Discernment: Lay Ministry

The Communion welcomes interest and invites applications from committed members of its congregations to discern and explore opportunities in lay ministry. Examples of licensed lay ministry are Pastoral Worker, Reader or permanent Sub-deacon other forms of lay ministry not requiring a license but instead some training and a certificate include Hospital Visitor, Christian Listening Counsellor, Sunday School Teacher and Parish Catechist.

No monetary remuneration is offered for these posts either licensed or unlicensed however some Congregations may cover a percentage of or all expenses. Essentially lay ministry is voluntary and a gift of the persons own talents, abilities, time and resources to expressing a more committed participation in the life of the Church.

Training is coordinated by the Episcopal Vicar and may include participation on courses with other Churches or external organisations as well as internal provision. Training for a Licensed or Certificated Ministry may involve deeper study theologically or pedagogically which may be charged for either by an external or internal provider to cover costs which the student will have to cover (however, assistance can be offered to candidates who are un-waged or on a low income).

The following are examples of the kind of ministry open to lay people. Some or all of these positions may require statutory checks with relevant Government agencies.

PASTORAL WORKER: Responsible for representing the church or parish in home or health institution visitations, calls to new or potential members, and other contacts involving care and support. May coordinate the activities of lay volunteers or coordinate education or social out-reach activities in support of the parochial clergy; a licensed lay minister of the Church.

CHURCH MUSICIAN: The role of a true church musician is quite varied, especially from congregation to congregation. There are many facets that make up any music position, from a simple choir director or worship leader to a full time director of music or worship arts. However, one thing must remain constant and true: a church musician must be called to this ministry. In leading the congregation in worship through music and song, the musician must be led by the Holy Spirit, using Scripture and Biblical truths, combined with the music, to motivate the congregation in glorifying God.

PARISH CATECHIST: working with those responsible in the parish for the preparation of candidates for the Sacraments and to offer religious education for children without access to an Orthodox Catholic School. Assists in planning and running relevant retreats, ‘away days’ or days of reflection for young candidates. This post would normally require Safeguarding clearance and protocols e.g. enhanced background check.

LECTOR/READER: A lay person authorised for the Church by license of the Diocesan Bishop to assist in the liturgical reading of Scriptural texts within the context of Divine Worship i.e. the Mass, Offices and Rites of the Church. Technically one of the “minor orders” and thus subject to theological qualification and tonsure i.e. becoming a cleric. It is possible for this position to be “permanent” i.e. without transitioning toward Sacred Ministry.

SUB-DEACON (Permanent): A layman with a vocation to serve the Church as a cleric (meaning he is bound by Canonical Law and the recitation of the Divine Office) but not as a Sacred Minister (i.e. deacon or priest) who assists in the celebration of the solemn offering of the Liturgy of the Church (Mass, Offices and Rites) in the Sanctuary. A Sub-deacon may also fulfil a pastoral role in the parish assisting the clergy as directed and working alongside a Pastoral Worker sharing in pastoral provision. It is his special prerogative to read/sing the Epistle at High Mass whenever it is celebrated in the parish in which he resides and to assist in such capacity around the Diocese when invited to do so. Is also permitted to administer the Blessed Sacrament. (Note: Transitional Sub-deacons are men in training for the Sacred Ministry.)

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