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. These will normally now be completed as part of the safer recruitment process. Guidance on when DBS checks are required can be found in the Safeguarding section of this website and parishes should also take note of our ALM recruitment safeguarding policy.
Authorisation should take place soon 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 on a pattern of review. We have previously followed a pattern of five-yearly authorisation, and reauthorisation. We now ask that authorisation, and 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 ALMs will normally be authorised for a three-year periods. This dovetails with the need for any relevant DBS and safeguarding training which now also take place on this timescale. A few months before the authorisation lapses, the incumbent and ALM should begin a review process. Normally the diocesan 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 (as a Word file, or as a PDF file) that 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.
- 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).