All Christians are called to serve Christ in every aspect of their lives – at home, in their work, in the church. Theologians debate at what point discipleship becomes ministry, but we don’t need to worry about that here!

There are a range of ministries which are authorised by the incumbent and/or the local church. These include most work with children and young people, much pastoral work, leading home groups, running the choir or music group, and many other things. It is up to the local church and person concerned whether any training is undertaken. The links at the bottom of the page will indicate some of the training that may be on offer within the diocese.

There are two areas of ministry where in the Diocese of Oxford authorisation is given by the Bishops (since this is required by the church’s canon law):

  • Preaching (this includes responsibility for any talk or activity fulfilling the function of the sermon in a Service of the Word);
  • Leading services of worship which include communion by extension.

See Diocesan Authorised Ministries.

There are roles which are established by the canons of the Church of England. These include things like being a church warden, sidesperson, or PCC member. There are also the lay ministerial offices, notably licensed lay ministry, and Church Army evangelists.

Licensed Lay Ministry



In the Diocese of Oxford Readers are known as Licensed Lay Ministers. Readers are lay people in the Church of England from all walks of life who are called by God, theologically trained and licensed by the Church to preach, teach, lead worship and assist in pastoral, evangelistic and liturgical work. More about Licensed Lay Ministry

See also...