Anglican Diocese of Wellington
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Lay Ministry

What is ministry?

Ministry is God working in and through God's Church to build God's Kingdom and God's world. Nothing less than this "big picture" can do justice to what it means.

Every member of the Church therefore is called to be a "minister".

Where and when do we minister? 

We minister both when the Church gathers as Church, and also when the Church scatters to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world in a thousand different ways.

We are sent on mission to the people next door or on the other side of the world. That mission embraces evangelism, nurture, service to the needy, the transformation of unjust social structures and the care of God's creation. We are equipped for that mission with the gifts of the Spirit for ministry.

This is "lay ministry", the ministry of the laos, the people of God.

The Diocese licenses lay people who carry out particular roles with the authority of the church. Individuals are licensed in categories as Anointers, Congregational Leaders, Preachers, Sacramental and Worship Leaders.   

Lay Ministry Development Within the Diocesan Parish Authorities and Accredited Parish Chaplains (APC)

Ministry leaders across the Diocese will be aware of the changes made to the licensing system in July 2013.  At the end of that two year 'grandparenting period' we planned to review the licensing process for our Diocesan family.  Now is that time.

Ministry leaders - thank you for your ongoing commitment to ministry development across this Diocese.  Our key aims are to continue to support you in your ministry, to simplify without stifling and to appropriately resource you.  By now, all parishes and mission units should have determined a licensing process that is appropriate for their unique contexts, congregations, and ministries.  Lay people involved in ministry leadership will either have a parish authority or an Accredited Parish Chaplain licence (APC).

We have moved to respond to the feedback and will continue to do so in the future regarding lay ministry licenses, training and development.  You have probably noticed that much of our training and development now includes both lay and ordained.  We seek to provide quality training events that will maximise learning, encourage leadership development and connect individuals and groups across the Diocesan family - always upholding our responsibility to the Gospel call on our lives and our ministries.

We have a few key events for training and resourcing.  We hope to identify your key lay leaders and invite them to share in these valuable opportunities where appropriate.

  • Diocesan Hui: annual celebration of, and resourcing for, the key Diocesan themes and everyone is invited 
  • Team Training Days: two annual training days on ministry skills targeted specifically at both lay and ordained, congregational, youth, family, vestry and potential leaders whom parishes are seeking to develop
  • Ministry Conference: one three-day annual conference targeted specifically at ordained, congregational, youth, family, vestry and potential leaders whom parishes are seeking to develop

There are also discipling and educational events, offered across the year, that seek to grow both lay and ordained for their next season of ministry.  These include Diploma of Anglican Studies, Education for Ministry (EfM), 3dm (3 dimensional ministry) and Cusillo.

As we have said before, we encourage you to identify one leader per congregation in each parish (e.g., one 8.00am congregational leader and one 10.00am congregational leader).  Hopefully that leader will be responsible for growing and nurturing that specific congregation.  These individuals lead in the absence of a priest on a regular basis (more than quarterly) and they will hold an Accredited Parish Chaplain licence as a congregational leader, having fulfilled the appropriate criteria.  See below for application forms.  

To gain an Accredited Parish Chaplaincy licence the person will have undertaken (or are currently undertaking) either EFM, Diploma of Anglican Studies (either audited or assessed and it may only be one semester a year) or some other recognised theological education (Bachelor of Theology, EIDTS, Laidlaw/Bible College).  We also seek to acknowledge prior learning that supports ministry development, and this needs to be included on the application form.

For all other lay people who offer ministry under the direct supervision of a Vicar, Priest in Charge or Lay Congregational Leader, a Parish Authority is sufficient.  Again, please see the application forms below.  Some changes have been made surrounding pastoral visiting and anointing licenses.

Anyone who is working directly under the supervision of a Vicar, Priest in Charge or Lay Congregational Leader - whether resthome based, home based or children's/youth ministry on behalf of the Parish - must have a current Police Check.  The current Police Check form is below.  They must also hold a specified Parish Authority (i.e., the Vestry has given permission for their ministry and have agreed upon the appropriate training for their role).  It is important to note that it is the Vestry's responsibility to ensure that ethics based training is undertaken at least once every three years.  The licencee will maintain their own proof of training, and present it to the Parish in the annual discernment process.  


Please click on the link below to access more information:

Accredited Parish Chaplain Forms  >

Lay Ministry / Parish Chaplain Resources  >



For all Lay Ministry or Accredited Parish Chaplain queries please contact Archdeacon Gendy Thomson on 04 472 1057 or email  

Updated 28 June 2017

No reira waiho ko te aroha o Te Matua Kaha Rawa hei korowai mou.
May the love of Almighty God enfold you!