Local Pastors

Lay people have always played a significant role in the history of Methodism although the nature and extent of that role has varied over the years. They have readily responded to whatever God has called them to do and risen to the challenges facing the church alongside their ordained colleagues. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century the Methodist Church is responding to a shortage in the number of ordinands offering for Presbyteral ministry. At the same time, there is a spirit-led rise amongst lay people to respond to the call to share in the local leadership of churches. This has resulted in the creation of the role of Local Pastor

[This page is in the process of being updated to showcase more recent stories and resources – Oct 23]

Introduction & Promotional video

Local Lay Pastors are people engaged in lay ministry authorised by a local church or circuit and acting in a pastoral and mission leadership role in a local congregation. They may be paid or voluntary, full-time or part-time. They are commissioned to engage in pastoral ministry and mission on behalf of, and in collaboration with, local church members, for specified periods of time.  An individual’s ministry will vary according to their gifts and skills, and the local situation.

  • Is this something to which God is calling you as a lay person in your own faith journey?  A way to use the gifts God has given you?
  • Or perhaps as an ordained Presbyter you would welcome a colleague to share with you in local ministry, taking some of the pressures from your shoulders and replacing it with the joy of shared ministry?
  • If so, then this is a short introduction to both the role and the two models of Local Pastor which the District has embraced.

Full Interviews (30 min version)


Methodist Church Website:
Supporting Local Ministry Menu

Competencies for a Local Lay Pastor

Local Lay Pastors paper to Methodist Council April 2022

Training at Cliff Collage for local pastors – Foundations for Mission and Ministry

Good News Stories

Here are some people and places that have employed a local lay pastor around our district:

Tadcaster Circuit – Eileen
Ripon and Lower Dales – Catherine
Pateley Bridge – Alan
Nidd Valley – Clair
North Yorkshire Coast –
South Holderness – Steve
York Circuit – Lousia, Alyson, and John
Hull Centre & West – Peter


If you would like to know more feel free to contact Heather Shipman (Lead Local Pastor) or Revd Ruth Gilson-Webb (Assistant Chair – Church Development) from the District Team if you would like to talk further.
Heather – heatherashipman@gmail.com
Ruth – ruth.gilson-webb@methodist.org.uk