Lay Ministries

In baptism every disciple is called to make Jesus known as Saviour and Lord and to share his work in renewing the world. Some by ordination are given particular tasks. Bishops share their ministry with their priests in each congregation. Specific tasks maybe shared by the cleric with charge with the members of the congregation.

The discernment of gifts within a community of faith lies with all the baptised including the Bishop or their representative. When these gifts have been identified it is the responsibility of the community to encourage and foster the use of these gifts.

There are many ways to serve your church! In the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway, there are two official types of Lay Ministry, either as Licensed Lay Readers or through the three Authorised Lay Ministries that can be carried out following authorisation by the Bishop: Pastoral Assistants, Eucharistic Assistants, and Worship Leaders.

Lay Readers

Lay Readers preach and teach as lay theologians, and are often involved in pastoral work too. They may take services using the Reserved Sacrament, and also funerals. They work closely in collaboration with their priest to support and develop the life of the congregation.

Some of them have a particular ministerial role in the wider community. Readers are trained to at least Certificate level by the Scottish Episcopal Institute. They are not normally paid a stipend for their work.

Find out more about the discernment process for Lay Readers here. If you think you may be called to be a Lay Reader, you should speak about it first with your rector, priest in charge or chaplain (if you are at school, college or university), who may then contact our diocesan Warden of Lay Readers, Ray Gascoigne.

A short book has been prepared for lay Worship Leaders in the Diocese. It will help Worship Leaders to develop their own spiritual lives through daily prayer and Bible reading and develop confidence in leading public worship. You can download a copy here.

Pastoral Assistants

Lay people who primarily help with the pastoral work of a charge.  Such tasks may involve, regular visiting, taking the Reserved Sacrament to the housebound and ill, and assisting with other pastoral matters under the direction of the priest.

Eucharistic Assistants

Lay people who assist with the administration of the Sacrament during public worship.

It is not unusual for people to be both Pastoral and Eucharistic Assistants.

Worship Leaders

Lay people who are authorised to lead worship or give an address on an occasional basis only in their own congregation.

If you are interested in learning more about the three types of Authorised Lay Ministry (Pastoral Assistants, Eucharistic Assistants, and Worship Leaders), you can speak about them with your local priest. The Bishop’s Adviser in Lay Ministries, the Rev Canon Gordon Fyfe, could be contacted for further information.