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Ministries

All baptised Christians are called to use their gifts to serve God and others in the name of Christ. Some do this through particular authorised ministries that serve the ministry and mission of the whole church and work collaboratively at all levels.

Here is a brief outline of the ministries currently available in the diocese.  The training, which may be of interest to all but which is necessary for all who are involved in, or considering, any kind of ministry whether local (e.g. Elders) or national (e.g. Reader ministry or ordination) can be downloaded here:

Basics | PDF  **NEW** a four-session course for groups

The diocese is running the course four times over the next year, but it can be run locally, in a benefice or deanery, for example:

  • Wednesdays 4 and 11 October        9.30am – 1.00pm    St Mary’s Church, Church Lane, Witnesham IP6 9JD.  Book here
  • Thursdays 9 and 16 November        1.30 – 5.00pm         All Saints’ Church, Park Road, Bury St Edmunds IP33 3QW.  Book here 
  • Mondays 15, 22, 29 Jan, 5 Feb        7.00 – 9.00pm         Stowupland Church Hall, Church Road, Stowupland IP14 4BQ (next to the church).  Book here
  • Saturdays 20 and 27 January          9.30am – 1.00pm    Stowupland Church Hall, Church Road, Stowupland IP14 4BQ (next to the church).  Book here

  • Lay Elders-+

    Lay Elders share in the ministries of leading worship and pastoral care in their local congregation and community, under the authority of the Incumbent. They are chosen by the Incumbent and PCC and commissioned in their parish church by the Bishop or his representative.

    Basics | PDF - **NEW** a four-session course for groups which may be of interest to all, but which is necessary for all who are involved in, or considering, any kind of ministry, whether local (e.g. Lay Elder ministry) or national (e.g. Reader ministry or ordination).

    Contact Lesley Steed, Lay Elders Administrator, for more information.

  • Readers-+

    Readers are nationally accredited lay ministers who are licensed by the Diocesan Bishop to preach, teach and lead worship. They play an important part in nurturing Christian discipleship in the church and wider world. 

    The Warden of Readers is the Bishop of Dunwich, the Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison, who may be contacted by email or by phone at the Bishops' Office on 01473 252829.

    For further information about discernment and selection, please contact the Deputy Warden of Readers, Malcolm Rittman by email or on 07825 005000.

    Candidates recommended to train for Licensed Lay Ministry as Readers, Lay Pastors or Local Evangelists usually follow a three-year part time programme. The course equips students for ministry by developing: theological and biblical learning, practical ministry skills, personal formation in discipleship and ministry, and collaborative practice. For further information about training, please contact Ruth Dennigan.

  • Ordained Ministers-+

    Ordained Ministers (deacons and priests) are called to represent the church in the wider world. They lead the church’s mission and ministry through worship and prayer, preaching and teaching, community engagement and pastoral work.

    Some ordained ministers are self-supporting (SSMs) and serve locally, and some are stipendiary. Some are parish-based, while others serve in schools, hospitals, prisons and elsewhere as chaplains.

    For further information about discernment, selection and training, contact the Revd Tim Jones, our Diocesan Director of Ordinands. For more information about SSM, please contact the Revd Tony Redman, Bishop's Officer for Self Supporting Ministers.

  • Pioneer ministry-+

    Pioneers are people called by God who are the first to see and creatively respond to the Holy Spirit’s initiatives with those outside the church; gathering others around them as they seek to establish new contextual Christian community. They combine the ability to see a new future with the skills and gifts to make the future accessible now.

    For more information, please see below.