Church (Lay) Employees
More and more lay people are employed to work in the Methodist
Church. The work they do is varied and can range from looking after
the church premises to working with children and families. For many
years some were known by the name 'Lay Workers'. Some lay employees
may be part of the ministry team of a district, circuit or church
working alongside presbyters, deacons and other lay people. In 1970
there were less than 35 posts, but today there are around 2000 lay
people throughout the Connexion.
See examples of
different appointments and stories.
The employing body, as part of the review of its mission policy
and staffing needs, will identify a piece of work that they will
employ someone to undertake. It will work with the district lay
employment secretary to ensure that employment law is followed and
that appropriate job descriptions, person specifications and
contracts are prepared for the employee. Posts will be advertised,
either locally or nationally in the religious press and interviews
The hours employees work vary according to the exact post, but
the majority work between 15 and 40 hours a week.
For further help see:
Many different people are employed to work within a church
setting. Some have taken early retirement, some may be testing a
call to ordained ministry with the Church, some want to work for
the Church before they move onto other things, whilst others see
their discipleship in terms of lay ministry with the Church. There
are others who would support the ethos of the Church, but who
themselves would not be a church member.
Some posts are very demanding and require specific skills and
aptitudes. There are some common themes underlying these posts:
- Collaborating with others, drawing on their skills and
- Working on one's own, organising timetable and priorities
- Working with people in the church and neighbourhood
- Developing good personal relationships with others with
- Possessing the necessary qualifications and skills in order to
undertake the work
- Willingness to undertake training for skills and personal
The Methodist Church strongly encourages initial training and
continuing development for its employees. The employer
will be able to give details of local, regional and connexional
training events. It organises:
- Orientation Programme
This short course can be delivered on a district or regional
basis. It focuses on the induction of employees as they move posts
or begin work within a church context for the first time. The
programme aims to good practice through sharing together and
through the learning and training opportunities which the different
the Orientation Programme for Lay Employees within the Methodist
Church (Word doc).
- Connecting Disciples is an annual conference
for Lay Employees and Children and Youth Workers
coordinated by members of the Connexional Team.
It is held in March and information can
be found here.
Employees' Appraisal Scheme
(Word doc 164k)
A guide through the appraisal process, including possible
questions which can frame the appraisal.
Methodist Conference Reports
Lay Workers' Terms
and Conditions (Word doc)
A report to the 2007 Methodist Conference looking at the name
'Lay Worker', salary, housing/housing allowance and the structure
of lay employment.
Lay Workers in the Church (Word doc 61k)
Report adopted by the 1995 Methodist Conference, which affirms the
role of lay people employed in Methodist churches.
information about any aspect of Church lay employment by a
district, circuit or church contact your district lay employment
secretary or the
Methodist Church Development and Personnel