New Licensed Lay Ministers

On 18 May, Bishop James licensed seventeen new Lay Ministers at a joyful service in Rochester Cathedral.

A ‘Licensed Lay Minister’ is a distinctive role within the Diocese of Rochester and is for those called to work for God and the Church, but not called to be ordained.

Between them, the new Lay Ministers represent a range of parishes, from urban town centres to more rural locations.

Plotting their parishes on a Diocesan map, they spread from Penge, the most westerly parish which borders with Southwark Diocese, to Coxheath just outside Maidstone which runs in Canterbury Diocese.

They also represent a wide range of expressions of ministry – preachers and teachers, an employed children and youth worker, the focal minister of a congregation and people with a passion for leading quiet days.

One of the group – Gill Betts from Pembury - will be the first LLM to be licensed to a parish and a Chaplaincy in a prison. Gill was part of the team who introduced Messy Church at HMP Rochester, which in turn led her to further chaplaincy work there.

There are extroverts and introverts and a number of the candidates have expressed a sense of surprise that God has led them to this point. Including Jennie White, from Greenhithe:

“The journey I have taken to get to this point has involved a huge transformation within me, like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. From one who hid within the background to one who is visible to many.”

Karen Senior, Warden of Lay Ministry for the Diocese said: “God loves variety, as we see every day in his creation and the people in it, and we certainly see it in the varied ministries of the LLMs taking their first steps on their new journey with Christ.

“The one thing they do have in common though is knowing that God has called and they have responded.”

The stories of the new LLMs will be shared over the coming weeks on the Diocese's social media channels (Facebook / Twitter), as well as on the website. 


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