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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.

Who may be an Elder?

Anyone who is baptised and confirmed, a regular communicant, in good standing in the local Church and community, and able to fulfil the tasks of an Elder, may be considered for this ministry. There is no lower or upper age limit.

To learn more about the process, training and discernment for becoming an Elder, you can read a leaflet about the postion in our Elders leaflet.


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. The pattern of Elders’ training across the Diocese is:

(1) Basic Training

Basics is 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. Elder ministry) or national (e.g. Reader ministry or ordination). This training now has to be completed before commissioning.

(2) Further Training

One or both of the Enhancing Worship and Pastoral Care modules (according to the nature of the Elder’s ministry) needs to be completed within 18 months of commissioning.

For more information

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

You can also read our Elders leaflet.

Latest Videos

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Jacqui's Story - Becoming an Elder