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Training and formation for lay people Minimize

Development of lay ministry

 – Assist lay formation, especially in the training of catechists and other lay ministers to help with the preparation for the Sacraments - minimum required is £500,000

From the August 2017 newsletter

Avril BaigentLay Formation—A focus on Pastoral Ministry 

Together In Faith lay formation funds have been used to support the Diocese employing a full time Pastoral Ministry Advisor. This is a new role which has been developed in response to the education and formation needs of laypeople, as identified by the Walking Humbly process.The role will help the Diocese to progress in facilitating a variety of forms of adult formation for the development of our communities and for the new forms of pastoral ministry.

Initially, this will pay particular attention to the provision of chaplaincy in institutions such as hospitals, prisons and universities across the Diocese but it will subsequently develop in a variety of appropriate ways.

Following a recruitment process earlier this year, Avril Baigent has been appointed and will be in post from September 2017. 

Avril brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and is looking forward to taking on this new role - “I’m really excited to get started in my new role for the diocese developing lay ministry. I look forward to working with the clergy in developing forms of ministry in chaplaincy and in parish life. Having worked in a parish myself, I know how much there is to be done and also how much talent and commitment we have in our congregations.”

From the July 2014 newsletter

group of laypeople at St Ethelberts, SloughLay Formation— Volunteering in Parishes:  ‘To love and serve the Lord’

The cajoling, the pleading, the white lies (“it’s only for an hour or so”, “it’s just this once”) and the pressing of the Catholic guilt button are the familiar tools of persuading people to take on tasks in a parish. That, perhaps, is why the experience is so unsatisfactory for all concerned: it is taking on a burden. Change the frame of reference and it can become a much more uplifting experience.

A group of priests – Mgr Paul Donovan, Fr Francis Higgins and Fr John Beirne - has been investigating a programme developed by Barbara Wallace in Arundel & Brighton Diocese and now being promoted by an Anglican priest, Graham Lewis. They spent a day with Graham at the house of the Daughters of St Paul in Slough unpacking what is involved.

“Underpinning the programme is the sense that in baptism we are all called to ministry and witness,” says Fr Paul. “See how much more positive that makes undertaking a task. It moves it from ‘helping Father out’ to ‘living out my baptismal call’.” 

The programme, called To Love and Serve the Lord, offers parishes a way to capitalize on that and foster a culture of participation.

“Our first response to the programme was very positive. The leaders in a community, the Pastoral Area Council or Parish Pastoral Council, for example, would draw great strength from looking at the language the programme uses and the framework it offers.” 

This local feedback is now being given to the Bishop with a view to a pilot programme starting in one of the pastoral areas.


From the February 2013 Newsletter


The ‘Celebrating Vatican II’ series of lectures subsidised by TiF commenced as planned in October 2012, led by Mgr Andrew Faley, Interfaith adviser to the Southern Dioceses.

This first lecture provided a general introduction and background to Vatican II and was well received by the 70 participants.

The second Lecture, held in November 2012, drew as many participants and was led by Canon John Redford on the topic of the Church. His approach was praised as informative and challenging by those who attended.

The series of lectures, a joint venture between the Diocesan Religious Education Service (NORES) and the Benedictine Nuns at Turvey Abbey, is designed to mark the 50th anniversary of the second Vatican Ecumenical Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Lectures are open to all and will continue until October 2014.To learn more please contact NORES on 01582 723312 or by e-mailing admin@nores.org.uk. See also the Forthcoming Events and Year of Faith pages.


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The ‘Walking Humbly with our God’ process identified twelve characteristics of what a renewed, fully alive and functioning local Church might look like.  


Together in Faith, through lay formation will help ensure such a community is made possible by providing professional training for chaplaincy roles in prisons, hospitals, universities and other institutions; by offering formation for lay people who exercise ministries within their parish (e.g. those who prepare others for the celebration of the Sacraments, those who work with youth, or the elderly and the vulnerable) and by enabling opportunities at a local and Diocesan level for people to grow in Faith and knowledge of the teaching and vision of the Church.

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