Preaching on a regular basis?

Is God calling you to share in the ministry of your Local Church by Preaching on a regular basis?
We are going to launch a Deanery Preaching Team on March 24th 2020.  This will be a way of supporting Anglican “Authorised Preachers” in Milton Keynes. It will also enable us to share lay preachers across parishes in the Deanery.  Bishop Alan has given us permission to do this.  We hope it will be encourage more people to step forward as preachers – and allow parishes to help each other when there is a shortage of preachers somewhere in the city…

For more information about “Authorised Preachers” read on…

Emerging patterns of Ministry
As the church grows and responds to needs of mission and ministry, more and more people are becoming involved in leading worship, and in preaching. In the light of these welcome changes, the Bishops are looking to respond to many requests for greater local flexibility combined with appropriate Anglican order. So, in seeking to encourage and support both new and more established preachers, the diocese is committed to equipping all those engaging in this important ministry – whether in formal worship contexts, giving a talk at a Family Service or anything in-between.

Why Authorised?
Preaching has always been at the heart of the life of the church and a focus for its unity and its mission. With this comes a significant level of responsibility. This kind of ministry is not something you do on your own, but as part of a team of ministers led by and accountable to your Incumbent.
While the ‘cure of souls’ is shared between your Incumbent and the Bishop, your Incumbent will have been discerning a preaching gift in you and encouraging you to develop this. The Bishops wish to be linked with you in a real way as you begin to share this ministry in the church. They wish to offer you encouragement and support by giving you their blessing and authorising you to such ministries.
Authorisation is needed because preaching in Anglican churches is governed by Canon Law and normally restricted to those who hold a bishop’s licence. So, while someone who preaches once or perhaps twice on a very occasional basis is fine, if you preach more often or more regularly than this, formal authorisation is needed in order to remain legal.

What will Authorisation mean?
To begin with, you would receive a letter from the Bishop giving you permission to preach in your parish or benefice for an initial period of up to two years. This means you can preach legally while also engaging with some initial training. During this time you would become part of a team of ministers led by your Incumbent, to whom you would also be accountable.

Is training provided?
Absolutely! Preaching matters; and we owe it to each other to fan the flame of God within us and nurture the gifts and skills with which he has blessed us. However, the requirements for those authorised to preach are consciously designed for maximum flexibility and minimal burden.
The Bishop’s initial authorisation releases you to begin the training you need to do. Essentially, this amounts to:

  • attendance at an approved preaching course (We are doing one in Milton Keynes in the summer!)
  • a 1500 word assignment on preaching
  • three sermons, with constructive feedback on these from a selection of people in your church.

Sometimes training is best undertaken before starting a new ministry; but it can often be more beneficial when you have a little experience already under your belt. In this way you can learn from your experience and, also, at the same time, apply your learning to your experience.

Our new Deanery Preaching Team will meet three times a year for mutual support and learning. We will help each other to meet the training requirements and work through any issues.

After initial training
On successful completion of training requirements within this initial two-year period, the Bishop’s authorisation then becomes renewable on a regular basis, every few years. While further training is not required for future renewals, ongoing learning is certainly encouraged.
All authorisations (whether initial or renewal) are also dependent upon you holding a valid Enhanced DBS Disclosure, and upon completion of appropriate Safeguarding training (currently the ‘Leadership’ safeguarding module which replaced ‘C3’ in 2020).

How does all this fit in with the Parish?
While it is the Bishops who authorise you to preach in your parish, they do so only at the specific request of both Incumbent and Church Council. The Bishop will need to know that you have this level of support and that you will be part of a team with other ministers in your church. This team may also include associate or retired clergy, for example, or Licensed Lay Ministers. These will all have undergone significant training and, often, will be licensed to minister in various ways, not only in the parish but also more widely within the diocese.

What next?
Talk to your church leader and together contact us to explore the best way to take things forward.  Further information can be found at

and the link to the Authorised Ministry Handbook is available on the diocesan website at:,

If you’re ready to go and have no further questions, ask your incumbent if they are happy to write to your area bishop once PCC agreement and safeguarding requirements are in place.

For more information, please contact us at

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Action Counters Terrorism: Awareness eLearning

ACT Awareness eLearning will provide nationally recognised corporate CT guidance to help industry better understand, and mitigate against, current terrorist methodology.

The following eLearning Modules are available:

  1. Introduction to Terrorism
  2. Identifying Security Vulnerabilities
  3. How to Identify and Respond to Suspicious Behaviour
  4. How to Identify and Deal with a Suspicious Item
  5. What to do in the Event of a Bomb Threat
  6. How to Respond to a Firearms or Weapons attack
  7. Summary and Supporting Materials

You will be provided with your own corporate URL link and PIN to immediately access the online version.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register?

To register please visit:

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Free Advice and Training for Online Communication

Free advice and training for parishes and organizations within the Diocese is available for all things related to online communication, including websites and social media. Sessions are available to book and take place at Church House Oxford.

  • These sessions are not just intended for individuals but also cater to small groups. They can be tailored to your needs, but areas that might be of interest include:
  • Help planning and developing a new website (or reviewing your current one).
  • Design advice (user friendliness, mobile friendliness, helpful widgets and plugins).
  • Introduction to content management.
  • Search engine optimization… getting listed higher and improving the quality of your search engine listing.
  • Using Google resources: Webmaster Tools, Maps, Google Analytics, Google Local.
  • Writing a compelling Wikipedia entry.
  • Making the most of ‘A Church Near You’.
  • Creating e-newsletters (e.g. Mailchimp) or surveys.
  • Creating better photographs and graphics for the web.
  • Creating and sharing videos on Youtube, Vimeo.
  • Streaming video.
  • Creating podcasts and using Soundcloud for audio files.
  • Sharing files with Dropbox, Google Drive etc.
  • Setting up private discussion areas (e.g. Secret Facebook groups, Yammer).
  • Gaining a foothold on social networks, (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).
  • Introduction to Adobe Creative Cloud (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, In Design, Premiere etc.).
  • Demystifying web databases.

To discuss your needs and to book a slot please contact or

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be coming into effect on 25 May 2018. It is the most comprehensive piece of data protection legislation to date, and it requires organizations everywhere to give individuals more control over their own personal data. The Diocese of Oxford is offering training courses at a variety of venues to help us to understand how we can successfully comply with it. They have agreed to run 2 training sessions on 3 March here in Milton Keynes, so hopefully you won’t have to drive further afield. These will be practical sessions working with the guidance published by the Church of England, to help you understand the GDPR and adapt it for use in your own parish. (Further details are available under the Events tab.)

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Leading for a Change

“Leading for a Change” is a programme to equip and empower you as a Christian to bring about positive change.

The kinds of change envisaged lie within two broad categories:
◾Change initiated together with community partners. This may have a focus on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marks of Mission;
◾Change which initiates new missional projects within the church.

The course adopts a community organising model developed by Citizens:MK within a Christian framework by which Christian beliefs, values and purposes are expressed and become drivers for change.

The course has two distinct phases: a teaching phase which takes place at the beginning of the course and an action phase which follows during which participants will take on a Change Project. This latter phase will be supported by regular action learning sets.

We launched the pilot “Leading for a Change” programme this year and we have been delighted by the feedback from the participants:

“The knowledge I have gained through this course has been invaluable and I would recommend the course to anyone who has a leadership role in church or the wider community. It has been a real joy and blessing to meet so many wonderful people on the course from different churches within MK. We have all grown in friendship and faith together.”

“I wasn’t entirely sure why God seemed to be nudging me onto the Leading for a Change Course….but I knew that it might prompt a bit of deliberate ‘God-seeking’ – which is never bad, so I signed up! The action learning sets have been a positive place to bring all sorts of leadership issues for discussion. Overall I think the course would be particularly valuable for Christians who feel on the cusp of a new ministry or have recently embarked on a new mission with God. The conversations the course prompted for me have set me off in a new direction with a greater sense of God’s heart for my community!”

“Although I was unsure why we were doing it at our age I can say that we learned a great deal. I was amazed at the insights we learned and relationships formed at the small group sessions. As Christians we do need to explore more how we can engage and have input for the Lord in our society today and this course has certainly helped to challenge and equip us to do so.”

We will be sharing more about the “Leading for a Change” programme at our Assembly next Wednesday, 29th November (7.30pm at Christ the Vine, Coffee Hall – click here for all the details) and some of our Class of 2017 will be speaking about their experience of the programme, what they have learnt and the different kinds of projects the course can lead to.

To find out more, download the “Leading for a Change” brochure from the Mission Partnership website (

Is God is calling you in this direction? We look forward to hearing from you!

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COMPASS Courses Summer 2017

Details of COMPASS Courses for the Summer term are now available.

Our Preaching Life course will continue on Thursday evenings. We also have two new courses:

* The Soul’s Sap Quivers. Exploring faith through the works of four major poets – Thursday evenings at All Saints, Loughton

* The Bible at the Museum (and Library!) – 2 x Tuesday evenings at Christ the Vine, Coffee Hall plus a day trip to the British Museum, and optional excursion to the British Library

The leaflet containing further information and how to apply is attached. It can also be found here – and hard copies can be found in your church.

Please note there are a limited number of places available for ‘The Bible at the Museum (and Library)’ course.

Download Leaflet: Invalid download ID.

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