Since September 2018, a new form of ministry has been established in the Church of Ireland called Ordained Local Ministry (OLM). Nine of the twelve C of I dioceses are now involved (Dublin & Glendalough is not one of these). The features of this ministry are:
- It is an ordained ministry – OLMs are deacons and priests in the fullest sense of the word.
- It is a local ministry – limited to the parish/group of parishes, rural deanery or archdeaconry.
- 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.
- It is a recognised ministry. It is 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.
- It is missional – not simply about filling gaps but intended to expand the missional outreach of the local Church community.
There are currently 74 candidates training for ordination, of whom 44 are training to be OLMs.
Rev Ken co-ordinates the OLM course and will be attending a weekend led by three Bishops from 10th to 12th January.