Rochester Diocesan ministry training equips students for leadership roles

The Licensed Lay Ministry Training programme in the Diocese of Rochester has received a vote of confidence in all sixteen criteria set out in its Periodic External Review. Commenting on its small, cohesive group of core staff and wide range of resources within the diocese, the review identified a number of strengths including the programme’s responsiveness to the needs of the local area, the wide range of academic, professional and ministerial networks it draws on and its strong focus on mission and evangelism.
Forty-two students are currently listed on the Foundation in Christian Ministry Programme which also offers a transfer pathway whereby existing Readers, Pastoral Assistants and Evangelists participate in the programme with a personalised selection of modules in order to qualify as Licensed Lay Ministers
 The reviewers went on to state that, “We found much good practice in this course, including its integration into diocesan structures for ministerial development, the high quality of its teaching and learning opportunities, the remarkable sense of community amongst a dispersed group of students, and its effective administration and management.”
Canon Christopher Dench, Diocesan Director of Formation and Ministry said, “We appreciate the careful work of the review team in interviewing staff and students and compiling their report. It clearly recognises and affirms the ground-breaking work of the Formation and Ministry team and the lay and ordained team involved in  the delivery and support of lay ministry formation and training.”
“We are excited about the training offered in Rochester Diocese. The findings of the report encourage us to face the challenges of ministry provision with confidence that our lay ministry programme equips and releases people into a wide variety of ministries responding to the diversity of missional opportunities across the diocese.”

The Rt Rev James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester said, “This positive review of our programme for Licensed Lay Ministry training is really good news for us.  It is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of all concerned, especially Alison Callway who has done so much to develop this programme.  We are not complacent, and we know that we still have areas in which further work is needed.  I look forward to us continuing to give great emphasis to the development of lay Christians through this programme.”

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