The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some
evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for
building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the
knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
God calls individuals to ministries that are unique to their charisms for which they are equipped. As such, we recognise the ministry of clergy and lay leaders in equal measure and with equal respect. That being said, we also recognise that the unique learning, formation, and support needs of individuals vary according to their order and learning style. We are committed to supporting the lifelong Christian formation of all engaged in ministry: stipendiary and self-supporting, clergy or lay. We offer support, education, and licensing or authorisation to a variety of lay ministers including Lay Readers, Pastoral Assistants, Eucharistic Assistants, and Worship Leaders.
Training is provided to those called as Pastoral Assistants, Eucharistic Assistants, and Worship Leaders. The individuals who complete this training are authorised annually by the Bishop for continued ministry in those roles – after recommendation by their Rector.
A recent development in the Diocese is the foundation of a new religious community – The Companions of our Lady and St Mungo. Sister Helena and Sister Alison Joy live a Benedictine life together. The community was founded in the Diocese in 2018 and the Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway holds their vows.
The Diocese has a Vocational Discernment Co-ordinator and a Director of Ordinands who work with those discerning a call to holy orders and a Warden of Lay Readers who assists those discerning a call to lay readership. Those who come through either process with a supported call are enrolled for training at the Scottish Episcopal Institute in Edinburgh for theological and vocational training.
We strive to support the Initial Ministerial Education (IME) of Ordinands, and the Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) of Lay Readers and clergy with educational grants offered each year through the Diocesan Office.
Internally, the Diocese organises several unique CMD opportunities each year: some for clergy, some for clergy and Lay Readers, and some that are open to the whole Diocese. An annual clergy conference is organised, where clergy from around the Diocese come together for a three-day, residential formation and fellowship retreat. The Lay Readers aim to hold an overnight residential learning retreat each autumn.
In the Diocese, we provide the opportunity to experience academically focused lectures and discussions on important theological topics through the Church and the Academy monthly meetings, held in the University of Glasgow. Organised locally in the Diocese, these lectures bring together a variety of theologians and scholars, as well as clergy and lay practitioners from throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK, to offer us their own particular perspective and experience. Church and the Academy is available freely to all desiring an opportunity to explore, more deeply, the theological and academic issues faced by the Church today. Most congregations offer further formation opportunities for those in their churches, and additionally many seek to invite people in the local community and ecumenical partners to partake in events, courses, and lectures.