What Is An LPA?

A Lay Pastoral Assistant (LPA) is trained and authorized to engage in pastoral ministry on behalf of the local church, working as part of a team of clergy and laity. Each individual’s ministry will vary according to their gifts and skills and according to the local situation. But in all cases, the ministry of an LPA calls for a loving and compassionate heart and a willingness to listen to and support those in need. The ministry of an LPA holds a crucial place within the life of the local church, relying on good relationships with both clergy and the wider community. For this reason, LPAs are invited into ministry by their parish priest and their calling is affirmed by the local church.

What Do LPA's Do?

The ministry of an individual will depend on their skills and gifts and on their local context. However, the ministry of an LPA may include…

  • Visiting people at home or in hospital

  • Working with children and young people

  • Visiting and support the recently bereaved

  • Leading small groups

  • Helping to prepare people for baptism, confirmation and marriage

  • Leading worship in sheltered and residential homes

  • Administering the sacrament to people in their home or hospital

Could It Be You?

As the ministry of a Lay Pastoral Assistant can be so varied, people will bring with them many gifts some of which may be very specific. However, everyone considering, or being considered for the ministry of a Lay Pastoral Assistant, will have some of the following:-

  • A love for other people and commitment to their local church

  • An ability to demonstrate pastoral sensitivity with good listening skills

  • A commitment to work with the local team of clergy, other ministers and LPAs

  • A willingness to minister prayerfully

  • A willingness to attend initial training and to take part in continuing ministerial development