Local Preacher Secretaries

Online Training for LP Secretaries, Mentors and Tutors

A 90-minute Zoom session for those supporting students on the Worship: Leading & Preaching course, or who are considering these roles.  Designed to supplement training provide by the Learning Network in your region, these sessions include a short introduction to the course, with breakout groups looking at the roles of Tutor, Mentor and LP Secretaries. 

The remaining sessions for 2022 are listed below.  Please book online by clicking on the appropriate date:

Tuesday 14th June, 2pm

Tuesday 5th July, 7:30pm

Monday 10th October, 7:30pm

Thursday 3rd November, 2pm

Meeting Well

Time to refresh your Local Preachers' Meeting* in 2022? 

Here's an outline for you to use.  It's flexible so you can adapt it for your circuit:

Listening for God - an outline for your next Local Preachers' Meeting

What is the Local Preachers' Meeting anyway?  What do we need to do, and what are the possibilities to do things differently?  

Here is a summary, with some suggestions about how we might make the most of the time we spend together:

Meeting Well: Guidelines for Local Preachers' Meetings

 Now would be a great time to ask the local preachers and worship leaders in your circuit for their ideas about how you meet in future.  Here are some ideas what questions you could ask:

Meeting Well: Questions to Ask

*Note that in some circuits, Worship Leaders also take part in these meetings.  The term "Local Preachers' Meeting" includes these meetings too.

Extended deadline for Local Preachers and Worship Leaders to complete Advanced Safeguarding Training

The Safeguarding Team recently issued this statement:

Recent auditing of Local Preachers and Worship Leaders has revealed that there are substantial numbers who have not yet undertaken the mandatory Advanced Safeguarding training module which was directed by Conference. 

Obviously the effects of the pandemic with closure of churches and training courses has impacted on opportunities that have been available for training.  However, we now have an online version available as well as the resumption of face to face training so it is much easier for the training to be undertaken. 

As a result of these challenges it has been decided that:

  • Local Preachers and Worship Leaders will be given a further 8 months to complete their Advanced Module training i.e. to 31st August 2022
  • It will be the responsibility of Superintendents to satisfy themselves that a Local Preacher has an up-to-date DBS and has completed the mandatory Advanced Module training before they are included on the Circuit Preaching Plan
  • It is accepted that in some cases Local Preachers and Worship Leaders cannot immediately complete the training (e.g. no access to technology for online learning or inability to travel to face to face courses) and Superintendents will have to make individual decisions on these situations, documenting the rationale for their decision
  • After the new deadline of 31st August Local Preachers will no longer be able to be planned unless there are extenuating circumstances

Provision of online and face to face training courses will be essential to supporting this extension and work is underway with DSOs and members of the Learning Network to assess where additional courses may be required.

Rev Jonathan Hustler, Secretary of Conference & Rev Henry Lewis, Chair of the Safeguarding Committee

Remembering our Call - An Annual Service for Local Preachers 

Each year, Local Preachers are required to attend a service of reaffirmation of their call (SO 563(3)(v)). 

A PDF version of  the order of service for this can be downloaded here.  

A Word version (which can be edited) can be downloaded here.

A set of PowerPoint slides for the service is available here.

LPWL Return Form

To report Local Preacher developments in your circuit, including requesting accreditation material or Long Service Certificates or registering new students, tutors or mentors for training, please fill in an LPWL Return Form:

Click here for the electronic Return form.  

Please note that the first and final pages are mandatory to complete, for the rest of the pages you only need to complete what is relevant. 

If you would rather send a copy via post please request a hard copy version from localpreachers@methodistchurch.org.uk

Local Preachers' Accountability and Review

Since the 2018 Conference, Local Preachers are required to "review their ministry" every three years.  These two Guidance Notes explain what is required of us, and how peer review can become a helpful part of our continuing development as local preachers:

Long Service Certificates

Long Service Certificates are provided by the Connexional Team to celebrate 25, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 years of service.  Unfortunately, we are not able to issue certificates signed by the President and Vice President to mark any other anniversaries. 

However, an alternative Long Service Certificate is available online. This certificate is designed to be signed by the Superintendent of the circuit.  It allows for years of service to be recognised at any point in the ministry of a local preacher, or to mark occasions such as retirements or other significant milestones.

Please print and present these certificates locally yourselves, as with the Worship Leader certificates.

If you have trouble printing these new certificates please contact us at localpreachers@methodistchurch.org.uk

Frequently-Asked Questions

Are Local Preachers (including those on Trial) allowed to lead Local Arrangements?

Local Arrangements are sometimes seen as a failure to "fill" the Preaching Plan, whereas actually they are a great opportunity to involve the whole congregation in leading worship, including some who may  not volunteer normally.  They are a therefore a training ground for future potential worship leaders and preachers.  The temptation to simply invite a Local Preacher to step in should be resisted as they  have already offered their available dates for the plan, and asking them may put them under pressure to do more then they’re comfortable with.   It is especially important not to overburden those in training, who may not feel they can say no.  A Local Arrangements should be seen as an opportunity for the whole church to create worship together.  Great things can result and some may even find skills and gifts they never realised they had - or even a call to be a Worship Leader or Local Preacher.

As public worship in church building resumes, are all Local Preachers obliged to accept preaching appointments?
One of our responsibilities as local preachers according to Standing Order (563(2)(iii)) is to be available for an appropriate number of appointments per quarter.  However, the same Standing Order also says “…having regard to the situation of the local preacher and of the circuit.” 

In the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, no one should feel pressured to make themselves available for appointments, especially if there are health risk factors involved.  Likewise, in making arrangements for the gradual return to worship in church buildings, circuits should take account the availability and willingness of local preachers to take part in public worship.  This may require compromise in the number of services that can be offered, or the timescales for reintroduction of public worship.

Extensions to the "on trial" period are granted under "expectional circumstances".  Could these circumstances include those related to COVID-19?

Yes, the pandemic has brought significant challenges and life-changing circumstances for many people, and District Policy & Resource Committees should take these into account when considering requests for extensions. Such extensions could be up to two years, but applications should provide a clear plan for how progress in training will be resumed and completed within the entension period.  A new Guidance Note and application form are available below.

The current version of Worship: Leading & Preaching course is 3.0.  When does WLP 2.0 come to an end?

Since September 2020, all new enrolments have been to WLP 3.0.  We intend to cease full support for WLP 2.0 from April 2022, hence the final opportunity to upload a WLP 2.0 portfolio for moderation of a WLP 2.0 portfolio will be on 31st March 2022.  If this is likely to cause a problem to you, or a student you know, please contact us at the Local Preachers' office. 

I am in the Armed Forces, and move regularly in my role.  Is there a way for me to train as a Local Preacher?

There is a training pathway available specifically for people serving in the Armed Forces.  This takes account of the fact that your role requires you to move around, and opportunities to lead worship in church may be limited.  For more information, click here.

Guidance for Local Preachers' Meetings:

Guidance and Forms for Local Preacher Training:

  • Training of Local Preachers - the process of discernment, formation and training for local preachers, set out in table form.
  • Assessed Services for those On Trial - this guidance has been updated with the requirements of WLP 3.0 in mind, but applies to all those in training.
  • Worship Record Sheet - a handy checklist to help circuits keep a record of quarterly assessed services for persons on trial.  Especially applies to WLP 3.0.
  • Circuit Interviews for Persons On Trial - guidance on conducting the two circuit interviews for local preachers on trial, including suggestions for using an Appreciative Inquiry approach.
  • Worship & Preaching Feedback Form - to provide constructive feedback for one service each quarter for those on note and on trial, as required by Standing Order 564B (5).  A PDF version is also available, for Apple device users only - please click here.
  • Congregation Feedback Form - to provide informal constructive feedback for any worship leader or local preacher as requested by them as part of their initial training or continuing development.  A PDF version is also available, for Apple device users only - please click here.
  • Armed Forces Training Pathway - taking account of the particular challenges facing those training in the Forces, this pathway enables attachment to a "host circuit" with mentoring provided through the Forces' ecumenical chaplaincy network.
  • Extensions to period on trial - guidance on how to apply to your District for an extension to the five-year period, and some alternatives.  The document includes an application form to print and fill in.  The application form is also available for download as a Word file here.
  • Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning (APEL) - this process allows previous relevant learning to be taken into account when embarking on local preacher training.  The document includes guidance and an application form.
  • Competencies for those requesting a Note to Preach - a helpful resource for the conversation between a person requesting a Note to Preach and their Superintendent.
  • Competencies for those to be admitted as Local Preachers - a helpful resource for the Local Preachers' meeting as they seek to discern the call of a local preacher throughout their training.


 Data Protection

District Local Preachers' Officers

District Local Preachers' Secretaries and Tutors perform a vital role in supporting the work of circuit Local Preachers' Meetings and connecting people involved in training and development across their District. 

This Role Description has been produced in consultation with District Officers to assist in explaining these roles, and encouraging districts to make the most of the opportunities they present.  The Officer for Worship & Local Preachers would be delighted to discuss with District representatives or prospective officers the possibilities this role presents - please contact  localpreachers@methodistchurch.org.uk.

This Guidance Note for District Local Preachers' Reports is designed to help District LP Officers in collecting information from circuits.

Periodic meetings are arranged by the Local Preachers' office for District Officers, to share issues and concerns and contribute to the development of training and support for Local Preachers and Worship Leaders.  Since 2020, these have been held via Zoom on a six-monthly basis.

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