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 new 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 nine of the Ministry Training Electives 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 weeks long and will run between April to July. There are currently nine courses available: 

Children & Families
Community Outreach & Social Action
Ecology & Creation
Mission & Evangelism
Parish Admin, Finance & Governance
Pastoral Outreach & Listening
Prayer & Spirituality
Worship & Liturgy
Youth Work (plus specialism)

For more information on each course and what the training involves please see the course prospectus and information below. 


Applications have now closed for the 2021 courses. The next set of courses will begin in April 2022 with more information available in the Autumn.

For more details please contact Jamie Mackenzie, Local Ministry Officer (Vocations Team).

Lay Ministry Training Course Prospectus (for information)
Lay Ministry Training Leaflet 

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