Lay ministers licensed at Bristol Cathedral

First published 8th October 2021

On Saturday 16 October, four new lay ministers were licensed during a service at Bristol Cathedral and received a blessing from the Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol.

Licensed lay ministers (LLMs) are non-ordained ministers and come from a wide diversity of occupations and backgrounds, and provide a vital link between the church and the world of work.

LLMs are identified, trained, and licensed by the bishop in order to work with ordained ministers in teaching the faith, enabling mission, and leading in church and society. If you're interested in exploring licensed lay ministry in the Diocese of Bristol, please email and visit our webpage to find out more.

Here are the stories of those being licensed.

Michael (Mick) Sital-Singh

Michael was licensed to Benefice of Saint Peter, Bishopsworth and Saint Oswald, Bedminster Down.

“Carol Ann and I moved to Bristol from London some nine years ago and are part of the church community at St Peter’s Bishopsworth. We have three wonderful grandchildren in north Bristol and enjoy meeting up with our son’s family fairly frequently. My path towards LLM ministry seemed the next step after six years as joint church warden, and the focus on Christian character formation has been particularly significant for me. I am also the founder and principal consultant of a small business consultancy.”

Janet Moreton

Janet was licensed with ‘permission to officiate’, and ministers at St Stephens Church, Southmead.

“When I was about 18 I felt that I was being called to be a vicar, but I was way before my time. Conversations were just starting about ordaining women ‘one day’. By the time that day came I was being used in other ways. But there came a time when I was free to listen to that voice again and was encouraged to start out on this path to ministry. It's never too late to listen to His 'still, small voice’.”

Helen Davies

Helen was licensed to the Benefice of Gauzebrook.

“I live in North Wiltshire and am part of the Gauzebrook group of churches. In 2018 I finally listened and responded to God’s calling. He was directing me to licensed lay ministry – a ridiculous notion I thought but nevertheless I felt it was my time to explore and discern God’s plan. Having ploughed my way through Exploring Christianity, doubting my abilities, I went to discernment. I was prepared for God to say no. He didn’t. And so, I come to my licensing knowing “the still small voice of calm” – that it is God’s plan for me to take this next step. But my journey is not a solitary one and I am very much looking forward to journeying with you all in Gauzebrook and beyond. Together, and with God’s presence in our lives, we can all be transformed.”

Stephanie Hayton

Stephanie was licensed to the Diocese of Bristol and is being welcomed from the Diocese of Birmingham.

“As a teenager, I knew that God had called me to teach the faith but I also needed to learn. So I studied the Bible alongside studying physics, and trained as a teacher in order to communicate both the wonders of physics and the faithfulness of God. My vicar recommended that I train as an LLM because I was leading all-age services regularly: I had no idea what an LLM was! The LLM website described people who pastored, taught the faith and led worship whilst being a bridge to the wider world. It felt like the perfect job description. I trained and was licensed in Birmingham in 2008. However, last October I saw an even better job description – Advisor for Lay Ministry (and Warden of Readers / LLMs) in Bristol Diocese. I have now been in post for six months and have enjoyed getting to know people across the diocese. My role is pastoral (for LLMs) – it involves teaching LLMs and equipping the wider laity to serve the church and in the world. I also bring my own LLM ministry and I am glad that my licence is being transferred to Bristol Diocese in this service.”

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