First Recognised Local Leaders commissioned

On Sunday 6 March the first Recognised Local Leaders Revd Diane Ekins-Powell and Revd Peter Schwier, were commissioned at Fressingfield Church at a joyful service that also celebrated the ministry of Lay Elders. 

Recognised Local Leaders (RLL) is a new role offered to those called to use their skills as the first point of contact for both the local community and their church family.  They focus on gathering people together to grow mission and ministry enabling the local church to flourish.  They work alongside the Incumbent, Ministry team and PCC to ensure an active, long-term sustainable church presence in every community.   The Revd Phil Dykes, Diocesan Mission Enabler, says "We aim to develop a network of Recognised Local Leaders.  By being formally recognised they are both accountable and supported in their role to serve the local church". 
Since joining the diocese in 2021, Phil has been supporting the Revd Canon Susan Loxton in Sancroft Benefice to pilot the scheme.  As Susan says, "After conversations with Bishop Mike and reading a book on Focal Ministers by Bob Jackson I was inspired to develop a team of RLLs here. The process followed prayer, discussion and much thought as we agreed to ask key people to become RLLs specifically to grow the church community."  

The Revd Diane Ekins-Powell says  "The response from the community has been encouraging. I visited every house in the parish, to introduce myself and then again with a gift of a candle at Candlemas.  Even people who do not want to come to church or do not profess a faith, are pleased to see me and delighted with the gifts."

The Revd Peter Schwier says, "I am very excited about this ministry and believe it will grow our churches and increase our community engagement.".

The service on Sunday also included a celebration of Lay Elders. Rosemary Cox was commissioned for the first time; Ann Lawson, Christine Havers, Jennifer Chetwynd, Liz Stolls and Virginia Skoyles were re-commissioned and 12 others now plan to retire.    

Susan added "Lay ministry is increasingly important, to augment an incumbent’s capacity, whether it’s through increased pastoral visiting, leading services of worship, offering hospitality or helping the ministry team, together we work for God in these parishes".


Further information
Do you have leaders in your church or congregation ready to be recognised?  Would they benefit from being formally acknowledged by the PCC and Incumbent, and given the support they need to develop that role? 

If you would like to know more, please email the Revd Phil Dykes who will be glad to talk to you about it further, or visit our website here.

Photograph credit: Peter Christian. 
Picture caption: Revd Canon Susan Loxton, Nick Stolls, Peter Schwier, Ann Lawson and Malcolm Wood, Revd Diane Ekins-Powell and Archdeacon Jeanette Gosney.  (Nick, Ann and Malcolm are due to be commissioned RLLs soon).

Page last updated: Friday 25th March 2022 9:25 AM
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