Worship Leader


Training by the Parish Priest

Provide support, encouragement and development for the Worship Leader, through discussion, reflection and sharing of appropriate experiences. This should be at frequent intervals, with supervision continuing after training.

Parish Training

Practical training to develop skills will be under the direction and supervision of the Parish Priest. This will take place in the parish for a recommended training period of six months, during which discussion and reviews will take place with the Parish Priest.

It is desirable that training as a Worship Leader includes a placement in a nearby parish under supervision from the local Parish Priest, experienced Lay Reader or Worship Leader. Ideally, the placement will be to experience worship in a different style to the home parish, and to gain confidence in helping lead services and public prayer. The placement should give opportunities to watch, learn, practise and reflect with others.

Some questions to consider

  • What is a Worship Leader – can it be developed or better articulated?
  • What is Worship?
  • How is music best used in services?
  • What is the form and structure of Morning and Evening Prayer?
  • What style of prayer is used in non Eucharistic services.?
  • Which readings should be used?
  • How is the Intercession used at the Eucharist – structure and content?
  • What is the best use of the sermon slot?
  • What should a lay person pray in place of the set Absolution and Blessing?


  • What to wear
  • Where to stand/sit
  • Voice projection – can I be heard at the back?
  • How to use a microphone
  • Where to find resources
  • Writing up the church registers
  • How to claim expenses

Personal Considerations:

  • What will the congregation expect of me in this different role
  • How will this new role affect my home and personal life?
  • Can I work with other people?
  • How will I care for my spiritual needs and discipleship?

Training by the Diocese

The wider church will provide further, broader training by gathering Worship Leaders together for specific courses. This will offer an opportunity to share experiences, gain support and encouragement and meet members of the Lay Development Group.

The process:

This training takes place locally or in the diocese. The Lay Development Group will identify areas of specific need or concern and offer appropriate training, as well as welcoming suggestions for courses.

Personal Development Plan

The Parish Priest and Worship Leader will meet regularly to review and identify areas which need further discussion or training support. This will also be an opportunity to reflect on the learning process and be encouraged by experience gained so far. They will:

  • Write a plan to identify areas of competence and those for further training.
  • The Priest will offer further training or contact the Lay Development Group for advice.
  • The trainee will agree personal goals towards formal Authorisation as a Worship Leader.
  • Consider the possibility of training as a Reader in due course.

Commissioning and Letter of Authorisation

Once the Worship Leader has been trained to a mutually acceptable standard of confidence and competency the Parish Priest will:

  • Seek acceptance of the candidate from the PCC
  • Arrange for a Commissioning. An order is available from the Director of Ministry.
  • Send a PCC minute to the Bishop informing him that the candidate has been commissioned.

The Bishop will then write a letter of Authorisation to the candidate.