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Authorised Lay Ministry

What is an Authorised Lay Minister?

Authorised Lay Ministers (ALMs) are lay people active in church life, who have been identified by their parish as having a particular gifting, vocation or calling to lay leadership, i.e. those called to work collaboratively alongside their incumbent and wider ministry teams with a distinct focus on growing, nurturing and serving the wider parish community.

ALMs are nominated by their incumbent and PCC for training in line with their parish Mission Action Plan (MAP) and diocesan selection criteria. Once trained they are authorised by the Bishop of Manchester to carry out a mutually agreed ministry role back within their local parish context. An ALM's authorisation lasts for three years after which time it can be reviewed, updated and renewed. 

What does the training involve?

ALM training begins each January with an 8-session Core Leadership Module followed by a 12-session ministry elective course. Current courses on offer include:

  • Children & Families
  • Community Outreach & Social Action
  • Ecology & Creation
  • Mission & Evangelism
  • Parish Admin, Finance & Governance
  • Pastoral Outreach & Listening
  • Prayer & Spirituality
  • Urban & Estates
  • Worship & Liturgy
  • Youth Work

Is being an ALM the only way to access lay ministry training? 

All of the courses offered on the ALM pathway are also open as stand-alone courses to any lay people wanting to develop their call and gifting to Christian ministry and service. For more information on this please see our section on General Lay Courses

How can I apply?

Applications for new ALMs are now closed for our 2024 courses. The next set of courses will begin again in January 2025 with more information available in the Autumn.

Where can I get more information?

For more details about Authorised Lay Ministry please see the sections below or feel free to contact our Local Ministry Officer, Jamie Mackenzie. 

Useful documents

ALM Handbook for Clergy and PCCs 

ALM Annual Health Check

Useful Films

Our ALM Chaplains

ALM Chaplains are there to provide spiritual care and pastoral support for those in the ALM community. They will also be involved with planning, supporting and organising key course days and events. Chaplains are not allocated to certain areas of the diocese, so please feel free to contact whoever you feel most comfortable with using the information and details below.

Libby GreenhalghLibby Greenhalgh 

Libby is an ordinand on placement at St Andrew's Radcliffe. She says: "Before training for ordained ministry I was an Assistant Chaplain in the Bolton Children Changing Places school’s project. I was also an ALM in Youth Ministry, and being part of the ALM community has been a huge part of my life ever since. I have also been fortunate over the last few years to get involved as a course tutor on the ALM Core Leadership Module".  Contact Libby at   



Kathreen Shabaz

Revd Kathreen Shahbaz

Kathreen is Curate at Christ Church Brunswick. "Before that I was an ALM and working as a nurse for the NHS in Oldham. I love talking about Christ, His love for us and telling the good news of our salvation. I am very grateful for the ALM Chaplaincy role and am looking forward to seeing and speaking with you all. I always believe that whatever we do, we do it for the glory of God. Please do not hesitate to contact me so that together with Christ we can make a difference in this world.  Contact Kathreen at



Lee HigsonRevd Lee Higson

Lee is a Pioneer Curate with the Antioch Network and leads Oldham’s Church which is based on a housing estate in Bolton. "Prior to training as an Ordinand, I worked at sea for 22 years with both the Royal and Merchant Navy. I also served as a lay reader during my leave periods, so have some good experience of lay ministry and how to balance it with working life. I'm particularly passionate about ministry in the workplace and empowering lay Christians to step up in the life of their churches and practice the area of ministry God has called them to. I am really excited about serving the ALM community in a chaplaincy role and look forward to speaking with some of you very soon. Contact Lee at

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