The authorisation of ALMs is carried out by the parish priest, ideally during a principal act of worship in the parish on a Sunday. Authorisation is normally for a (renewable) three-year period.
The parish priest and PCC, when putting someone forward for ALM training, will complete a safer recruitment process. The parish safeguarding office, in consultation with the parish priest, will review what level of DBS check is required for the envisaged ministry. As a minimum, the prospective ALM will complete the training for their strand of ministry before they are authorised. They may complete the generic (and centrally organised) ALM training either before, or in their first three-year period of authorisation. Please read the guidance on the selection and training pages.
Normally authorisation will happen accompanied by prayer, at a principal Sunday service in the benefice or parish where the ministry will be carried out. A simple liturgical form for authorisation is provided below. This is a template that may be adapted as appropriate for local use.
As written, it is intended to follow either the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed at a principal service in the benefice. If it is used in other contexts, it may need some additional adaptation. In the sample form of 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.
- Download a typeset service sheet here.
Certificates of authorisation may be downloaded here (or you may choose to create your own in your parish style).
As part of the role description, the incumbent and ALM will agree on a pattern of review. As a minimum, the parish priest should offer the ALM a review every year as part of their support for this ministry. That review should always ask whether things have changed sufficiently for the role description to be updated. It is also good if the review continues to keep the ALM’s continuing development and vocational pathway in mind.
We ask that reauthorisation is carried out at the same time as the renewal of the DBS check (Basic or Enhanced), as it is a requirement for all public ministry of whatever character to have up-to-date checks and safeguarding training. This means that there will normally need to be a reauthorisation process carried out every three years.
Please download the reauthorisation form as a Word file here. (Remember that you can simply type your name as a valid signature.)
This form 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.