September Welcomes a new Lay Ministry training cohort

Last weekend we were delighted to bring together new and returning candidates for the beginning of a new year of training for Licensed Lay Ministry (LLM).

The two year course is designed to explore a calling and vocation to become a lay minister. The 28 candidates came together from a wide range of backgrounds, each representing the diversity of their communities from across the diocese. We welcomed 14 new candidates to the training, and 14 returning for their second year.

The weekend’s workshops, carefully arranged to meet social distancing safety requirements, offered a great opportunity for candidates to build and develop new friendships, and build support between the new and returning groups. They were all introduced to key people who will lead them through their journeys, culminating in their licensing as Lay Ministers.

Ahead of this year’s gathering, one of this year’s new candidates expressed some concerns saying, “I was getting more and more anxious in the week leading up to the start of the training, but during the Friday night where we met the other participants and training team, they really encouraged me. It meant I could relax into the rest of the programme. We were connected up with a prayer partner for the year; it was such a good introduction”

A core team from our diocesan School of Discipleship led the weekend programme with guest teaching from Ian Parkinson, Leadership Specialist at CPAS (an Anglican evangelical mission agency working with churches), Revd Dr Andy Emerton, the Bishop of Sherwood designate, and Revd Dr Caroline Phillips, Vicar at St Peter & St Paul, Mansfield.

Southwell Minster hosted a very special communion service at which Andy Emerton preached and commissioned the students for the start of a new training year.

James Halstead, Principal of the School of Discipleship said, “After all the uncertainties, we’re thrilled with how this weekend unfolded. It’s been a tremendous few days which have set us all up for what we trust the Lord will be doing in and through the LLM training this coming year.”

Both groups will now settle into their regular modules and start making plans for practical placements in their parishes and beyond. New students will be digging into the New Testament, and returners will be learning how the church has always understood the faith by looking at key moments in our shared history. They will also be choosing skills courses such as preaching, leading worship, overseeing funeral and bereavement ministries, and leading in evangelism & nurture.

Please pray for all those exploring a vocation to LLM – that they’ll increasingly know God’s call towards their particular place within the life of the Church.

The Year 2021 Cohort who are returning include: Roy Hadfield, Gayna Hall, Kate Helliwell, Edith Iheama, Anne Kean, Sarah Mellor, Adrian Self, Philip Standen-Paterson, ClareShaw, Beverley Thorpe, Christopher Trend, Susan Twemlow, Gillian Wratten.

The Year 2022 Cohort (i.e. those who have just started) include: Janette Ace, Matthew Beeston, Wendy Forbes-Buckingham, Andrew Halfpenny, Glenn Hickson, Anne Lumb, Julie McIntyre, Sid Mitchell, Joel Newall, Trine Pearse, George Pendenque, Joanna Smith, Folasade Sowunmi, Susan Tanner.

If you’re interested in exploring LLM in future, our RealLIFE course is the first step – this begins again on 15th September.

To find out more and sign up please follow this link: