Photo by Sabine van Erp

Elders help with leading worship and pastoral care in their local congregation and community, under the authority of the Incumbent. Their ministry is shaped by their gifts; availability and local needs.

Pastorally, an Elder might visit people at home or in hospital, follow up baptisms or funerals, visit newcomers, work with young families or elderly people or visit the local school.

Liturgically, an Elder may lead Morning and Evening Prayer, read the Bible in worship, distribute bread or wine at Communion, and take Communion to people at home or in hospital. Although Elders are not licensed to preach, there are several alternatives to the sermon permitted in Common Worship that are open to Elders.


Elders’ training is designed to be flexible enough to support people’s diverse ministries, to build on their existing skills and experience, and increase their confidence. Training includes:

1. Living Faith - Basics Training

This is a four-session group course which covers the topics of Being Disciples, Being Called, Working Together and Sustaining Ministry. This training needs to be completed before commissioning.

Living Faith - Basics | PDF

2. Further Training

One or both of the Enhancing Worship and Pastoral Care modules needs to be completed within 18 months of commissioning.

Jacqui's Story

In the video below, Jacqui shares about her experience of being an Elder and her journey of faith.

Contact and more information

To learn more about the process, training and discernment for becoming an Elder, please download our leaflet:

Elders leaflet | PDF





To find out more about Elders or their initial or ongoing training, please email Lesley Steed, Mission and Ministry Team Senior Administrator or telephone 01473 298510.

For current Elders, our resources are available here:

Elders Resources | Weblink

Case Study - Elders - Jenny Digby

When I found myself in this dire situation, I turned to God...

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