In collaboration with the Diocesan Liturgical Committee, a highly successful course to enable and equip lay people in their participation in the leadership of public worship is available called Wings for Worship.

The course, originally designed by Durham Diocesan Liturgical Committee, is one of a number currently being made available across the country.  Sometimes clergy or readers may not be available to sustain the provision of regular worship in some churches where lay people could help, given some training and oversight.   Other times leaders may feel that more involvement of lay people in contributing to public worship would be enormously beneficial.  The course does not lead to any authorisation or certificate for leading public worship, but participation is at the discretion and under the authority of the local incumbent.

The experience gained in leading worship, affirms people’s contribution to local worship and increases their sense of ownership and engagement.  It helps to make that worship more authentic and connected with the local community in which it is offered.  Those beginning to explore gifts in the leadership of worship may well discover a calling to further ministry.

Video interview about Wings for Worship (large file)

Other training can be arranged to address specific needs:

  • Leading public worship
  • Music in worship
  • Preparing intercessions
  • Technology in worship
  • All-age worship
  • Children in worship
  • Eucharistic worship
  • Using Common Worship creatively

‘Worship’, like the word ‘love’, is a slippery word!  What exactly does it mean?  St. Paul tells us to present our bodies ‘as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship’ (Rom 12:1).  Later in the letter to James, we read that pure religion is ‘to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world’.  So worship seems to be more about the way we live a life of loving service in the world around us, than what we what have come to call our ‘worship’ on a Sunday.  In fact, it would be better to call that a ‘liturgy’ – a special time and place when the church gathers together to praise God, celebrate, pray, and be taught.  But the two are inextricably linked – meeting for corporate worship encourages and inspires us to go out and make a difference in the world, while experiencing the love and presence of God in service to our neighbours, grounds us, and gives us something authentic to celebrate when we do meet.

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