The Name’s Blog, James blog licensed to minister until 70 – then I have to seek permission instead.

It seems strangely ageist that at the age of three score years and ten Licensed Lay Ministers suddenly stop being licensed and are given permission instead.  Personally I find this somewhat baffling. Someone said it was to be in line with ordained clergy but that seems no good reason to have a line drawn in the sand when many readers have a  good 2 years of ministry after their 70th birthdays!

If it is a matter of assessing competence, then that should, and indeed does, apply to all licensed lay ministers (readers), currently once every 5 years, probably to go along with DBS checks. Again from a personal perspective of dealing with a myriad of LLM/Reader problems over the last 5 years I think the relicensing should be every three years and continue until the person is no longer capable / motivated / healthy enough to carry on. 


The greatest woes inflicting LLM/Readers seem to stem from lack of communication and the relicensing has performance management built in to the requirements. Effectively this means talking through a work agreement with a focus on the needs of the parish / benefice, the training and support needed by the LLM to carry out their ministry, and  a review of performance as applied to all aspects of ministry from leading services to relationships with the church people as a body. 

Alongside that, safeguarding training updates must be completed on time, there are no good excuses for this and DBS checks should be up to date.  It would be helpful if Reader/LLM records were held by the safeguarding team and reminders sent out from there which would eliminate  those problems of lost certificates or not having completed the final task of the training.

as LLMs/ Readers we are not paid, but neither are we amateurs. Considerable resources are need to train us and we must provide good value. That needs some sort of measure.

I shall submit this article of my ideas to the Warden’s Committee working group- but I am equally happy to add or change ides in response to thoughts form other LLMs/Readers!  Do book a chat, or write! 

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