General Lay Courses


Bishop David at a lay ministry training celebration service

Our hearts desire is that the whole people of God may be engaged in the whole mission of God across the whole of life. That means that everyone has a part to play; being part of church, chaplaincy or other ministry has never really been a kind of spectator activity where people in the pews watch what is done by the people at the front; but now more than ever, it is about everyone using our God given gifts both in the life of the church and in the places God has set us – home, work, and communities – which is what we mean by #MoreThanSunday.



The general lay training pathway opens up and offers wider access to our current lay training courses and comes out of our vision to see all lay people empowered, enable and equipped; not just those seeking authorisation or licensing through our existing programmes such as Authorised Lay Ministry (ALM) and Reader Ministry.

ALM and Reader Ministry will still remain as a distinct training pathways but they will no longer be the only way to access lay training courses. All ten of the Ministry Electives courses offered on the ALM course are now also open as stand-alone courses to any lay people wanting to develop their calling and gifting to Christian ministry and service.

The new pathway involves a much simplified application process but will still require a recommendation from an appropriate parish representative. After training, we encourage some form of locally recognised celebration or commissioning, with the ongoing support and care of the participant remaining under the oversight of the local parish.



All the courses are 12 sessions long and will run between April to July. There are currently ten courses available:

  • Children & Families
  • Community Outreach & Social Action
  • New- Digital Church & Online Media
  • Ecology & Creation
  • Mission & Evangelism
  • Parish Admin, Finance & Governance
  • Pastoral Outreach & Listening
  • Prayer & Spirituality
  • Worship & Liturgy
  • Youth Work (Plus Specialism)



Applications are now open for the 2022 courses. For further information about the courses and details on how to apply please see below, or you can email Jamie Mackenzie Local Ministry Officer (Vocations Team). You can also ring him on 07553 374 130.


Course Information

General Lay Training Course Prospectus 2022

General Lay Training Leaflet 2022


Application Form

General Lay Training Application Form 2022

Please note that the closing deadline for applications is Sunday 6 March, 2022.


The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
Church House, 
90 Deansgate, 
Manchester M3 2GH

Manchester DBF Company number 149999, Charity number 249424
Telephone: 0161 828 1400