Diocese of Chichester

The Authorised Lay Ministry training programme provides flexible skills-based training for lay people.

Authorised Lay Ministers share in the public ministry of the local church, as they serve their local parishes.

ALM ministry takes many different forms depending upon the parish base, but in general ALMs lead, establish or work within a team of people working in an area of ministry and they also work to encourage and develop the gifts of others.


What does the training involve?

The ALM training programme is a one-year programme, consisting of two parts:

PART ONE – Core Module

The ALM training programme begins with an 8 session core module ‘Know, Love, Follow.’ which explores mission and ministry in the diocese and links to the diocesan strategy. This module is a self-study course and runs online between October and December. There is also one in person study day. Any applicant who has already completed the diocesan Living Faith course is exempt from the core module.

PART TWO – Ministry Elective

This will consist of around 8 - 12 sessions of training, depending on the chosen elective. Dates and venues for the ministry electives will be established each year when we have confirmed numbers of students for each ministry area and will run between January and May. Some of the ministry modules or particular venues may not be offered if there is insufficient interest to make a group viable. Candidates should be aware that some of the teaching will be on weeknight evenings and other elements may take place at weekends.

Are there any written assignments?

The course involves a limited amount of written work/practical assignments to aid and deepen learning – but this is not ‘graded’ as such. The course is open to people of all educational backgrounds and assignments on the course are designed to reflect this.

What electives are available?

We will be offering training in Pastoral Care, Mission, Chaplaincy, Worship & Liturgy and Preaching.

We also hope to offer other electives (these will only run if there's sufficient interest): Care of creation and Eco Church, Rural Ministry, Small Group leader.

Please note all applicants for the Preaching ministry should first read the document ‘Criteria for ALM preaching’ to ensure you satisfy the eligibility criteria (see link at bottom of page).

ALM training costs £50 and is free to unwaged, retired or students. We hope parishes will meet these training costs for their candidates.

What happens at the end of the training course?

Candidates will be commissioned at a diocesan service led by a bishop. All ALMs will need to be DBS checked, complete Safeguarding training through the parish to C2 level and have their Role Description signed off before commissioning. Authorisation lasts for a period of three years and can then be renewed following a review by the incumbent and PCC.

How does a candidate qualify for acceptance on the course?

To serve as an ALM a candidate needs to be nominated by their PCC for this ministry. All applications must be returned by 31st October 2023. A candidate should normally be baptised, confirmed, and on the electoral roll of their sponsoring church.

Is there an agelimit for ALM?

There is no upper age‐limit for ALM. If the incumbent and parish support their ministry and they are able to do it, that is what matters! An ALM does needs to be 18 or over at the time of commissioning, an “adult” in legal terms.

You can watch three previously commissioned ALM’s talk about their experiences of training and commissioning here:

Shirley Redford from Church in the Wood & St Anne, Hollington St Leonard, listen here

Jane Hart from Christ Church and St Mary Magdalen and St Peter & St Paul, listen here

Jane Lyndsay Stewart from St Mary Balcombe, listen here

An application form can be found here and Incumbent's reference and nomination form can be found here.

The criteria for ALM preaching can be found here.

The course prospectus can be found here.

Closing date 31st October 2023.