The Diocese of Oxford welcomes people to be licensed to the office of Lay Worker under Canon E7. The canon enables lay people to be recognised as church ministers called by God to a changing world. Increasingly, such people would be in a pioneering mission context, such as new housing areas, including Milton Keynes. Enquirers to become a Lay Worker will normally have completed a course of theological and ministerial education to the level of a Dip HE. They will have some area of ministry agreed locally with lines of responsibility. They normally have been on the pioneer ministers course run by the Church Mission Society. There is a process of discernment prior to licensing. Lay Workers are a canonical ministry like Licensed Lay Ministers (Readers), both are very important ministries in the Diocese. The Diocese is a part of the South Central Regional Training Partnership Pioneer Group and supports the Hub Facilitator.

People who have been admitted to the office of Lay Worker need also to be licensed by the diocese. Then they can officially minister within the diocese as a representative of the Church of England. People may be admitted to the office either in another diocese or through a mission community, such as CMS. Admission to the office is complemented with the granting of a diocesan licence, which all ministers, lay and ordained, are given by the Bishop in order to minister. The activities and requirements of a lay worker are explained in Canon E7 and the admission explained in Canon E8. These can be found online on the Church of England website.

Licensing enables a public ministry within the diocese and a position as a representative of the church. This entails privileges and responsibilities, which include accountability to a line manager, ongoing safeguarding training, and ongoing ministerial development. A Lay Worker licensed by the diocese will have access to the resources available to all those who hold a bishop’s licence.

If the ministry crosses a diocesan boundary, it is possible to hold a licence in more than one diocese. Also, it is possible to hold a diocesan licence and work ecumenically with other denominations recognised by the Church of England.

If you wish to enquire, do contact Phillip Tovey, phillip.tovey@oxford.anglican.org. You need to fill in the form to provide us with the required information to take forward the process of licensing.

Application form for a license to be Lay Worker (Canon E7)

Please return it to Carolyn Main at carolyn.main@oxford.anglican.org