Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Lay Leaders of Worship

Lay Leaders of Worship (LLWs)

Worship is at the heart of our Christian discipleship and witness, yet some churches across the Diocese do not hold a service every Sunday because they do not have licensed ministers to lead. In some churches circumstances require that services are held at different times each week. In other churches worship is led by lay people who feel ill-equipped or have little training.

This diocesan Scheme, which was piloted in Autumn 2014, is designed to address these concerns and to help make it possible for public worship to take place in every church every Sunday. It enables parishes across the Diocese to discern the gifts of lay people as local Lay Leaders of Worship (LLWs) and provides agreed training for them, on completion of which they receive a letter of permission from the Bishop recognising them as Lay Leaders of Worship in their parish church. The commissioning is formally marked by the incumbent in one of the regular services in the benefice.


It is a requirement for all LLWs to complete the online Safeguarding courses C0 and C1, and the classroom based training C2 (leadership). In order for LLWs in Training the letter of permission from the bishop, enabling commissioning these safeguarding requirements must be met. We also recommend that parishes consider a basic disclosure for those on the LLW course/commissioned as LLWs. Information on basic disclosures can be found here: Safeguarding Newsletter Dec 2018

For those who have already completed and are up to date with C2 (deanery) safeguarding training due to another role in church then they won’t need to complete C2 (leadership).

Similarly, for those who, due to another role in church, already have an up to date DBS check, it would not be necessary to obtain a basic disclosure. However, if the DBS check expires and is not renewed due to the LLW no longer occupying the role that required it, then it is recommended that the parish considers obtaining a basic disclosure for the LLW.

LLWs are required to keep up to date with safeguarding requirements. This means attending a refresher course for the highest required level of training, which is C2 (leadership). It is the parish’s responsibility to ensure that LLWs are up to date with their safeguarding requirements.

Outline of the Sessions of the Course

Session 1 – The Nature of Worship
This session explores the nature of worship by looking at some definitions and biblical passages, and considering the role of the worship leader as the one who facilitates others in worship.

Session 2 – Book of Common Prayer and Common Worship
This session looks at the structure of both Book of Common Prayer and Common Worship resources, and principles for how to use them.

Session 3 – Anglican Worship: Its Diversity and Seasonal Cycle
This session looks at the diversity of worship styles expressed within the Church of England; and also examines the shape of the church year and considers how services can reflect the different seasons.

Session 4 – Using Other Resources: Music and Intercessions
This session covers some criteria for choosing and using music in services, and the use of intercessions in services.

Session 5 – Leading worship
This session considers practicalities in preparing for leading worship, communication skills involved in leading worship, and follow up after services.

Session 6 – Workshops
This session provides the opportunity to attend one of a series of workshops related to the specific areas of worship leading practice indicated on the application forms.


There is no course fee to take part in this training but your time and willingness to be involved in the mission of God.


  • Bedford Archdeaconry: Applications for this term’s course are closed.
  • Hertford Archdeaconry: Applications for the 2020 courses are on hold.
  • St Albans Archdeaconry: Applications for the 2020 courses are open; deadline is Thursday 10th September 2020.

Download LLWs Application Form A: Request to train as a lay leader of worship
Download LLWs Application Form B: Parish request for a lay leader of worship

Course Dates

* Due to the COVID19 pandemic the last 2 sessions of the Bedford Archdeaconry course have been postponed, and the Hertford Archdeaconry course has been postponed. Applications are still open for the St Albans Archdeaconry course, but this will be reviewed nearer the time.

LLW course will run 3 times a year, which will be once in each Archdeaconry. Each course will either be x3 Saturdays or x6 evenings.

2020: Bedford Archdeaconry – x6 Weekday Evenings
Dates: 27/01/20, 03/02/20, 24/02/20, 02/03/20, 23/03/20, 30/03/20*
Time: 19:00 – 21:00
Location: St Peter & St Paul, Church Rd, Flitwick, Bedford MK45 1AE

2020: Other upcoming courses are:

Hertford Archdeaconry – x6 Weekday Evenings
Dates: 22/04/20, 06/05/20, 20/05/20, 10/06/20, 24/06/20, 08/07/20*
Time: 19:15 – 21:15
Location: Christchurch, New Rd, Ware SG12 7BS

St Albans Archdeaconry – x3 Saturdays
Dates: 26/09/20, 17/10/20, 14/11/20
Time: 09:00 – 13:00
Location: St John, 5 St Johns Rd, Harpenden AL5 1DJ

For current LLWS: Ministry Agreement Forms and Review Forms for those commissioned as LLWs will be made available here in due course, for internal benefice use. Please do not use any old forms.


The LLW Programme is managed by The Revd Phil Bryson. You can contact Phil here.

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