Pastoral Assistants

Pastoral Assistants

At the heart of Pastoral Assistant ministry is the desire to help put God’s caring concern into practice, mainly in the context of the local parish and its community. Whilst no two PAs are the same, coming as they do with different spiritual gifts, skills and life experiences, so the focus of their ministry will also be very different, responding to local need and God’s calling.

Pastoral Assistants are trained to be alongside everyone and to be as concerned about the care of the well as of the sick; to work with all age groups; to be involved in teaching, listening, enabling, nurture and prayer, as much as the more practical roles traditionally associated with care. They are also called to encourage and enable the people of God to exercise a caring ministry. Some Pastoral Assistants may assist in administration of Holy Communion, as determined by the Bishop’s Guidelines. 

Pastoral Assistants have a wide-ranging brief in terms of ministry, but in practice it is better that each one has one or two areas of ministry which are their responsibility (under the direction of their incumbent), which are particularly fitted for their gifts and skills.  

Pastoral Assistants with Permission to Minister

Because Pastoral Assistants are not licensed, their 70th birthdays have not traditionally had any impact on their ministry. However, in line with Readers (and clergy with PTO) we are encouraging them to review their ministry at the same age, and providing the Pastoral Assistant and his/her nominating incumbent are in favour of them continuing, they will be given Permission to Minister, (PTM), which will be renewable every 2 years.

There are almost 200 Pastoral Assistants in Rochester Diocese. 




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