More information will follow in due course
ORDAINED LOCAL MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH OF IRELAND
• It is an ordained ministry – OLMs are deacons and priests in the fullest sense of the word. A priest is a priest and an OLM is not in any way a second class ordained minister. They have a different role but their orders are second to none.
• It is a local ministry – limited to the parish/group of parishes, rural deanery or archdeaconry. However, ‘local’ may be defined in that context. Hence the selection is for a diocese by a diocese and ministry is subject to the bishop’s licence for a particular locality. Local is not a diminutive term – local ministry is about valuing the locality and empowering the local congregation.
• It is a self–supporting ministry – transfer to any form of stipendiary or what is known as non–stipendiary ministry is not possible without attending a Selection Conference and completion of full ministerial training.
• It is a supervised ministry – an OLM is always supervised by a stipendiary priest. He/she may have pastoral and liturgical oversight of a parish and be the go–to priest but an overseeing rector/rural dean/archdeacon should always be responsible for administration and chairs the select vestry.
• It is a recognised ministry. It is a particular ministry recognised by the Church and for which training has been undertaken and ongoing support is required.
• It is a collaborative or team or companion ministry. An OLM is always part of a team of clergy and lay people there to facilitate a ‘healthy church’. The OLM should always see that an essential part of his/her role is to support and work with the stipendiary priest.
• It is missional – not simply about filling gaps but intended to expand the missional outreach of the local Church community.