Discipleship & spirituality

We want to support the parishes in their task of deepening the faith of all God's people and of releasing their gifts for service of many kinds.

We are committed to the empowering and equipping of the whole people of God for informed and imaginative Christian discipleship.

“The laity are not the helpers of the clergy so that the clergy can do their job,
but the clergy are the helpers of the whole people of God, so that the laity can be the church”
Hans-Ruedi Weber


Who do we mean by the terms ‘lay’ and ‘laity’?

By laity we mean everyone who isn’t ordained or a professed religious (monk or nun); literally ‘the people’ (laikos, of the people, from laos, the people at large). The term is not biblical, and when first used by Clement of Rome had negative connotations (those who were not ordained), but from the 3rd century is used more positively of Christian disciples, including a variety of insituted lay ministers (widows, catechists [recruiters, teachers and theologians], lectors, and confessors [martyrs]). (1)

Within this diocese, two groups of lay Christians – Children/Young People and Licensed Readers – are served by their own learning and support systems.

  • Children’s work
  • Licensed Readers


What do we mean by ‘development’?

We mean the life-long process of growing and maturing in Christian faith and service.

The word disciple comes from the Latin verb ‘to learn’, suggesting that those who are disciples of Christ are, by definition, ‘learners’…. The work of Lay Development in this diocese exists to endorse, to encourage and to enable the culture of a continually learning church.

This learning might lead to skills needed for particular tasks such as caring for a particular group within the community or playing a part in worship, but learning is also embraced and celebrated for learning’s own sake and seen as a vital element of Christian discipleship.

(1) See Faivre, Alexandre (1990) The Emergence of the Laity (New York: Paulist Press)