(1) Training and Examination
(i) Candidates for the position of lay pastors shall be accredited lay preachers of the Methodist Church.
(ii) Conference shall annually prescribe the syllabus for examinations for Lay Pastors n the recommendation of the Lay Pastors’ Committee. It shall be printed in the Minutes of the Conference each year.
(iii) The Committee on Lay Pastors and Local Preachers shall be responsible for the examination of candidates for the work of Lay Pastors, and the committees shall advise the Standing committee each year of the names of the examiners.
(iv) Circuit Ministers shall be authorized to conduct examinations.
(v) (a) Lay Pastors’ examinations shall be held at the same
time in all circuits.
(b) Following the March Lay pastors meeting, the Divisional Superintendent shall advise the church office of the number of examination papers which will be required in the Division.
(vi) Training of Indian Lay Pastors:
(a) The year of training for Lay pastors shall be from 1st July to 30th June in the following year.
(b) Written examinations for Lay pastors in training shall be held in April, and the results report to the Annual Meeting.
(c) Lay Pastors who have satisfactorily completed a year of training shall be said to commence their next year of training on 1st July following the Annual Meeting.
(vii) Studies shall be translated into Fijian for Fijian Lay Pastors.
(viii) Rotuman Lay Pastors may be examined in their vernacular by Rotuman examiners.
Qualified Lay Pastors shall be issued with certificates of qualification to be presented at the Annual Meetings.
(3) Dedication Service
A service of dedication shall be held for those Lay Pastors who have completed their examinations.
(a) The appointment of Lay Pastors shall be the responsibility of the respective Annual Meetings.
(b) Lay Pastors shall not be permitted to remain for more than five years in any appointment.
(c) No one who has not passed Lay Pastors examinations shall be paid his removal expenses.
(5) Induction Service
If possible, an induction service shall be conducted by the circuit minister at the appointment of a Lay Pastor.
It shall be the responsibility of the Divisional Superintendent to see and report to the Annual Meeting that the Lay Pastors are properly housed.
(a) The minimum salary rate shall be fixed by the Conference.
(b) It shall be open to any circuit to increase the salary.
(c) Lay pastors shall receive their salaries monthly, fortnightly
or weekly according to a pre-determine arrangement made at the quarterly Meeting.
(a) Fulltime Lay Pastors shall be given leave as provided in the Leave Conditions of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma.
(b) They shall ask permission for leave from the Quarterly Meeting; Long leave shall be finally approved in the Annual Meeting.
(c) They shall receive their salary for the period of their leave but fares shall be their own responsibility.
Lay Pastors shall retire at an age of 55 to 60.
(10) Retirement Fund
(a) Conference shall determine the amount of money to be
known as the Lay Pastor Retiring Fund.
(b) Each Lay pastor shall contribute half of his retirement fund.
(c) The circuit to which the Lay pastor has been appointed
shall contribute half of the Lay Pastors Retirement Fund.
(d) The Lay Pastor Retirement Fund shall be kept by the Connexional Office.
(e) On his retirement, the Lay Pastor shall receive the full
contributions due to him together with interests accrued
(his own contribution and the circuit’s).
(f) If a Lay Pastor’s term of service is terminated or if he
leaves or neglects his duties without cause, he shall only be eligible for his own contributions. He shall not be entitled
to contributions from the Circuit.
(11) Personal Life
Lay Pastors are required to observe the Guidelines on Temperance
relating to abstinence fro alcoholic drinks. (see below).
The membership for the Conference Committee for Lay Pastors
and Lay Preachers shall include:
The Principals of the Theological College and MLTC, the Administrator of the Deaconess Order, the Secretary for Non-Formal Education, 4 Lay Pastors, from more than one circuit, including one from the Indian Division, 3 Lay Preachers at least one to be a woman, Ministers as decided by the Conference.
(13) Representation at Conference
A Lay Pastor (Catechist) on the Committee for Lay Pastors and Lay Preachers, who is already a member of the Conference, shall be appointed by the Committee to represent Lay Pastors in the Conference.