Parish Roles

Most churches have many voluntary roles that support the ministry of the vicar, from churchwardens and treasurer to pastoral supporters and youth & children’s leaders. Asking your vicar for some ideas of how you might be involved in the ministry of the church could give you a fulfilling vocation.

Ministry Experience Scheme

Aged 18-30 and want to discern more clearly the calling God has for you? The Ministry Experience Scheme year could give you the opportunity to discover your unique gifts and skills through Christian ministry and leadership experience.

Each person’s year looks different but is formed around practical experience, such as chaplaincy, social justice ministry, preaching and Sunday services, digital media, pastoral visiting, event organisation, evangelism, and kids and youth work.

Religious Life

Those committing to the Religious life take vows and make promises to God. Such vows can take different forms and are the mark of monks and nuns, friars and sisters.
The vows differ by community, but all include:

  • Living a simple life and sharing possessions (poverty)
  • Refraining from sexual or exclusive relationships (chastity)
  • Setting aside the freedom to do as we please and instead committing to listening to others (obedience).

All these vows involve deep and positive values of attending to God and living together. The Religious life is demanding yet joyful, a way to find God and relate to the challenges of today’s society.

Community life

Most communities are women only or men only; some are of both. Some wear distinctive clothes (a ‘habit’), others do not. Some are engaged in the world, others are more oriented to prayer. Members of communities can be lay or ordained.

Community life – like family life – is not always easy, but the practice of loving forgiveness builds bonds that go beyond difference. This is a witness to a fragmented and divided society.

How can I join a religious community?

The best way forward for anyone interested in the life is to visit different communities and experience the way of life as a visitor first. Many communities provide opportunities for people to live alongside them for longer periods of time.

Participants commit to helping with the work of the monastery or community – and there is no obligation to join the community afterwards unless the person wishes to explore further.

A lay minister with her family

Licensed Lay Ministry

Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs) are trained for lay leadership within their local churches and are authorised by the Church to teach, preach, lead worship and give pastoral care. They are leaders in mission and ministry in their parishes and personal contexts.

Explore Licensed Lay Ministry