Lay Funeral Ministry

For some years, we’ve been providing training in funeral and bereavement ministry for lay ministers such as ALM worship leaders, ALM pastoral assistants and Readers.  This training has involved attending the ALM Funeral and Bereavement course or a Reader-specific course.

Following review, the Lay Funeral Ministry course is being introduced to replace the previous training courses.  It is open to experienced worship leaders who are competent preachers, and licensed lay ministers/Readers on the recommendation of their incumbent and with the support of their PCC.  On successful completion, the course will lead to a diocesan authorisation with local recognition and supervision.

Course purpose

The purpose of the course is to equip experienced lay ministers to prepare and lead a funeral visit; a funeral in a church, crematorium or at a graveside; a burial of ashes service; and a memorial service.  It will cover:

  • Familiarisation with Common Worship: Pastoral Services
  • Theologies of death, grief and bereavement
  • Preaching and tributes at a funeral
  • Practical aspects of leading funerals
  • Coping with unusual situations
  • Follow-up and best practice
  • Funeral resources

Discernment process

All applicants will be required to complete an application form and to verify they have a current enhanced DBS and safeguarding training to leadership level (although this can be completed during the course provided the applicant is trained to foundation level).  There are two elements to the discernment process:

  • Local Discernment - all applicants should be recognised locally as having the gifts for this ministry, and to be experienced in leading worship and preaching.  They will need their incumbent’s recommendation and a written reference as well as gaining the support of their local PCC/s.
  • Diocesan Discernment – all applicants will also have an interview with two of the course facilitators to assess their suitability before the confirming a place on the course.

Autumn 2024-Spring 2025 course

Applications are now been taken for the Autumn 2024-Spring 2025 course.  Session dates and locations are detailed below.  Download an application.

Saturday 10 October 2024


Diocesan House, Canterbury

Introductory Session

13 October 2024 – 1 May 2025


In Parish

Practical Placement and Learning Journal

January / February 2025 (TBC)



Introduction to Bereavement

Saturday 1 March 2025


Diocesan House, Canterbury

Practical Session

Saturday 10 May 2025


Diocesan House, Canterbury

Closing Session

To register an interest in future courses please email Sarah Lucas.

Page last updated: Thursday 4th April 2024 11:02 AM
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