Bishops’ Adviser for Licensed Lay Ministers

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£38,085 per annum

The Diocese of Chester is seeking a lay or ordained person/s to be the Bishops’ Adviser for Licensed Lay Ministers. Working collaboratively with a wide range of people, the postholder/s will support and enable the ministry of licensed lay ministers (Pastoral Workers and Readers) across the Diocese of Chester and the integration of licensed lay ministry into the wider ministry and strategy of the diocese. A significant part of the role is the provision of initial training for Pastoral Workers, as well as working with Emmanuel Theological College on the initial training of Readers.

The successful candidate/s will have excellent communication and administrative skills, as well as significant experience in delivering ministerial training and either exercising or supporting licensed lay ministry within the Church of England.

This role could be configured as a full-time post or as two part-time posts.

For informal conversation, contact Rev Simon Chesters, Director of Ministry at

The job description, person specification and application form can be downloaded from the Diocesan website:

PLEASE NOTE: Applications should be made via the Diocesan website using the diocesan application form, not through Pathways.

An Enhanced DBS Disclosure and Safeguarding training will be required for the successful candidate.

There is an Occupational Requirement for the postholder to be a practising Christian in accordance with the Equality Act, 2010.

Completed application forms should be returned to Mrs E A Geddes, Diocesan Director of Human Resources, preferably by email to or by post to Church House, 5500 Daresbury Park, Warrington, WA4 4GE.

Closing date: 21st September 2023

Interviews: 28th September 2023

Job Title: Bishop's Adviser for Licensed Lay Ministers

Salary Range: £38,085

Hours of work: Full time 35 hours

Some flexible working is required e.g. travel around the dioceses and work at weekends. The post-holder will be required to attend meetings, training or events regionally, provincially or nationally.

This post is open to either lay or ordained persons.

The post could be configured as a full-time post or as two half-time posts.

Normal place of work: Church House, Daresbury

Overall Purpose of the Post:

The Bishops’ Adviser for Licensed Lay Ministers will:

Support and enable the ministry of licensed lay ministers (Pastoral Workers and Readers) across the Diocese of Chester and the integration of licensed lay ministry into the wider ministry and strategy of the diocese. A significant part of the role is the provision of initial training for Pastoral Workers, as well as working with Emmanuel Theological College on the initial training of Readers.

Principal Duties and responsibilities:

  • To represent and promote licensed lay ministry in Chester Diocese, articulating a vision for Pastoral Worker and Reader ministry that is consistent with the diocesan vision and strategy.
  • To represent Reader and Pastoral Worker ministry in Chester diocese at national and regional level, including at Central Readers’ Council and the National Lay Ministries Network.
  • To highlight to the Committee for Ministry and Bishops’ Staff issues of specific concern within and for the Pastoral Worker and Reader community.
  • To work with colleagues to support and assist those exploring licensed lay ministry, including vocations events and discernment/selection interviews
  • To maintain pastoral contact with those in initial training for Reader ministry, liaising with Emmanuel Theological College.
  • To work with the colleagues in the Ministry team and the Bishops’ Ministry Administrator on the processes for admission, licensing and permission to officiate for Readers and Pastoral Workers, working with colleagues on the preparation for and organisation of licensing services and the arrangements for transfer of licences, retirement from licensed lay ministry, and application for Permission to officiate.
  • In collaboration with the bishops and others, plan and chaplain the annual pre-licensing retreat and work with colleagues on the planning of the licensing service.
  • To work with Pastoral Workers and Readers and their incumbents on the production and review of Ministry Agreements.
  • To ensure that print and online information on licensed lay ministry is accessible, accurate and current.
  • To build and maintain a culture of safer working across Reader and Pastoral Worker ministry, including the processes for ensuring that all licensed lay ministers have appropriate and up to date safeguarding training and certification.
  • To be available, alongside bishops, archdeacons and rural deans, as a resource to help with the resolution of conflicts involving Pastoral Workers and Readers.
  • To oversee and maintain a process of regular ministerial review for licensed lay ministers and to liaise with the Bishops’ Ministry Administrator on the renewal of licences.
  • To review and develop the support structures for licensed lay ministry, including those supporting Reader and Pastoral Worker ministry at deanery level.
  • To develop and build the community of licensed lay ministers and those training for licensed lay ministry across the diocese, including working with colleagues on appropriate pastoral support and CMD provision for Pastoral Workers and Readers.
  • To champion lay ministry across the diocese and, in particular, ensure that the particularities of Pastoral Worker and Reader ministry are widely understood and celebrated

  • Oversee the initial and ongoing training for Pastoral Workers, including:-
  • To widen access to PW training by formulating a non-validated training pathway
  • To enable the completion of all six PW specific training modules by candidates
  • To manage all tutors contributing to the PW programme; especially ensuring curriculum compliance, quality assurance, and fair assessment
  • To teach on the programme as necessary (and never less than on one module)
  • To recruit appropriately qualified and experienced tutors and assessors
  • To maintain the PW specific modules of the HE Certificate; having particular regard to university requirements, updating materials, and developing the programme in the light of pastoral practice
  • To implement effective reporting and review of candidate progress throughout training
  • To liaise with the Bishop about the readiness of each candidate for public ministry
  • To liaise with Incumbents and parishes through candidate training, providing information and support as needed
  • To provide tailored training pathways for candidates with special needs
  • To deal with all issues of accreditation of prior learning or experience
  • In co-operation with the Director of Ministry to control expenditure in line with the budget provided for PW training
  • In collaboration with Safeguarding and other colleagues, to devise and implement a diocesan training package for incumbents and volunteers around safer pastoral practice
  • To work with other colleagues in providing vocational and formational training for lay ministry trainees to supplement the validated training programmes

  • Work with the wider Ministry team on areas including vocations, initial and continuing learning and development for lay and ordained ministers, marking and monitoring of assessed work, wider training and learning resources
  • Stay up to date with national developments in lay ministry
  • Track and report on statistics and trends in licensed lay ministry across the diocese

General Duties

  • Take part in regular line management meetings and a cycle of performance review
  • Ensure that records are kept that are accessible, accurate, securely held and able to be analysed
  • Engage fully with the diocesan safeguarding process, training and culture, working with colleagues to ensure a consistent culture of safer practice
  • Monitor expenditure and budgeting for the specific areas of work
  • Attend relevant national meetings and consultations
  • Attend Diocesan and departmental staff and other relevant meetings
  • Subject to other duties, speak at appropriate services and meetings
  • Promote departmental collaboration and work closely with colleagues in Church House in contributing to projects and activities to deliver diocesan priorities
  • Play a full part with other staff in the activities of the Diocese
  • Undertake training as required
  • Carry out other such reasonable duties of a similar or related nature as may be required

Date: August 2023

Note – this job description does not form part of your Contract of Employment.

The work of the Chester Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) is operated from within Church House and is located at Daresbury Park, Warrington.

The DBF is the body which oversees the central financial and administrative work of the Diocese of Chester, provides support, teaching and trained personnel to advance the mission and ministry of the parishes within the Church of England Diocese of Chester, and the mission and ministries of the bishops of the Diocese.

The DBF is part of the Church of England, the established Church of the land, which proclaims Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and aims to proclaim the Kingdom of God in an open way to all people, of all races, cultures and backgrounds.

For many posts within the Diocese those who are not members of the Church of England are welcome to apply. We respect their right to express different religious and philosophical opinions but require them, as employees of the Diocese, to respect our ethos as an Anglican Christian organisation and not to undermine it. These posts will require the post-holders to be in sympathy with the aims and objectives of the Church of England.

Some posts may include an Occupational Requirement for the post holder to be a practising Christian in accordance with the Equality Act, 2010. Where this applies the recruitment documentation will state this.

The Diocese of Chester is in the province of York in the Church of England, part of the global Anglican Communion. For more information about our life, ministry and work please visit our website We are linked with the Anglican Church of Melanesia in the Solomon Islands and the Dioceses of Aru and Boga in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Diocese covers an area of 1025 square miles, approximately the old Victorian County of Chester, including parts which subsequently became absorbed into Merseyside and Greater Manchester. The Rivers Mersey and Tame approximately delineate the boundary with Liverpool and Manchester. There are areas of dense urban population, mainly in the north, stretching from Birkenhead to East Manchester. There are prosperous suburban regions of West and South Wirral, Chester and south of Manchester, with a mainly rural heartland, bounded by the Derbyshire Pennines and the Welsh Border. The overall population is around 1.6 million.

The diocesan bishop is Mark Tanner. He is supported by two suffragan bishops: the Bishop of Birkenhead, Julie Conalty and the of Bishop of Stockport, Sam Corley.

The Cathedral for the Diocese is in Chester.

The Diocese is divided into two archdeaconries: Chester covering the western half and Macclesfield the eastern, each with nine deaneries. There are 273 parishes, about 100 of which can be described as rural. Compared with many dioceses, there are few teams, and few multi-parish benefices. There are approximately 231 stipendiary clergy. The ministry of Readers and Pastoral Workers is important, with over 400 licensed. The role of self-supporting ministers is increasing, with over 80 in post at present.

Roughly speaking, the Archdeaconry of Macclesfield covers that part of the diocese to the east of the M6, plus the area around Crewe and Nantwich. The Archdeaconry of Chester covers the rest of the diocese to the west of the M6. Each archdeaconry has a broad mix of urban and rural parishes. The Archdeacon of Chester lives in Chester, and the Archdeacon of Macclesfield lives in Congleton. Both now work from Church House, Daresbury.