If you are:
- Good at listening
- Easy to talk to
- Good at not judging others
- A team player
this may be the ministry for you to explore.
All sorts of people from all backgrounds and walks of life are called by God to be LPAs. It is a voluntary role and is usually part-time. LPAs are expected to commit regular time to the role, but it is flexible and fluid to suit an individual’s circumstances.
This is a ministry on behalf of the Church and so you will need to be willing and able to visit all members of the community rather than just those who might form part of your own networks.
How can I become a Lay Pastoral Assistant?
Working out your calling is about listening attentively to God and reflecting with others. If you feel called to this ministry, talk to your local church leaders. We want LPAs to feel properly equipped for this important role, so the first step, if you have not had any other training, is to attend an 8 week Exploring Pastoral Care course. This course is run at a Deanery level, so your incumbent will need to work with the Deanery to enable a local course to run.
Not everyone who does the course will decide to go on to become an LPA. The training is worthwhile even if you don’t do visiting on behalf of the Church. However, if at the end you, your facilitators and your incumbent agree that the ministry is correct for you then you can apply to become an LPA. Safeguarding training will need to follow and you will require a DBS safeguarding check. Finally, you and your minister will create a ministry specification and complete the application form. You will then receive a commendation from the Bishop for the role which lasts 5 years or until you change church or a new incumbent is appointed. At that stage you will need to agree together whether the ministry will continue in the new circumstances.
More details are in the leaflet and detailed booklet below. For application forms and useful documents visit the LPA resources page.
Who to contact
Charmain Gilmour, Training and Ministry Administrator