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Training of all members, leaders and co-leaders is essential for growth and multiplication of cells


Every cell member is a potential cell leader or co-leader. It is essential to the strategy of growth and multiplication of cells that training is offered to cell members at regular intervals to ensure a sufficient supply of co-leaders and leaders that can support the birthing of daughter cells once each cell reaches around 10-12 members.

It is also important to provide ongoing training formation for existing cell leaders and co-leaders perhaps in the form of an annual retreat or "away day" so that they might grow in their example of missionary discipleship and further enhance their gifts of lay pastoral support and leadership.


Training materials

The International Council for the Parish Evangelisation Cell System has published its training manual online and this is a useful starting point to give an overview of PECS, the methods of oikos evangelisation, the structure of a cell meeting and some principles of cell leadership.

We also recommend the Leaders Training Manual published by Fr Michael Hurley on behalf of the Leixlip Parish Cell System of Evangelisation in Ireland. This is a printed manual and copies are available to purchase from the Leixlip team.

Links to these resources and other suggested materials can be found on our Resources pages. We hope to grow this list of resources as further materials are developed.

Support from other Parishes

For the initial training of the Parish core team / executive cell and the founding group of leaders, it might make sense to link in with another Parish that has already rolled out PECS to see if they can support the initial training and share their accumulated experience. Please refer to our PECS Parish Directory for details of parishes in your area. Alternatively, send us a message using our Contact Us form or drop us an email and we will help where we can.

PECS Seminars

Another option is for a Parish group to attend a national PECS Seminar these are usually hosted in England on an annual or biennial basis. An International PECS Seminar is also organised annually and hosted in Milan. Both of these events would provide a good training opportunity for current or prospective cell leaders. Details will always be published in our Upcoming Events section.


Each group of prospective leaders and co-leaders will have different learning needs with regards cell leadership and this may also vary between Parishes. A local training event will need to take this into account and perhaps use a combination of ideas and materials from the manuals, other PECS parishes and from Seminars attended. These can then be prayerfully considered, combined and adapted to the needs of the local group.

Nevertheless, we thought it might be helpful to produce an outline of the suggested content / topics you may wish to cover on a training/induction day:


  • Local practices

    • Cell system/structure in your parish

    • Membership and roles of the Parish Executive Cell / core team

    • Administrative processes

      • Registration forms and Membership database

      • Distribution of teaching materials

      • Process for meeting feedback/evaluation forms

    • Ongoing formation and pastoral support for leaders/co-leaders

    • Retreat days for cell leadership team

    • Spiritual direction for cell leaders

  1. Pray to the Father so that, through Jesus, He might fill you with the Holy Spirit.

  2. Be an authentic adherent to the Gospel: people believe words when they truly reflect the life of the speaker.

  3. Pray daily for each cell member.

  4. Be present throughout the week: even a phone call or a meeting have their importance!

  5. Serve your cell members and train them to serve others.

  6. Prepare for your cell meeting with prayer.

  7. Study the teaching material in advance of meetings in order to brief yourself on the contents and thus be in a position to answer questions.

  8. Create a climate of warm cordiality, of friendship and joy during the cell meetings.

  9. Help everyone to take part without assuming a dominant role.

  10. Infuse every heart with the ardent desire to evangelise.

Ten commandments for the leader

What are the ingredients of the "success" of a cell? Here is a receipt of almost certain efficacy:


  • COMMUNICATE with a person who has a desire for the Lord.

  • ADD other eager Christians, with those who desire to meet Jesus or to know him better.

  • BLEND in a balanced and interesting sharing of faith.

  • ADD in a good dose of prayer and personal commitment.

  • STIR in a spoonful of common sense.

  • DROP in a pinch of humour.

  • SKIM off professional terminology and emotionalism.

  • SEASON with generous portions of acceptance and personal interest.

  • REMOVE "holier-than-thou" attitudes as well as excessive preaching.

  • ALLOW the Holy Spirit to lift hearts to worship and praise the Lord.

Follow this recipe to ensure your cells will almost never "burn, overbake or become insipid, sour or lifeless".

The Cell dynamic recipe
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