The Diocese of Southwark is launching a series of new lay ministries in September to work alongside the clergy in leading, enabling and serving parishes and communities.
The new ministries are: Lay Children's, Youth and Family Workers; Licensed Lay Pioneers; and Pastoral Lay Ministers (Affirmed and Licensed).
The ministries will also sit alongside the Diocese's existing lay ministries.
The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, said in a statement: "I am delighted that we are offering these new and exciting lay ministries. Our laity play a very important role in the Diocese working alongside the clergy in leading, enabling and serving our parishes and communities. My prayer is that those who feel called to lay ministry will pursue it, in the full knowledge and assurance that they will receive excellent training and support, equipping them to carry out their calling effectively and to God's glory."
Entry into the new ministries is via the three routes of affirmed, commissioned, and licensed.
The Diocese's lay ministries are locally discerned and based and recognised at a local service of affirmation.
Commissioned lay ministers serve in their parish or local community having gone through a discernment and selection process run by the Diocese. They are commissioned by a Bishop, often in the Cathedral or in the Archdeaconry.
Licensed lay ministers serve in their parish or wider community in a leadership role. They are discerned at Diocesan level and training may include attending a theological college. These ministers are licensed by a Bishop, often in the Cathedral, and their ministry is nationally recognised and usually transferable across Dioceses.
Rev Canon Wendy Robins, Southwark Cathedral's Canon Chancellor and Director of Discipleship, Lay Ministry and Continuing Ministerial Education, added in a statement: "We are very pleased that we are able to offer these new lay ministries in the Diocese of Southwark. This launch is the culmination of a number of years of dedicated work which began with the Lay Leadership and Lay Ministry Report and the establishment of the Lay Council."
"We very much hope that these ministries will enable people from across the rich diversity of the Diocese to explore whether they have a vocation to an affirmed, commissioned or licensed ministry and what that might mean for their future growth and development and that of their parishes. It is such a joy to be able to celebrate the gifts of all God's people in this way and we look forward to a great many people coming forward for selection, training and ministry," she added.