(Pictures shows the new Lay Ministers Licensed in Rochester Cathedral in May)
The Formation and Ministry team is delighted after its Lay Ministry Formation programme received an outstanding review from the National Church’s Ministry Development Team.
The aim of a Periodic External Review (PER), is to provide an external check of each training body against national standards and expectations for ministerial training and formation.
In the recently published report, the Lay Ministry Formation Programme was given an overall rating of 'Confidence' – the highest grading possible. Read the report
Canon Chris Dench, Director of Formation and Ministry said:
'The Periodic External Review Programme both recognises and praises the commitment of all those responsible for the Licensed Lay Ministry Formation Programme.
'My grateful thanks to Canon Jane Winter who has overall responsibility and all those involved in the delivery of a programme that has the clear confidence of the Church of England in the formation of Lay Ministry. This is an outstanding achievement and as a Diocese we should be very pleased.'
As part of their review, the national team visited the Rochester programme in February 2023.
During their visit, they observed part of a students’ residential weekend and held a bespoke series of meetings with staff, students, governance personnel, and others with a role in students’ formation including placement and home-context supervisors.
Canon Jane Winter the Assistant Director of Formation and Ministry and responsible for the learning programme responded to the report saying:
'I am delighted that the national church has confidence in our formation programme for lay ministers. I am hugely grateful to everyone who works so hard to deliver a programme of such calibre.
‘Rochester continues to provide the highest quality formation for our lay ministers and the lay ministers are evidence of this in the ministry and mission they engage with across our parishes and local communities.
'I am grateful for the recommendations in the report which will help us to continue in our shaping of the programme and delivery of teaching as we move forward, growing the church responding to a changing culture and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in diverse ways.’
The Diocese’s Licensed Lay Ministry (LLM) formation is part of a wider programme of vocational discernment and formation for lay ministers.
This begins with attendance at an ‘It’s Your Calling’ day, after which candidates may, with the agreement of their incumbent, register for the Bishop’s Certificate, a six-module course over five terms, during which students discern a vocation to lay ministry.
In May, twelve new Lay Ministers were licensed in the Diocese at a joyful service held in Rochester Cathedral.
Anyone interested in exploring how God may be calling them is encouraged to visit www.rochester.anglican.org/everyday-faith/