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.

The liturgy for commissioning Lay Leaders of Worship is available here.


It is a requirement for all LLWs to complete the online Safeguarding courses C0 and C1, and the classroom based training C2 Leadership (Clergy/Reader). 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

Those who have already completed and are up to date with C2 Leadership (Deanery) safeguarding training for another role in church won’t need to complete C2 Leadership (Clergy/Reader) until their current certificate needs to be renewed.

Similarly, those who already have an up to date DBS check for another role in the church, would not need 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 need 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 (Clergy/Reader). 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 – 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:

  • Autumn 2021 – 6th September 2021.

Course Dates

Autumn 2021

  • Monday 20th September 2021
    • 7.30 to 9.30pm – session 1
  • Monday 27th September 2021
    • 7.30 to 9.30pm – session 2
  • Monday 4th October 2021
    • 7.00 to 9.00pm – Safeguarding
  • Monday 11th October 2021
    • 7.30 to 9.30pm – session 3
  • Monday 18th October 2021
    • 7.30 to 9.30pm – session 4
  • Monday 1st November 2021
    • 7.30 to 9.30pm – session 5
  • Monday 8th November 2021
    • 7.30 to 9.30pm – session 6

Further information

Lay Leader of Worship handbook  LLW Handbook July 2021

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.

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