How to become a LPA

If you are:

  • Good at listening
  • Easy to  talk to
  • Good at not judging others
  • Prayerful
  • Compassionate
  • Confidential
  • 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 LPA’s. It is a voluntary role and is usually part-time. LPA’s 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 every one 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. You will then receive a commendation from the Bishop for the role which last 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.

This course comprises eight sessions each of 2.5 hours

  • Foundations of Pastoral Care
  • Called to care. Who am I and what do I bring to Pastoral Care?
  • Essential Listening Skills
  • Further Listening Skills and Self Awareness
  • Pastoral Care across the Life Stages
  • Visiting. Why and when?
  • 2 Sessions on your specific ministries (chosen by the facilitators)

Group work, reflection, individual tasks, practical exercises, short talks and case studies are all used during the programme. You can find out more on our Exploring Pastoral Care page. If you have an interest in the ministry of Lay Pastoral Assistant, talk first with your clergy or readers. If your clergy would like to find out more about the Exploring Pastoral Care course they can contact the Lay Ministries Office

More details are in the leaflet and detailed booklet below.

Who to contact

Jill Perrett, Lay Ministries Enabler

Leonie Jones, Lay Ministries Administrator


LPA leaflet

How to become an LPA

Lay Pastoral Assistant Application Form

Renewal Application Form for Lay Pastoral Assistant

Data Protection Form - Non Clergy

LPA Sample Ministry Specification

Confidential Declaration with GDPR

Assessed Visit Feedback form

Home Visit Risk Assessment Form

LPA Sample Reference Request