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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.

You can find details of the different kinds of ministry recognised in the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, and the training required here. What follows is a brief outline:


  • 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 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.

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