Note that as SPA is a Diocesan ministry, it does not feature on the Church of England national website.
Readers are Lay Ministers of the Church of England licensed by the Bishop primarily to preach, teach and lead worship.
Southwark Pastoral Auxiliary Ministry (SPAs)
Southwark Pastoral Auxiliaries (SPAs) are lay men and women authorised by the Diocese to help develop caring and pastoral work on behalf of the church, in a voluntary capacity. At present there are about 19O active SPAs in the Diocese.