Could you be an Occasional Worship Leader?

The Diocese of Chester is launching a new initiative to help equip and enable lay people to lead worship.

For those who find themselves leading worship on an occasional basis, (no more than once a month) and do not feel called to licensed or ordained ministry, we will offer a short course in Leading Public Worship, which will be part of the process of becoming a locally authorised Occasional Worship Leader (OWL).

Some examples of those who might benefit from this training include those planning and leading worship in specific regular services (for example, monthly café church, Taize, Iona, etc), those who occasionally lead Morning or Evening Prayer on Sundays, or Churchwardens and others leading services during a vacancy. 

OWLs will be discerned and authorised locally in the parish, but the diocesan Ministry Team are providing a structure and set of resources to help parishes in the discernment, equipping and support of OWLs, including areas such as appropriate safeguarding certification and training, accountability, support and review.

Training will be provided by the Diocesan Ministry Team through a course of four evenings designed to equip people with resources and skills to plan and lead worship. The Leading Public Worship course will run twice a year in spring and autumn, with the dates for 2024 being:


13th and 20th May, and 3rd and 10th June 2024, all 7.15pm – 9pm at St Paul’s Macclesfield


24th June and 1st, 8th and 15th July 2024, 7.15pm – 9pm at St Thomas, Ellesmere Port

This is an exciting new initiative designed to help and resource parishes in getting people involved in leading worship and helping equip and support those who are already doing so on an occasional basis.

 If you would like to know more about becoming authorised as an OWL, or if you are an incumbent with people you think could be trained and authorised as an OWL, please email including your name, parish, and which course you would like to attend. Unless your parish is in vacancy, please make sure you have sought the agreement of your incumbent or equivalent first. 

Page last updated: Thursday 28th March 2024 10:20 AM
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