What is a Pastoral Assistant?

Pastoral Assistants in our parishes are young men and women who live, work and pray together at the service of the People of God. Typically, Pastoral Assistants are in their early to mid-twenties and we particularly welcome applications from people who are considering a vocation to ordained ministry in the Church of England.

Priest lighting church candles


The life and work of a Pastoral Assistant is deeply rooted in prayer and the daily rhythm of Morning and Evening Prayer are a foundational element of our life. Most days Pastoral Assistants also come together for the celebration of the Eucharist.

Pastoral Assistants are encouraged to use a Spiritual Director to help them reflect theologically on the work they do and to help them grow in the habits of holiness.

Candles in church


Pastoral Assistants get a very full experience of preparation for and participation in the Church’s liturgy. We encourage our PAs to serve at Mass, to read the Scriptures and to lead intercessions. Often it will be appropriate for Pastoral Assistants to preach or to officiate at the laying on of hands during liturgical celebrations of the Sacrament of the Sick.

The daily round of the liturgy enables PAs to experience the deep rhythms of the Church’s year and helps them to be drawn by the Spirit more fully into the mystery of Christ.

Serving food

Pastoral Work

Pastoral Assistants play a vital role in the pastoral ministry of our parishes. Typically, they are involved in school ministry, hospital chaplaincy, winter night shelter co-ordination, pastoral visiting, running study groups and many other varied ways of ministering to God’s people.

We encourage each other to see the image and likeness of God in every single human person, especially those least noticed by the rest of the world.

Our pastoral activity is integral to the work of mission in our parishes. But Pastoral Assistants can also play a key role in mission and evangelisation by maintaining our websites and using social media to promote our life and witness.

Living in North London means being a close neighbour to the whole world. People in our parishes are rich and poor, young and old, fit and frail. London is a world city and Pastoral Assistants engage with a massive variety of cultures during their time with us.