The most recent RPA course finished in Scarborough with a great sense of celebration. Gavin Wakefield, Diocesan Director of Training for Missional Ministry, was present to share as people spoke of their own development during the course, and to give the certificates. As always this was a very moving and inspirational time.

Would-be RPAs from a variety of town, estate and village parishes in Scarborough Deanery took part in all four strands of RPA training. Worship leaders are involved in Sunday worship and new services, Children’s workers in Messy Church among other work, more pastoral visitors were trained, and a group looked at reaching new people in the Mission part of the course. Tutors included Readers Julia Jones and John Wells from Scarborough, and Jean Fowler from Bridlington Priory.

Involved in ministry and wanting to develop your skills? Sensing a call to try something new? Just two of the reasons people offer to be RPAs – or other people volunteer them!

Recognised Parish Assistants serve in their local context, in church, parish, chaplaincy and at work. Rooted locally, RPAs work with the support of their PCC and alongside other Christians.

The course is usually offered across a Deanery, and open to other folk in travelling distance. A parish might send a group of people, or just one person. There are RPAs in churches large and small.

There will hopefully be other sorts of ministry in your church – welcomers, baptism visitors, musicians, lay worship leaders, toddler groups or schools work for example. Many who already use their gifts in your church will find that the RPA course gives knowledge and confidence. There may be others who are testing the water of a new call to deepen discipleship, ready to play a more active part. RPA might be just the thing to help that call became clearer.

Other courses are underway in Beverley and York, and it is not too soon to think about whether this could be for you in 2019. Contact