Authorised Lay Ministry (ALM)
In the Diocese of Worcester we seek to be a church – a Kingdom people – not only for those who already belong, but also for those who are not or not yet our members. We believe that a shared ministry of ordained and lay people develops a healthy Church and a world-facing discipleship, and so we pray “your kingdom come on earth as in heaven”.
Ordained ministry, licensed lay ministry and authorised lay ministry all work together to support the shared witness and service of all who are called into Christ’s fellowship.
Lay ministry is thriving in many different ways, and Authorised Lay Ministry further enables and affirms this. Many people want to offer their time and talents in particular ways, and this scheme offers them a short but focussed Diocesan training course, to equip them for specific roles in their parishes. It encourages local diversity and promotes diocesan collegiality.
The training for ALM consists of a one-year course of common and specialist modules. At the end of the course, the Bishop holds a celebration in the cathedral, at which he presents all those who have completed the course with a certificate of completion. After receiving this, each ALM is authorised for their ministry by their incumbent in their own parish, where the congregation is encouraged to support, welcome and pray for them.
As a diocesan training team we hope to offer ongoing support through spotting in-service opportunities and communicating these to ALMs, by encouraging local support in ministry teams, and by the provision of occasional study days. The team hopes to support the parish and the ALM in any ongoing process of discernment, training and vocational development.
You can download an outline of each of the core training modules here:
In some years we run additional modules, such as for Parish Administrators or Community Workers. If you can't find the information you're looking for here, please contact the Ministry and Discipleship Team.
Celebration of ALM Ministry
Each course concludes with a Celebration of ALM ministry when those who have completed this year's course receive their course certificates from the bishop. We hope that they will be well supported by their congregations, and other ALMs as we celebrate the contribution ALM ministry makes to the life of our diocese.
The celebration for the course that starts in 2020 will be at 6.30pm on Sunday 19 September, 2021
The next course
The next course starting in September 2020 marks the tenth anniversary of the ALM scheme. Do you know someone in your parish who you think might be called to serve in one of these ALM ministries? Might it be you who God is asking to take this step? Why not watch the video just below this paragraph, and think whether it's for you. Or perhaps you could invite someone you know to watch it, and encourage them to think about authorised lay ministry.
This is a short video of the presentation that was used for the two evening sessions introducing and exploring the ALM course starting in September 2020.
The key dates for the full training days are listed below. The evenings, when people engage in their specialist tracks, can only be arranged after we have some idea of numbers. We encourage you, therefore, if your parish is putting you forward for training, to fill in the paperwork and get it in to the diocesan office as soon as you can. It helps us arrange the dates, which in turn helps everyone who is doing the course.
- Saturday 26 September 2020
- Introduction: the church in God’s mission
- Saturday 16 January 2021
- The Story that shapes us — exploring the bible
- Saturday 13 February 2021
- The Community that shapes us — exploring the church's faith
- Saturday 13 March 2021
- The Spirit that shapes us — exploring prayer and spirituality
- Saturday 3 July 2021
- Final Day: ministry in partnership and collaboration
Discernment and selection
Detailed information about discernment and selection is set out in the Diocesan Compendium, Section A23 here.
A form containing the selection criteria in that policy document, provided in tabular form, that incumbents can use as part of the selection process is available here .
The application form for the training course can be downloaded either as a Word file for filling in electronically (please scan signatures in to the document if possible) or as a PDF for printing and filling in by hand.
All information, and accompanying downloads, concerning the authorisation process in the parish can be found in the Diocesan Compendium Section A24 here.
All incumbents are encouraged to carry out an annual review of ministry with each ALM for whom they are responsible. This will help support their ministry within the parish or benefice team, and inform the five-yearly re-authorisation process. A form (based on one developed in a parish with several ALMs) is available here to facilitate that process.