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There was a joyous service for The Church of England in Lancashire at the weekend featuring the commissioning of a large new group of ‘Authorised Lay Ministers’ (ALMs) at the County’s Anglican Cathedral in Blackburn.

The celebration for the ALMs took place at 3pm on Saturday and was led by Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Blackburn. The latest cohort was joined by their family and friends for the occasion.

Authorised Lay Ministry is one of our ‘pathways’ for lay ministry and it was introduced in 2021 across the Diocese.

Our ALMs have trained for very specific ministries in their local church and are commissioned by their parish Priest. The work of ALMs is additional to that of Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs) who have a broader remit in our parishes.

There were 50 ALMs authorised by their incumbents during the weekend service.

Also in attendance were the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff; Archdeacons of Blackburn and Lancaster, Ven Mark Ireland and Ven David Picken; Ruth Haldane, Warden of Lay Ministry; and Amy White, Lay Training Officer.

After the service, Ruth commented: “Once again we have commissioned a new group of ALMs who have come forward to be trained and to serve in diverse roles in our parishes across the Diocese. We had a wonderful celebration and it was an opportunity to recognise and give thanks to God for each of our new ALMs; for their willingness to serve Jesus Christ and their dedication to their roles.”

Bishop Philip added: “The men and women who have come forward this year as our latest ALMs are an inspiring and dedicated group and I was delighted to be able to lead their service at the weekend.

“At the heart of the Diocesan Vision 2026 is our intentional work to ensure we have ‘healthy churches transforming communities’. Our wonderful ALMs are on the frontline of this work, making a difference week in and week out as we support the people of Lancashire in so many ways, while also spreading the Good News about Jesus Christ.”

  • For more information about Authorised Lay Ministry in our Diocese and how to become an ALM (including a helpful video) click here to go to the relevant page on our Diocesan website.
  • Pictures from the event will be available soon on our flickr feed here.

Captions for above pictures, top to bottom:
Photos by Sara Cuff

  • ALMs outside Blackburn Cathedral with (l-r) Bishop Jill Duff; Canon Ruth Haldane; Bishop Philip North; Amy White and Archdeacon David Picken.
  • Bishop Philip chatted with those who attended after the service 
  • A scene at the Cathedral as two ALMs are commissioned 
  • A scene at the Cathedral as an ALM is commissioned