New lay ministers commissioned
Almost 30 people were commissioned for lay ministry across Lichfield Diocese at a special service on Saturday.
A packed Lichfield Cathedral celebrated the diversity of calling and the range of people and ministries which will add further richness to the life of the diocese.
These included 15 licensed as Readers, ten Authorised Lay Ministers and three lay funeral ministers – a brand new role.
Readers are lay people who have been selected, trained and licensed by the Bishop to preach, teach and lead worship in their local parish or as chaplains.
Authorised Lay Ministers are given authority to carry out specific roles such as pastoral care, chaplaincy and evangelists.
The Lay Funeral Ministers are Martin Bishop in Stafford, Stone and Eccleshall, Sue Vaughan in Wednesfield and Eleanor Aldred in Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury, . They were the first ministers of their kind to be licensed in the Diocese as part of a new scheme,reflecting a national move to offer support to clergy and the wider ministry of the church in taking funerals locally.
The annual lay licensing service at Lichfield Cathedral was led by the Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Reverend Dr Michael Ipgrave, who also spoke.
He said: “Readers and other lay ministers are a vital part of the ministry of the whole people of God, working closely in partnership with ordained clergy. I want to see their ministry honoured, affirmed and celebrated in the same way as their ordained colleagues.”