‘A community of missionary disciples’ – a call to all of us

Lay Leadership Task Group






Renewal and Reform – Looking at the Role of Lay Leadership in the Church of England

Carol DealeyStella JenningsCarol Dealey and Stella Jennings report back from a recent meeting of the Birmingham Diocesan Synod House of Laity



Renewal and Reform is a programme of work about the need for the Church of England to take more seriously the call to all of us, lay and ordained, to be and to become a community of missionary disciples called to love God, to love one another and to love God’s world.

As part of this work, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have established a task group to review and report on the current place and role of lay leaders within the Church. They are due to report back to the Archbishops’ Council this coming September.

Matthew Frost, the chairman of the task group, led a presentation and discussion about the work of the group at a recent meeting of Birmingham Diocese House of Laity.

Matthew started by identifying some key points listed here:

  • Theology is weak in respect of lay roles and needs to be developed.
  • The voice of lay people is not listened to or understood.
  • The relationship between clergy and laity is often fragile – need to explore how to work collaboratively.
  • The structures and ways of working in the Church of England tend to marginalise lay people.
  • The resources and support for lay people are very limited.
  • Previous efforts have resulted in very little change.

The task group are exploring these areas and recognise that there needs to both the underpinning theology and vision to develop a structure for lay leadership. In particular, the bishops must lead and model and changes.

The discussion centred around two questions:

1 What are the best examples and practice of releasing and enabling lay leadership? Why is this working?

2 What recommendations should be made across the Church of England to release and enable lay leadership more effectively?

A variety of opinions were expressed and they included thoughts around the importance of discipleship in preparing potential lay leaders and the need for mentors to support them.

Also seen to be important was clergy support to enable lay people to develop and run with their vision.

There was considerable agreement on the need for changes in clergy training which would recognise the value of lay leadership, and the need for clergy support to enable it to develop.

Matthew planned to take this information back to the task group and use with information collected from other diocese to inform their discussion..


Church of England LogoMore information can be found at: https://www.churchofengland.org/renewal-reform/lay-leadership-task-group.aspx



28th Jun 2016 Posted in: News by Stella Jennings 1

One Response

  1. Chris Dinsdale says:

    The work of Mark Greene and LICC (The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity) is I think a leader on this.

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