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.
The liturgy for commissioning Lay Leaders of Worship is available here.
It is a requirement for all LLWs to complete the online Safeguarding courses – Basic Awareness Module (C0) and Foundations Module (C1). In order for LLWs in Training to receive 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
The parish is responsible for ensuring that LLWs keep up to date with safeguarding requirements. This means attending a refresher course for the highest required level of leadership training.
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 – 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 4 – Leading worship
This session considers practicalities in preparing for leading worship, communication skills involved in leading worship, and follow up after services.
Session 5 – Making worship accessible for children, young people and families
But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. (Luke 18:16, see also Matt 19:14; Mark 10:14)
We are called to enable youth, children and families to be able to come to Jesus. It is therefore important that our worship can be welcoming and accessible to any youth, children and families in our churches and to any who may attend. This session looks at practicalities in leading and enabling worship that is accessible to youth, children and families – both in explicitly All Age Worship and acts of worship more generally.
Session 6 – Leading Worship in Pioneering Contexts
The church is called to reach new people with God’s love. As well as doing this through our existing church communities, this also involves developing new worshipping communities. This can be through adapting a form of church like Messy Church, Youth Church, Café Church, Forest Church etc.; or it can be by engaging with the people and needs of the local community and shaping a worshipping community around them. This session considers important principles and practicalities involved in leading worship in any such pioneering context.
There is no course fee to take part in this training but your time and willingness to be involved in the mission of God.
If you would like to train as a Lay Leader of Worship, please discuss this with your incumbent. You will both need to complete separate online booking forms here
The deadline for bookings:
- Summer term 2022 – Monday 25th April 2022
- Autumn term 2022 – Monday 26th September 2022
Summer term 2022
Six Wednesday evenings online from 7.30 to 9.30pm
- Wednesday 11th May
- Wednesday 18th May
- Wednesday 25th May
- Wednesday 8th June
- Wednesday 15th June
- Wednesday 22nd June
Autumn term 2022
Six Monday evenings online from 7.30 to 9.30pm
- Monday 10th October
- Monday 17th October
- Monday 31st October
- Monday 7th November
- Monday 21st November
- Monday 28th November
The Lay Leader of Worship handbook can be downloaded here
Lay Leader of Worship Ministry Agreement LLW Ministry Agreement. (April 2021)docx
The LLW Programme is managed by The Revd Phil Bryson. You can contact Phil here.