Last updated 16th October 2023
Licensed Lay Ministers are local people who are key members of their congregations, exercising leadership in teaching the faith, enabling mission, and exemplifying faith in their personal lives. They are often active members of the PCC, leaders of homegroups, missionally focussed, preachers and teachers, discipleship coordinators and trainers, and they can encourage, train and mentor other lay ministries. Their distinctive role is to be a focus, beacon, and enabler for all forms of lay ministry.
At the heart of licensed lay ministry is the call of God to teach the faith, enable mission, and lead in church and society – reflecting the light and love of Christ wherever they are. Licensed Lay Ministers are licensed by the Bishop of Blackburn to exercise their ministry in their parish, and this license is renewable every three years.
God knows what we can do. In ten years as a Christian, God has used me different ways in Lay Ministry, from preaching to teaching, to leadership and outreach. Most recently, I have led a team that fed the homeless in Blackpool during the first lockdown. God calls us, it’s for us to hear and respond. Greg Doughty BEM, Assistant Warden of Lay Ministry, Licensed Lay Minister, The Trinity Parish, Layton and Staining
God calls and equips all sorts of people for this ministry – and the focus is on the following personal qualities:
My recent licensing was the end of a long journey and the start of a new and exciting life in ministry. It has been and remains my deep sense that, having built much of my clinical life on care for those who would not achieve a lasting cure for their cancer, my skills and vocation lay in end-of-life support and funeral ministry. Dr Sheila Fisher, Licensed Lay Minister, St Wilfrid, Standish.
LLMs are trained at Emmanuel College – two years part-time training with weekly term time evening sessions at Blackburn Cathedral.
Training was a stimulating experience with interesting and lively classes taught by several tutors with good resources available. Annie Riley, Licensed Lay Minister, All Hallows, Bispham
Talk to your incumbent and/or contact the Interim Director of Vocations at Blackburn Diocese (firstname.lastname@example.org). There is then a process of discernment before being accepted for LLM training.
Why did I decide to train as a Licensed Lay Minister? Well, simply because I believed that God was nudging me to do so. Simple in one way, but I came out of it with a profoundly different perspective on ministry in general when we zoomed out of our studies and into our parishes last November…. Diane Otto, Licensed Lay Minister, St John the Evangelist, Ellel.
Our focus is on recognising the call of God for this lay ministry, and the personal qualities of candidates. We encourage people from a wide range of educational and ethnic backgrounds to consider whether this is God’s calling for them.
For more information about LLM ministry and whether it is right for you, please contact The Warden of Lay Ministry, Ruth Haldane - email@example.com or 07896 490832