Guidelines for the Funding of Parish Lay Ecclesial Ministers (2019)

Parish Priests and Administrators are invited to submit an application to the Pastoral Associate Funding Assessment Committee for consideration for the funding of a Lay Ecclesial Minister (LEM), i.e. a Pastoral Worker, Pastoral Associate or Senior Pastoral Associate, for the 2019 Church financial year.


The funding is to assist with the parish’s own financial contribution to the employment of a Lay Ecclesial Minister. The level of a parish’s contribution must indicate a preparedness and ability to support a LEM’s salary and a proposed budget for 2019 is required to support the application.
Each application will be duly considered and the following principles will be applied in review of applications for 2019:

  1. Parishes seeking funding for the first time will be given priority.
    • The funding will be allocated to support the engagement of a LEM as a new pastoral strategy.
    • Allocation of funds will not exceed $18,000.00 in the first year and applications must demonstrate a parish’s financial difficulty in meeting the salary costs of the LEM.
  2. If funding has been received by a parish on a previous occasion, please demonstrate the parish’s strategies for increasing its income to support the LEM’s salary.
  3. It is expected that parishes, in general, will not receive funding for a period more than three (3) years and the funding will be in decreasing amounts. Where there are exceptions to this, an appropriate assessment of the parish’s financial status is made and an assessment of financial priorities considered.
  4. All applications will be assessed against Parish Annual Reports held by the Archdiocese and forwarded with the application. This data will be used to assess the parish’s capacity to meet LEM costs into the future. Parishes will need to indicate their proposed financial planning to meet salary costs in the future (i.e. Planned thanksgiving programmes or other fundraising opportunities).
  5. Advice about how the employment of a LEM assists with the living out of the parish pastoral plan is to be included in the application, along with evidence of commitment to a collaborative leadership approach.
  6. Funding will be allocated only to those parishes where the LEM is accredited under the Archdiocesan Lay Ecclesial Ministers Accreditation Standards or working towards accreditation.
  7. LEM’s for whom the funding is sought must be engaged for no less than 20 hours per week with the applying employer.
  8. The LEM must be engaged in those areas of ministry broadly described in the position descriptions contained in the LEM Accreditation Standards document and the parish must have agreements in place in conformity with either the model agreement Conditions of employment for Pastoral Associates 2011 or the PA Model Agreement for Religious 2011 along with support and accountability processes.
  9. Applications will only be considered for LEM salary (it is not a funding support for other salaries). Recipient parishes will need to agree to abide by the remuneration guidelines set by Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne in the Pastoral Associate remuneration setting and review document. NB. Pastoral Worker salaries are not set in this document.
  10. To assist in identifying the value of the funding, a member of the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation team will visit parishes to provide encouragement and support in the second half of the funding year.
  11. The Diocesan Pastoral and Development Fund, through the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation, wishes to encourage parishes in their engagement of LEM’s. The funds available are limited and applying parishes are asked to be attentive to the overall financial arrangements of their parish.
  12. Applications for funding are to be made using the application form below and lodged under the signature of the Parish Priest/Administrator. The application form and other supporting documents are to copied and forwarded to Johanna Carroll in the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation by Tuesday 13 November 2018: 

Johanna Carroll
Secretariat for Lay Ecclesial Ministry
Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation
PO Box 146, East Melbourne Vic 8002
Phone: 9926 5765

If a parish requires assistance with their application or support to prepare the pastoral plan, please contact:

Jacqui Giuliano
Parish Leadership Formation
Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation
Phone: 9926 5687

The Committee will consider all applications and parishes will be advised of the outcome in mid-December. Successful parishes will receive funding in late 2018.


N.B. A copy of these guidelines was sent to all parish offices in September 2018.

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