New ALMs authorised13 Sep 2015 By Sam Setchell
68 people from Worcestershire and Dudley have been commissioned as ‘Authorised Lay Ministers’.
The new ALMs were commissioned by Bishop John at a special service in Worcester Cathedral. They will now work as part of the ministry teams in the parishes, supporting their Vicars and Lay Readers.
Those authorised have all completed a year-long course to work as volunteers in their parishes as pastoral workers, community workers, in helping to lead acts of worship, in sharing their faith with others, as children’s and youth workers or as parish administrators. There are now almost 400 Authorised Lay Ministers working in parishes across Worcestershire and Dudley.
The Director of Ministry and Discipleship for the Diocese, Canon Dr. Jonathan Kimber, preached in the service on the subject of God’s freedom. He said:
“As newly authorised lay ministers I hope that you will keep growing in the freedom that God wants for you and that you’ll share that freedom abundantly with others. You have the freedom to become the person that God is calling you to be – I hope that you will offer that same freedom in joyful service to God and to others.”
The ALMs come from a range of parishes across the Diocese. They have been trained to work collaboratively in ministry teams in their own locality. Although there are now fewer ordained clergy than there were, there are more people offering authorised ministry in the Diocese of Worcester than ever before.
Quotes from a few of the Candidates:
Kirsty Wilkes from St. Barnabas Church in Kidderminster was authorised as a Worship Leader. She said:
“I very much enjoyed meeting new people through the course and we were blessed with good tutors. I learnt a great deal about me and what I can do. I’m going to be putting into practise straight away as a lead the Sunday service next week! I’m looking forward to leading people in their path with the Lord as best I can.”
Margaret Norris from Droitwich was authorised as a Pastoral Assistant. She said:
“It was great to meet with a really nice group. We all gelled well and felt able to have open discussion. There’s going to be a new pastoral care team set up in my parish so I’m looking forward to getting involved with that.”
Sue Adeney from Hanley Castle was authorised as a Community Worker. She said:
“It was really useful to meet together with people from similar contexts and talk through issues that we faced in our own parish. We really supported each other. The course leader was great and challenged us regularly. I think I’ve learnt skills that will help me as I continue to reach out to our local community.”
Christine Adshead from St. Peter’s Church in Cradley was authorised as an Evangelist. She said:
“It was a really good and challenging course. I really had to think about myself and my relationship with God and our local community. I’m going to put what I’ve learnt to good use as I start helping with Open the Book, bringing the bible to life in our local school. Becoming an ALM has definitely given me more confidence.”
Jacquie Gordon from St. Peter’s Church in Bengeworth, Evesham was authorised as a Children’s and Youth Worker. She said:
“I enjoyed the activities and the lectures were very thought provoking – I came out feeling enthused and refreshed. I’m going to use the things I have learnt to start leading Sunday School and would encourage anyone else to consider doing the course.”
The Diocese of Worcester is one of 42 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.
From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester.
Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org