New lay ministers received authorisation from Bishop John Inge
The Bishop of Worcester has introduced a new form of ministry to support parishes in the Diocese of Worcester.
Bishop John Inge commissioned 175 people as Authorised Lay Ministers at a special service in Worcester Cathedral on Sunday, 12 September.
They have all completed a year-long course to work as volunteers in their parishes.
Roles include pastoral workers, leading acts of worship, children's and youth workers and parish administrators.
The new lay ministers will now work as part of the ministry teams in the parishes, supporting their vicars and lay readers.
Bishop John Inge said: "The authorisation of so many new lay ministers is a very exciting development in our church.
"To see such a large number of people fired up with an enthusiasm for serving God in so many different ways was a delight."
Gordon and Sue Gething, from St Stephen's Church in Barbourne, both completed the Authorised Lay Ministry course - Gordon as a worship leader and Sue in pastoral care.
Gordon said: "The course was an opportunity to expand my knowledge and look at things in a different light.
"I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was impressed by the tutors and the other people on the course, who were doing some great work.
"It was good to meet people from both rural and urban parishes, and we were able to explore different ways of doing things, and how to encourage people to come to church."
Sue said: "The course gave me ideas to take back to our clergy and PCC, which hopefully will extend what we already do for our community."
The Diocesan Director of Development, Canon Robert Jones, was one of those responsible for the new Authorised Lay Minister course.
He said: "It's been great seeing so many people come to the cathedral as the culmination of an exciting year.
"People have come from all over the diocese, and all sorts of churches, to train together, [and] we have learned a lot from each other.
"Congratulations to all those who have been authorised and thanks for their great commitment to this first year of training."