Authorised Pastoral Assistants are trained and authorised to engage in pastoral ministry on behalf of the local church, working as part of a team of clergy and laity.
The focus is on pastoral care. You may be offering bereavement support, visiting people in hospital or visiting those who are sick and housebound. Other responsibilities might include organising a parish prayer support scheme or offering pastoral support and friendship through church community events.
This particular pathway has been trialled within the Diocese at Oulton Broad.
Revd Andy Bunter is the Team Vicar with Oulton Broad Team Ministry. He led the pilot course and said; “I think the course was a great success. It allowed for us to invest knowledge, wisdom, practical skills and theological understanding into people with a ministry primarily focused on the provision of Pastoral Care. The course is a good refresher of the skills and knowledge people had already, but also offered them a chance to theologically reflect on their calling and to be refreshed in their context and ministry.”
A member on the course said: “This course allowed me to step into a vocation I have felt called to for some time, but could never put a name to. I’m not a Churchwarden or a Licenced Lay Minister, I’m an Authorised Pastoral Assistant.”
We are also running a Shared Vocations Space from September to January which enables people to explore their calling to ministry, whichever pathway that takes. If you’d like to get involved, there’s still time to join in, don’t worry if you have missed a session. Read more here.
If you would like to speak to someone directly about the APA pathway, please contact Sue Helmsley Halls or call 01508 528326.