A new Lay Ministry Canon has been introduced, replacing one dating back to 1998, which reduces the administrative burdens of lay licencing, and allows flexibility for parishes to celebrate those who serve in a wide variety of lay ministry capacities.
Previously, “anyone who lifted a finger in church required a licence.” This new Canon reclaims the idea that all Christians are ministers in God’s kingdom and that we want to affirm this as a key part of our tradition. The new Canon identifies specific situations where a Bishop’s licence is required, primarily in ministry roles where high degrees of accountability are required, such as congregational leaders. “For example, those who do rest home ministry will no longer need a Bishop’s licence,” Sue explained at a pre-Synod regional meeting.
The new Canon offers parishes the opportunity to celebrate and affirm those called to all sorts of lay ministry, and to do it well.