Section A. Ministry
A24. Authorised Lay Ministry – Authorisation
Authorisation in the Parish
The authorisation of ALMs is carried out by the parish priest, ideally during a principal act of worship in the parish on a Sunday.
Before a parish priest authorises ministry as part of the diocesan ALM programme, they should ensure the person has had any required DBS checks, and has received their Certificate of Completion of Training from the Bishop. Guidance on when DBS checks are required can be found in the Safeguarding section of the compendium.
Authorisation should take place as soon as possible after the cathedral celebration and the award of the certificate.
Normally authorisation will happen with prayer at a principal Sunday service in the benefice or parish where the ministry will be carried out. A simple liturgical form for authorisation, and templates for a parish certificate of authorisation are provided below.
As part of the authorisation the incumbent and ALM will agree a pattern of review. It is strongly recommended that the current practice is followed of authorising the ministry for a five-year period with a full review at the five-year mark of whether both parties wish for a further period of authorisation.
ALMs are authorised for a five-year period. This dovetails with the need for any relevant DBS and safeguarding review which also take place on this timescale. A few months before the authorisation lapses, the incumbent and ALM should begin a review process. Normally the diocsean office will send out a reminder that this process is due to begin. However, it is not necessary to wait for a reminder to begin the process.
There are two forms for the re-authorisation process, which can be downloaded here:
- A template for the review conversation which may be of use.
- A reauthorisation form which needs to be completed and returned to the diocesan office. Without this form being returned (together with its GDPR consent) we will not be able to keep an ALM on our list of authorised ministers.
Liturgy for Authorisation
A set of prayers for authorisation may be downloaded either as text for incorporation into the parish’s own service sheet, or as a separate and printable sheet.
The provided form of words is a template that may be adapted as appropriate for local use. As written, it is intended to follow the Creed, or another authorised Affirmation of Faith, at a principal service in the benefice. If it is used in other contexts, it may need some additional adaptation. In the sample form or prayers provided here, it would replace the Prayers of Intercession at the Eucharist.
Equally, the rite of authorisation as provided here does not require the congregation to have their own copies, and can be used with only the clergy, ALMs and leader of the intercessions having a printed copy of the text.
Download the text version of the short liturgy for authorisation as a word file here .
Download a typeset service sheet here .
Template certificates of authorisation may be downloaded here as either a Word file for local customisation, or as a PDF for filling in by hand, as follows: