First, we are committed to offering bright, enthusiastic, young Christian people the opportunity to work in our parishes to the greater glory of God and for the building up of the Church.
Second, we want to make a positive contribution to the life of the Church of England, by providing a steady stream of gifted, young candidates for ordination, who have been fired with enthusiasm for priestly ministry by the experience of life in our vibrant Anglo-Catholic parishes.
If you sense that the Lord might be calling you in some way to offer your life to him, we hope you will enjoy finding out about the life and work of Pastoral Assistants here in North London.
Our website will tell you more about our vision for Pastoral Assistants and about the places in which we work.
A key aspect of the Pastoral Assistant experience is living an intentional life of prayer and service in community. Learning to love and respect one’s colleagues is a vital element of formation for life in the Church. We do not think of Pastoral Assistants simply lodging in the same place but we aim to cultivate a purposeful common life for the support and enjoyment of all, remembering the words of the Psalmist, “How very good and pleasant it is, when kindred dwell together in unity” (Ps 133. 1)
The NLPA scheme also offers a part-pathway, allowing you to volunteer in one of our parishes as a member of the scheme alongside other full and part time Pastoral Assistants to gain experience of parish mission and ministry and support to explore your vocation alongside your full or part time work or study commitments. The minimum time commitment is 3-4 hours a week, including Sunday mornings
Each Pastoral Assistant is offered a weekly time of supervision with an experienced priest. This is to make sure Pastoral Assistants have the opportunity to reflect on their experience and discuss the pastoral situations they have experienced.
Supervisors are also particularly keen to help Pastoral Assistants who are considering ordination to navigate their way through the selection process. Many former PAs are now at theological college or serving the Church as priests up and down the country.
In addition to supervision in the parish, our Pastoral Assistants benefit from an external supervisor to whom they can bring concerns and get different perspective from as well as participating in regular formation sessions. Some of these aim primarily to deepen the spiritual aspects of the role and life, whilst others have a more theological focus and engage with basic themes in Christian doctrine, biblical study and moral theology.
London has long had an attraction for young adults, whether they be university graduates looking for their first job, or those wanting to experience all that this city has to offer. As a Pastoral Assistant in London you should expect to experience the diverse, challenging and rapidly-changing nature of this great world city. At first, the frenetic pace of can seem overwhelming, but our Pastoral Assistants leave London better equipped for the challenges of ministry in the 21st century, using their experience gained here in the service of the wider Church.
For many, London can be a lonely and bewildering place, and our churches find themselves increasingly forming the centres of community where otherwise traditional forms of community have broken down. As we seek to draw people into the life of Christ, we do so by drawing them into community: this is what our worship, outreach and service seek to do, and our Pastoral Assistants have a key role in this aspect of our work.