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Two new Lay Ministers will be licensed in 2024

There’s always plenty to celebrate at this time of year around the diocese as we prepare to welcome a number of new ministers into our parishes. Amongst them will be our newly Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs). 

This year our LLM licensing service will be taking place on Saturday 22 June at St Mary’s Church in Byfleet, where we will see two new Lay Ministers being licensed alongside nine others being relicensed. 

Amber and Samantha, who have been studying as part of the Diocese’s Local Ministry Programme (LMP), will be surrounded by colleagues, church family members, and close friends and family as they take the next step in their vocational journey. 

“I first became aware of a call to ministry during a vacancy in our parish in 2019.” Amber shares of her initial steps into her calling, “Our organist suggested I lead Morning Worship one Sunday when our clergy cover had not turned up. This was my first experience of taking a service and I was terrified. However, after a few minutes, I had an immense feeling of being calmed and reassured; a real sense of the Spirit. 

“After the service, a few people asked if I had ever considered training to lead worship. I remember laughing and saying, “No way!” However, in the weeks and months following, I kept being reminded of what I felt during the service. I approached one of the clergy who supported the church during the vacancy to discuss exploring this call further.” 

Samantha’s encouragement to explore LLM came from her vicar, “He could see leadership qualities in me and had an initial conversation with me about the LMP course after helping on a couple of Alpha Courses.” 

An LLM often fulfils their ministerial duties alongside their professional employment or roles outside of the Church, such as Amber and Samantha who will be continuing full-time employment. They are licensed by the Bishop to a role that allows them to minister in the Church as well as beyond the traditional boundaries of the Church. 

Before being licensed, LLMs go through formal ministry training, such as the courses offered on the LMP that Amber and Samantha were a part of. 

Amber says, “We attend LMP sessions every Monday night, one Saturday Study Day a term and one weekend residential each term. Subjects include Worship and Spirituality, Mission, Old Testament Studies, New Testament Studies, Doctrine, Ethics and Pastoral Care.” 

“My placement experience in the Parish of Shere has been the highlight of my studies. I was able to experience a broader range of ministry than in my home context and get involved with the Children’s Ministry.” 

“I’ve enjoyed journeying with other Christians through this course.” Says Samantha, “It has been a wonderful and formational experience. We have had good times together and supported each other through hard times.” 

If you would like to find out more about our Licensed Lay Ministers, you can visit our Licensed Lay Ministers page

We pray for Amber and Samantha as they prepare for their licensing service this Saturday, as well as the seven LLMs being relicensed. We will be sharing photos and a little more of Amber and Samantha’s stories following the service. 

The licensing service is on Saturday 22 June at 5.30pm at St Mary's Church, Byfleet. You can find more details about the service on St Mary's Church calendar.

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