The role of a religious leader is to give spiritual support and guidance to their members, as well as leading religious services and other events.
In the UK the main religions are: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, although there are many others and each has a different title for their religious leaders. The work can include leading services and prayers, writing sermons that give teaching on the religion, running various classes to do with the religion, visiting or having meetings with various members of the congregation, and supporting people who may have issues. There is also work connected with naming, marriage and funeral ceremonies.
Religious leaders are involved in other aspects of their community, working with other groups, agencies and those of other faiths, to bring understanding and to develop community cohesion.
People who do this work have a strong commitment to their religion; they have leadership and communication skills and are able to motivate others.
What it takes
What it takes:
- knowledge of philosophy and religion
- sensitivity and understanding
- customer service skills
- leadership skills
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to use your initiative
- knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Day to day
Day to day:
Your duties will depend on your faith, but may include
- praying and studying your religion
- encouraging commitment to the faith
- leading regular religious services or ceremonies
- conducting services and ceremonies for religious festivals, holy days and events such as births, marriages and deaths
- explaining the meaning of your faith's teachings
- educating people who are converting to your faith
- supporting people at difficult times in their lives
- representing your faith within the community
- being a role model for your followers
- meeting representatives of other faiths and communities
- fundraising and doing administration
You could work in an office, from home, in a prison, in a place of worship or in a hospital.
You may wear a uniform.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.