Bishop Stephen writes:
I have always believed that God gives to the local church all the gifts that are needed for the church’s ministry to grow and flourish. Sometimes these gifts are unrecognised. Sometimes they lie dormant. Sometimes they do not receive the encouragement and nurture they need. And sometimes it is matter of the wider church giving the necessary permission and authorisation.
Most congregations will have people – even if it is only one or two - with a gift and calling to preach.
The ministry of preaching
The ministry of preaching in the parish is primarily the responsibility of licensed ministers, lay and ordained. As the church grows and responds to the needs of mission and ministry, though, more and more people have become involved in the ministry of preaching, with the support of their clergy and congregations. The ministry of Authorised Local Preacher is a response to this need and an opportunity to invite more people to participate in the church's ministry.
The Authorised Local Preacher
Preaching has always been at the heart of the life of the church and a focus for its mission and ministry. The Bishops wish to be linked with those who share in the ministry of preaching and to offer encouragement and support by giving their authorisation for this ministry. The ministry of authorised local preacher is exercised under the responsibility of the incumbent who, with the congregation, will have discerned the gift that one of their own number has.
An ALP needs the support of their incumbent and PCC. A letter requesting authorisation goes from the incumbent and PCC to the Area Bishop. A Confidential Declaration should be completed and the online sage-guarding course completed. Once the Bishop has sent a letter of authorisation the ALP is commissioned in an act of worship and may preach.
This authorisation lasts for three years. In that time the ALP should complete the Course in Christian Studies, or an equivalent course and attend four preaching workshops organised by the diocese.