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Our Diocese is launching an exciting new scheme today to train and commission Authorised Lay Ministers (ALMs) who will be able to fulfil a variety of roles in parishes.

The ALM training is part of the Lay Ministry Framework and is a one-year pathway comprising a Core Module, followed by training in a specific area. 

In a brand-new video Amy White, our new Lay Training Officer, explains that this year our pathways include preaching, small group leadership, worship leading, children’s ministry, youth ministry and pastoral care.

In future years we’re hoping to develop pathways such as mentoring, the ministry of technology and administration.

Meanwhile, Director of Training, Rev Matt Allen says: “The ALM training pathway brings clarity, energy and shape to an area that has always been important but has also been a bit of a gap in our provision. We’ve listened to our parishes and seen the need to train and release people for specific roles.”

The Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North, has written directly to parishes today about the new training pathway and Bishop Philip also features alongside other members of our ‘Growing Leaders’ team in the new ALM video. Watch it now …

The ALM training programme is designed to nurture and equip people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives who bring a variety of gifts to the body of Christ.

The aim of the programme is to train people to minister and lead in their local context, who have a firm foundation of faith in Christ, expressed in daily life, and who are skilled in their specific areas of calling and gifting.

Director of Vocations, Rev Nick McKee says: “Authorised Lay Ministers would be identified in their local parishes; they would be trained on this Diocesan recognised programme and they will be released back into ministry in the life of the local parish.”

There is a lot more to the programme and we have created this new page on the Diocesan website for a full overview.

The page has further details and points you in the right direction to ask questions if you are interested in finding out more.

Even in lockdown during the pandemic many churches have discovered new lay leaders as unexpected people have stepped forward to take on responsibility in the life of the church or in the local community. If you are one of them this may be an opportunity to explore that calling further.

As Bishop Philip says in the video: “As I travel around the parishes of the Diocese people say to me, ‘How can I do a bit more for God or for the local church? How can I use my gifts a bit more richly in his service?’

“If you’ve ever asked questions like that, then ALM could well be for you.”





Ronnie Semley, September 2020