RPAs - Recognised Parish Assistants

Carol Lawson and Wendy Sculthorp have recently taken on new responsibilities at St Luke's as RPAs..

Carol and WendyThis is a role for trained lay people who would like to be more involved in the ministry of the church and to share their talents and gifts.

There are three areas in which to develop your skills – Pastoral Care, Mission and Worship. Everyone shares the first section of learning and the listening skills element then you split into your chosen area.

The listening skills section is different to what you would expect and most people find this method fairly challenging – but everyone hangs in. Practicing the technique is essential and then you can develop your own way of listening following the guidance of the Acorn method.

The RPA duties are in place for three years and continuing events and learning are offered. It is a great opportunity to further one’s own aspirations and gather skills to serve others in Christ. What I found gratifying was the immense fellowship experienced with the other members on the course. The experience has helped me to look closely at myself and how I can assist in serving the people of my local church.

I chose the Pastoral Care path and gained insight into how to visit the sick, bereaved and elderly. Listening skills is a major part of the course and I learned how to listen in a variety of situations. The vicar at our church felt that it would also be an advantage to licence us to give communion. We have drawn up an agreement and I am starting to take up my duties.

I am looking forward to being an active member of our church community.

• • •

If you feel that God is calling you to develop your spiritual gifts, have  a look at what the RPA scheme could offer you and your church.



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