On Saturday afternoon, the Bishop of Lichfield will authorise sixteen new Lay Ministers at Lichfield Cathedral to serve in churches from West Bromwich to Stoke to Shrewsbury.It is a great delight to be authorising so many people this weekend says the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, We can so easily get caught up in expecting our clergy to do everything, but Im frequently amazed at the gifts and talents God gives all his people. In authorising lay ministers we recognise people are gifted, trained and suited to particular ministries, but not necessarily the obvious one of leading services.Those being authorised have all completed two years of evening or weekend training. They include seven Pastoral Care ministers and five Community ministers. And for the first time, two Worship Leaders are to be authorised in the diocese.Director of Lay Development for the diocese, Dr Lindsey Hall said: It is exciting to see the way in which people develop over the course of training, and really build on the gifts that God has given them. For many of the people who have been authorised today, their journey started quite some time ago and they have been exploring what it is that God is calling them to. A lot of people have shared in this journey and supported them and we thank God, not only for these new lay ministers, but for all who have been part of their journey up to this point. In a couple of weeks nearly eighty people in the Diocese will start a particular phase of this exploration as they begin the Pathways to Ministry course. We are delighted to have so many people taking this step in their journey and look forward to where it will take them.Jassica Castillo-Burley is one of the new authorised Worship Leaders. After completing the year-long Pathways to Ministry foundation course, she jumped at the chance of joining the first Worship4Today course to run in the diocese. I love worship and I love music she says. Its my passion. Ive been singing since the age of four and have been exposed to different types and traditions of music. That is evident from the list of groups she leads around All Saints Church in Bloxwich: as well as a traditional church choir, she is part of the planning team and leads a band for the more relaxed family service. She runs All Saints Youth Choir, an outreach project that draws 7-16-year olds from local schools who rehearse together and put on a termly concert such as a locally created production telling the story of Joseph. And she has organised and conducted adult choirs for special events and services, drawing people from the local community.The Worship4Today course was developed in Sheffield Diocese and has just been formally published by CHP as a course available to all. Revd Tim Lomax, himself a former worship leader, author and member of the Church of Englands Liturgical Commission led the course in Shrewsbury.I was really glad to be able to bring the course to this diocese he says. The Church of England has such a rich heritage in tradition, form, and music. In this century there has been an explosion in fresh explorations of what it means, and how we can helpfully bring the breadth of what is possible to modern congregations. Creative leading and participation in worship is the ultimate in giving honour to God who we call Creator. It was a joy to teach great material with a group of keen participants.