There are over 300 Readers and LLMs in the Diocese of London and many more in training. Training lasts three years and is designed to develop theological understanding and practical ministerial skills. More information about training pathways and the discernment process towards becoming an LLM can be found here.
If you think LLM ministry may be for you, talk first to your parish priest. For more general enquiries, email LLM@nulllondon.anglican.org.
Commissioned Lay Ministers
At the discretion of the Bishop and at the request of the incumbent and PCC, there are a number of ministries which qualify for a Bishop’s Commission. Commissioned Ministers are local to a parish (or other ministry setting), and their commission would not normally be recognised outside the local situation.
There are two recognised routes to becoming a Commissioned Minister.
One is the apprenticeship model, whereby a Minister will be commissioned into a parish or ministry setting with an agreed job description. The Minister will then receive on-going training from the incumbent or other in their ministry.
The other route will be commissioning following a specific and agreed training course, often though not always run by the Area or Diocese.
Areas of Ministry
The ministry of Commissioned Ministers will be more specific and focused than that of Licensed Ministers, and may include:
- Pastoral Assistants
- Lay Hospital Chaplains
- Youth Ministers
- Children’s Ministers
- Community Ministers
- Lay Ministers who focus on leading worship and/or preaching
- Parish Administrators
They will carry a specific job title to reflect their ministry.
Commissioned Ministers may also be given Bishop’s Permission to carry out other specific ministries, such as the leading of services of Holy Communion by extension, leading public worship, preaching and the taking of funerals. Each of these ministries may, though, require agreed training.
At the request of parish priest and PCC, Bishops will give their Permission, at their discretion, for people to carry out certain specific ministries. A Bishop’s Permission means that a lay person will be authorised to carry out this ministry in their local setting.
Bishop’s Permissions are commonly granted for the following ministries:
- distribution of Holy Communion in Church
- distribution of Holy Communion to the sick and housebound
- leading public worship
Other Lay Ministries
There are a wide range of other lay ministries which people undertake in their parish or local ministry setting. These will be agreed with their incumbent and will not necessarily require any licence, commission or permission. There is no hierarchy of ministries, so this in no way suggests that a lack of licence, commission or permission undervalues such ministries.
Other ministries may include:
- spiritual direction
- healing ministry
- leading small groups
- parish visiting
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