Licensed Lay Ministry

Who are Lay Ministers?

Licensed Lay Ministers (also known as Readers) are part of the nationally recognised and accredited public ministry of the Church of England. It is a voluntary, unpaid ministry with approximately 10,000 Licensed Lay Ministers nationally and around 160 in Worcester diocese.

A Reader (LLM) is someone who, following a call from God that is recognised by the Church, is trained and licensed by the Church to teach the faith, enable mission and lead in church and society.

They are trained in theology, pastoral work and a variety of ministerial skills, and one of their key roles is to help people think with clarity and imagination about God's presence and activity in the world. For this reason Licensed Lay Ministers are sometimes described as ‘lay theologians' because they help the church ‘do theology' – in other words they help people connect faith and life.

The heart of the role is a ministry of the word: that is a ministry of teaching, preaching and leading worship. However, according to their gifts, Licensed Lay Ministers are also engaged in a wide variety of other ministries, such as pastoral work, evangelism, chaplaincy work and community involvement.

Whatever their work they seek to minister in partnership with lay and ordained colleagues, and to encourage other people's gifts. They are usually part of a team of ministers working under the authority of a an incumbent (parish priest). They are, as followers of Jesus, committed to grow in faith, prayer and their understanding of scripture and the Christian tradition.

Further information on and for Licensed Lay Ministers

Readers / LLMs in their own words

Here are two videos in which you can hear various LLMs in this diocese talking about their roles, and hear from some looking forward to being licensed as new LLMs.

Reader Roadshow on Vimeo

Becoming a Licensed Lay Minister / Reader

You can also look at the four stories on this page: Explore Your Calling - Transforming Ministry Magazine

Page last updated: Thursday 11th January 2024 1:05 PM
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