Developing lay ministries

We want to encourage the church to release the gifts of ministry among all its members, especially those who serve and lead in different contexts.

Lay and ordained ministers have an equally valued role in the Body of Christ, working together to build up the church and encourage its mission.

Living this vision requires us to look again at the way we train, license, resource and support lay ministers and ministries.
Street pastors and police talking to each other outside Jane Willis

Ministry is a response to the needs of the Church and the world and is part of every Christian’s calling to love and to serve. As part of the Renewal and Reform of the Church of England, we have been consulting on how we can share, celebrate and learn from the incredible diversity of lay ministries and ministers serving God every day.

The Church at all levels has a role to play in encouraging and training people in the skills needed for service. When that service takes on the character of public ministry then particular forms of training and authorisation may be required.


In Church
In the Community
In Leadership

Note: These categories naturally overlap, and not every form of ministry will fit naturally into just one. These descriptions are intended as a guide to help dioceses release the gifts of all God’s people in the way they plan their lay ministry work. They are intentionally broad and may not always reflect they way you choose to do things.


Our efforts to renew lay ministries are led by the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester and Chair of the Central Readers’ Council. Bishop Martyn set out a renewed vision for Reader ministry in an address to the National Reader Trainers’ Forum on the 12th of March 2019. A summary of this talk is below:


A renewed vision for Reader ministry


If you're looking to become a lay minister, speak with your vicar, chaplain or equivalent, or with the vocations team in your diocese.

"For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."

Romans 12:4-5