Formation for lay ministry

Stratum is a seven-month formation programme for people involved in significant lay ministry such as children and family workers, pastoral care coordinators, vicar’s or people’s wardens, youth pastors, lay preachers and worship leaders.

Stratum is not a series of skills-based workshops. It is a formation journey which invites participants to deepen their understanding of themselves in relation to God and others.

In John’s Gospel, Jesus says, “When you become fruitful disciples of mine, my Father will be honoured.” To produce bountiful harvests, good gardeners pay attention to what’s below the surface, the topsoil, and the underlying substructure. In the same way, this programme seeks to develop mature disciples by deepening our understanding of ourselves in relation to God and others.

What does the programme look like?

Key principles include:

  • anchoring meetings in scripture and worship
  • deepening discipleship through spiritual practices
  • using the strengths of our Anglican tradition
  • shaping community through caring for others
  • applying lessons learnt to local context
  • growing competencies in leadership, conflict management, boundaries and accountability.

Who might take part?

People in significant Anglican lay ministry such as children and family workers, youth leaders, wardens, pastoral care coordinators, preachers, and worship leaders. The group is limited to 12 people.

What is the time commitment?

The programme is seven months long. It includes three weekend retreats: 28-30 April, 28-30 July and 27-29 October, and five monthly weekday evening meetings (including dinner).

Who leads it?

The 2023 programme will be led by diocesan Lay Ministry Developer Karen Spoelstra and Anglican lay leaders Chris Clarke – CEO of the Wilberforce Foundation and former CEO of World Vision New Zealand, and Andrew Saunders – leadership consultant, coach, supervisor and spiritual director.

What does it cost?

The programme is heavily subsidised by the diocese but participants and ministry units each contribute to the cost.

Feedback from participants

“I really valued having a safe space to be myself and to meet such a wonderful group of people who I could be real with, who I could journey alongside and connect with.”

“This has been an amazing time of growth and refreshment for me.”


For more information, contact Karen Spoelstra

Stratum 2023