On Sunday 4 September, in The Benefice of The Boldons, a special service was held to celebrate Lay Ministry. The service was led by The Venerable Bob Cooper, Archdeacon of Sunderland and The Reverend Paul Barker, Priest-in-Charge. Archdeacon Bob spoke passionately about how everyone is invited and welcomed to sit and break bread at the table with Jesus and that everyone is of value. He also spoke about how this is the same with the ministry of the church and that we all have a different but important role to play in the worship and witness of our churches.
Eight people from all three churches across the Benefice were authorised as Lay Worship Leaders having completed the Durham Diocese Wings for Worship course. Each person was presented with a certificate by Archdeacon Bob. The course is a six week programme which covers a range of topics all of which are about enabling Lay people to have the confidence and the skills to take on a variety roles leading worship. The Lay Worship Leaders will now begin to take on a range of responsibilities from assisting or leading services of the word, supporting occasional offices and getting involved with leading worship at Messy Church too. One member of the group is now progressing their studies with Lindisfarne College of Theology to train to be an Authorised Lay Minster of The Word, having been encouraged by their experience taking part in Wings for Worship.
Rev Paul says, “each person brings a unique set of skills and gifts and we are excited to see how God is going to use them. It is wonderful to see so many people in our churches stepping out into new ventures and embracing the calling which God has put on their lives.”