Ordained Local Ministry – Ordination of Carol Hennessy

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The Ordination of Carol Hennessy will take place on Sunday 15th September in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Trim at 4pm. 

Carol is being ordained as a deacon in the Ordained Local Ministry and will be attached to Geashill Union of Parishes, working with Canon Isaac Delamere.

We remember Carol in our prayers.


At the General Synod in 2017, synod members endorsed the Commission on Ministry’s request that the House of Bishops ‘implement the selection and training for Ordained Local Ministry (OLM) with as little delay as possible’. (Book of Reports 2017, page 336)

Hence, in September 2018, twenty–six candidates from eight dioceses began training for OLM in the Church of Ireland; 12 from Northern Ireland and 14 from the Republic.

A further ten candidates are expected to begin training this September.


What is OLM in the Church of Ireland?

First and foremost, 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.

Secondly, 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.

Thirdly, 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.

Fourthly, 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.

Fifthly, 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.

Sixthly, 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.


To find out more about Ordained Local Ministry visit: https://www.ireland.anglican.org/news/8799/faqs-ordained-local-ministry