Role of the Licensed Lay Minister
1. Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs) are locally trained and are licensed by the Bishop to one or more of five specific ministries under the supervision of an incumbent or priest-in-charge. The specified ministries are:
A. Leading public worship in Morning and Evening Prayer, including the reading of sermons or homilies authorized by the incumbent priest.
B. Leading services with Reserved Sacrament in hospitals, nursing and care homes, and home communions.
C. Preaching in public worship.
D. Laying-on of hands and anointing sick or distressed persons.
E. Bishops and priests preside at the Eucharist. Under exceptional circumstances, the Bishop may license others to public distribution of Holy Communion according to rites authorized by the Diocesan Bishop.
2. LLMs perform a valuable and honoured leadership role in the church. They undertake the work of the laity in a publically visible way, in the context of the church’s worship and work. As such, they are representatives of God’s church – in its Anglican aspect in Canada – to the church and the wider community. The licence granted by the Bishop of Kootenay indicates that LLMs are specially trained for particular tasks, and bear a special responsibility to the church which is fulfilled under the authority of the Bishop and clergy. Bearers of such a licence undertake a ministry representative of the whole church; in the process, they relinquish some of the freedom of action that is available to Christians who hold no formal office in the church, just as the ordained are constrained by their vows and licences.
3. The church is entering into a new phase of life. The number of stipendiary clergy, either full or part time, is declining. There is a blessing in this, a sense that the church is being forced to do out of necessity what should be done as a matter of theology. The church is, first and foremost, a participant in God’s mission in the world; although the institution requires ordained leaders and administrators, its work is truly done by all the baptized – all of whom, ordained and lay, should be formed in the gospel and committed to sharing the life of God with the world.
4. In this new way of being, many congregations will be sustained by the work of Locally Trained Priests, Deacons, and LLMs. These people will share the work of church leadership in the community. This new way of being involves new responsibilities and new standing in the community for LLMs.
5. Preparing to be licensed as an LLM, therefore, is a significant process and not to be undertaken lightly. Suitable preparation includes the acquisition of skills and knowledge not ordinarily expected of laypeople, in addition to ongoing cultivation of personal gifts. The Diocese of Kootenay, therefore, has identified competencies that are necessary to the proper fulfillment of LLM responsibilities and assembled a training programme to enable prospective February 21, 2013
LLMs to attain the relevant competencies. All who wish to become LLMs, including those who have served in prior lay ministry capacities, are invited and required to undertake the training.