Exploring lay ministry

There are thousands of lay ministers using their gifts in a wide variety of different roles, serving alongside ordained ministers.
Youth and children’s ministers, churchwardens, Readers, and many chaplains, evangelists, missionaries, pioneers, are lay people, who are not ordained.
Woman with hands in the air leading worship, cross on wall behind Diocese of Birmingham

Lay ministries cover a huge variety of different forms of Christian service. Explore more about some of the numerous types of ministry in the Church of England here.

There are a range of lay ministry roles available in different dioceses, so contact your diocese to find out about different roles where you live. They will also have information about selection, training and authorisation for lay ministry. You can find which diocese you are in here.

You can contact your diocese using the webform here.

Lay ministry falls broadly into three categories: Recognised, Authorised and Licensed.

Locally Recognised
Authorised - In the Community
In Leadership - Licensed

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 you make the first steps towards lay ministry. They are intentionally broad and may not always be the way your diocese does things. The best thing is to speak to your vicar, chaplain or a lay minister in your church early on about your sense of calling, and to take the conversation further with the vocations team in your diocese.

 

Get in touch with your diocese

Contact the vocations team in your diocese using the form below to begin exploring whether you have a calling to lay ministry. Your diocese will be sent your message and contact details and may get in contact with the ministry team in your church. If you don’t know which diocese your church is in you can find out on A Church Near You. Your data will also be held the National Church Institutions.

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Your Diocese will most likely get in touch with the ministers at your church. If you don't know which Diocese you are in, please enter your postcode on A Church Near You
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"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."

1 Corinthians 12: 4-7