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Authorised Pastoral Assistant (APA)

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.

All Authorised Pastoral Assistants focus on pastoral care, but an individual’s ministry varies according to their gifts and skills, and the local situation.

In all cases the ministry calls for a loving and compassionate heart, and a willingness to listen and support those in need.

A typical APA role description might include some or all of these responsibilities:

  • Offering bereavement support
  • Organising a parish prayer support scheme
  • Organising or being part of a parish visiting team or programme
  • Organising or being part of lunch clubs, coffee mornings etc. offering pastoral support and friendship
  • Visiting people in hospital
  • Transporting people to and from church, lunch clubs, medical appointments etc.
  • Visiting care homes
  • Visiting those who are sick and housebound

Please download the role description here 

Selection, Training and Authorisation

The selection process for an APA begins with the safer recruitment process, and your parish priest and PCC affirming that they support you for this ministry. APA initial training is a six session course, provided in conjunction with the diocese and would be run locally by a clergyperson or Licensed Lay Minister.

Download the Selection, Training and Authorisation policy and the APA selection criteria here 

Authorisation by the Bishop follows the completion of APA training, relevant Safeguarding training, DBS clearance and is for three years.

A review of ministry is encouraged after three years.

The enhanced DBS check is required every three years. Safeguarding training is required every three years.

Your parish priest will authorise you as an APA, normally at a main Sunday service in your benefice.