Bishop licenses new lay people
A service of celebration was held at Winchester Cathedral to welcome 99 new lay leaders from communities across the Diocese of Winchester.
The Bishop of Winchester licensed 11 new Licensed Lay Ministers (LLM) and Workers (LLW) and commissioned 88 new members of the Bishop’s Commission for Mission (BCMs) and the service was attended by the families and friends of the new lay ministers, as well as other members of the clergy and local parishioners.
LLMs and LLWs are lay people who take on leadership roles in ministry and mission in the Church of England, helping people to find out more about the Christian faith. One of the licensed lay workers is a volunteer working alongside the chaplains at Winchester Prison. He gets to know the new prisoners and offers them spiritual support.
The Bishop’s Commission for Mission was established in the Diocese in 2016. The diverse three-month training programme aims to equip people to serve their local community in a range of ministries e.g. worship, evangelism and pastoral care. One person commissioned for the BCM in Children, Family and Youth is leading a new congregation of young families that meets in Stockbridge Town Hall.
Following the licensing and commissioning service, The Right Reverend Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester said: “It is inspiring to see the continued interest in these programmes, as people take this opportunity to share their faith by serving others in their local communities.”
The Reverend Canon Mark Collinson, who leads discipleship and training programmes as the Canon Principal of the Diocese School of Mission, commented: “These new licensed and authorised ministers are truly welcome within the family of the Diocese and I pray for them as they go out in their communities to share the love of Christ. It is a joy to be a part of this programme and see the excitement and enthusiasm among our new licensed lay workers and ministers and BCMs as they live the mission of Jesus.”
The new LLMs, LLWs and BCMs will serve parishes throughout the Diocese of Winchester in Hampshire and East Dorset.