Lay Training


Our lay training is designed to encourage lay people of all ages and backgrounds to both explore further what God may be calling them into and to begin to train as a lay minister in their context. It is flexible, adaptable to character and context and supports an individual’s particular learning style and interests. The Pathway (ALTP) is a ‘light touch’, participant-led approach which is supported by study days, evening twilight sessions and meetings with a personal mentor.  

If you are interested in any of these:

  • Joining in the mission of the church in Cumbria
  • Being more involved in ministry inside or outside the church building and community
  • Learning more about the church’s traditions, worship, care and hospitality.
  • Becoming more confident in hearing Gods’ call
  • Becoming more confident in sharing your faith in both word and deed; and then inspiring and equipping others to do the same.

Then this course is for you.

The structure of the ALT Pathway: 

ALTP begins with a one-year commitment during which the participant will be given the chance to explore where they feel God may be calling them, while developing their gifts and skills and learning about a variety of ministries.

A participant can decide to finish after year one and be considered as a recognised lay minister or continue into ALTP+ which is a second year of study in a specific area.

During Year One of ALTP you’d be expected to:

  • Engage with the activities/reflections on a monthly work card, 
  • Attend three Saturday study days
  • Attend three evening twilight sessions. 
  • Work with a mentor with whom you will have an introductory first meeting, followed by four mentor sessions at three monthly intervals across the year. 
  • Complete a portfolio of learning.

To encourage a sense of community, the participants are encouraged to form a small private group on an online platform (of their choosing) with others on the pathway. This is to enable further support, sharing of resources, stories and prayer.

Those who wish to be considered for Authorised Lay Ministry (within the Church of England) or who wish to deepen and extend their skills can continue on the pathway for a second year. This is ALTP+. During this year, they will continue to work with a mentor but their training will be more focussed.

ALTP+ – Year Two:

ALTP+ is an opportunity to go deeper and explore one type of ministry more specifically.  It is at this stage that the pathways might look more diverse as participants engage in more tailor-made training.  You would be expected to continue to work with your mentor and to be beginning to develop experience in ministry under the supervision (which may be delegated) of your local church leader.

At the end of year two, you will be considered as an authorised lay minister. Other denominations have different ministerial outcomes, but all value the course as a means of discernment and reflection. Please contact your denomination to find out what recognition you will receive on completing the pathway.

There are 6 areas of ministry, and participants will be encouraged to focus on one:

  • Worship
  • Pastoral
  • Pioneer
  • Children, Youth & Messy
  • FX Leadership
  • Chaplaincy

Each has further study required with varying time commitment. Please contact Emma Richardson to find out more, including when these are next available.

The documents you need for the ALT Pathway are available to download below.

Study days: There are three full study days (10.00am – 4.00pm) themed around Mission & Outreach, Pastoral Care & Ministry; and Worship. ​

Twilight sessions: there are three evening twilight sessions (6.30pm – 9.00pm) themed around Welcome & Hospitality, Christian Tradition and God for All. 

All sessions are currently scheduled to be held online.

Dates sessions:

2021 – 2022

Saturday sessions

10am-4pm, to include lunch. Venues tbc

Worship Nov 2021 (date tbc)

Outreach and Mission 15 Jan 2022

Pastoral Care and Ministry 16 July 2022

Twilight evening sessions

6.30-9.30pm. Usually at Church House, Penrith. With a meal.

God For All 29 Sept 2021

Christian Tradition 15 March 2022

Welcome and Hospitality 17 May 2022

ALTP Documents

Please Note: Before an applicant can be accepted, their Sending Church or Mission Community Leader must also fill out an application form which is available for download above.

If there are a group of people in your area interested in participating on the ALTP course, please contact us to discuss the possibility of us running it in your location.

Finding out more: You should find all the information you require in the downloadable guides on this page, including the application form. For any other queries please contact:

Taster Session

24 June 7.30-9pm – For anyone interested in enrolling on ALTP.

At the taster evening you will:

  • Find out what it is, who it is for and how it works. Hear stories from people who have engaged with ALTP and where their journeys have led them.
  • Explore some of the materials from ALTP.
  • Take part in a Q&A session.

To book onto this Zoom session contact:

Emma Richardson- Brec Seaton–