What are Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs)

Licensed Lay Ministers (LLMs) are lay people who come from all walks of life; they are licensed by their bishop to a teaching and preaching ministry, both within church and outside its traditional boundaries. Called by God and trained in theology, they bring their life experience, skills and knowledge to their Christian service. LLMs often have a role in equipping other Christians to grow as disciples in their places of daily living.

They work together with ordained and lay colleagues, usually serving within a ministry team.

In addition to preaching and leading worship LLMs may:

  • Serve as chaplains in places like prisons, schools and hospitals
  • Lead study groups in a variety of contexts, e.g. Bible study, Lent courses, confirmation and discipleship courses.
  • Work with children and young people
  • Exercise a caring ministry in their communities, including workplace.
  • Conduct funerals

LLMs also find many informal ways of ministering by their presence, witness and listening at their places of work, at home, among neighbours and in their local communities.

Could it be you?

Trainee LLMs come in all shapes and sizes: can you say ‘yes’ to some of the following:

  • You feel God’s call to ministry of some kind
  • Your gifts have been recognised and affirmed by others in your church or community
  • You seek to connect what you know of God’s word with what is happening in society
  • You are open to new challenges and willing to step beyond the familiar in following Jesus
  • You are willing to work as part of a team

Remember that following God’s call is a process; it may take a while for the way to become clear.

How many LLMs are there?

In the Diocese of Ely there are around 150 LLMs at any one time, with each LLM typically ministering in one of 4 areas within the Diocese. The Diocese works to ensure there are suitable numbers of LLMs in each region to appropriately support the parishes and local communities.

  • Cambridge North: (Deaneries of Cambridge North, North Stowe, Fordham & Quy)
  • Cambridge South: (Deaneries of Cambridge South, Bourn, Shingay and Granta)
  • Huntingdon: (Deaneries of Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots and Yaxley)
  • Wisbech: (Deaneries Wisbech Lynn Marshland, Fincham & Feltwell, March and Ely)

The Warden of Readers

The Diocese of Ely Warden of Readers is Steve Mashford, and the LLM Selection Officer is Cathy Watts. Among other duties, the Warden of Readers supports the discernment and selection of LLMs, as well as supporting those LLMs in the Diocese.

You can contact Steve on [email protected] and Cathy on [email protected].

More information on LLMs can also be found on the new website - www.transformingministry.co.uk.

The LLM Selection Criteria is explained in a booklet you can download at: LLM Selection Criteria Booklet


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Page last updated: 4th January 2021 9:58 AM
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Ely Diocesan Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 142183, and a charity registered in England and Wales with Charity Number 245456. The registered address is: Diocesan Office, Bishop Woodford House, Barton Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4DX. All rights reserved.