Local Preacher Secretaries' Drop-Ins

All Local Preachers' Secretaries are invited to one of two online Drop-Ins. 

These will offer an opportunity to meet with others from around the country and share ideas and current concerns. 

Each Zoom meeting will last 90 minutes and will include short introductions to topics of interest, time for informal discussion, and time for questions and answers.

The dates are Monday 26th February, 2pm - 3:30pm and two weeks later on Monday 11th March at 2pm. To book your place, click on the date.  This will take you to the Eventbrite booking site.

New Guidance for Local Arrangements

A Local Arrangement is a service of worship where there is no allocated Minister or Local Preacher available to take responsibility for leading worship.  If approached positively and with appropriate support and encouragement, Local Arrangements are an opportunity for building up the congregation and releasing new gifts and creativity for the glory of God.

Here are new Guidance for Local Arrangements for you to download.  Please distribute it to anyone in your circuit who is responsible for Local Arrangements in their church. 

Ask your Local Preachers' Meeting whether there is more you could do to encourage and equip those leading and participating in Local Arrangements around your circuit.

Training Opportunities

Numerous training opportunities are provided for local preachers and worship leaders.

These include:

  • Online Inductions for new WLP Students, Tutors and Mentors
  • Study Skills for WLP Students
  • Online training for LP Secretaries, Tutors and Mentors
  • Further Skills for WLP Tutors and Mentors
  • Further Skills for Local Preachers' Secretaries
  • Equality, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) Training

Details of all these training opportunities are now on the WLP Training page at www.methodist.org.uk/wlptraining.

Meeting Well

Is it time to refresh your Local Preachers' Meeting*? 

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.

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

Guidance for Local Preachers' Meetings

Here is a new guide (November 2023) to the role of Local Preachers' Secretary. Of interest to those considering the role, and those who have lots of experience:

The Local Preachers' Secretary - role and responsibilities

Guidelines for the Local Preachers' Meeting. Watch out for a fresh version of this shortly:

Connexional Team Guidelines for the Circuit Local Preachers Meeting

More ideas for Local Preachers' Meetings can be found on the CLPD page.

Our Current Standing Orders can be downloaded hereInformation particularly relating to Local Preachers can be found at:

Section 56 - Local Preachers

Section 68 - Worship Leaders

Training for Local Preachers & Worship Leaders

Note that feedback forms for use at assessed services and trial services are now available on the WLP Resources page at www.methodist.org.uk/wlpresources.


 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.

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.

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.

Is there a way that people who have previous training and experience as Lay Preachers in other Christian traditions can become Local Preachers?

Anyone who wishes to explore a call to be Local Preacher in the Methodist Church can do so.  They must be a member of the Methodist Church in Britain first, and then speak to their Minister or Superintendent.  The Local Preachers' Meeting has responsibility for working with the person through a process of discernement which is described in Standing Order 566A.  A Guidance Note "Welcoming Lay Preachers from other traditions" (which can be downloaded below) provides more information.