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I think God may be calling me to serve as an ordained minister - so now what? What next?

The Revd Canon Nick Bird

Diocesan Adviser for Vocations (DDO)

07354 451695

Exploring ordained ministry as a priest or deacon

Your first conversations should, if possible, be with your local church leader; this may be very quick or it may take several meetings as well as much prayer.

If, after this, you would like to explore your calling further, they will put you in contact with the Vocations Network Coordinator, Revd Anna Burr. After an initial conversation and a bit of paperwork, she will put you in touch with one of the team of Vocation Advisers located around the Diocese, who are themselves a mixture of lay, ordained and Religious.

The Vocations Adviser will work with you to explore your calling in depth, as well as the journey that brought you to this point and the shape of your discipleship. They will recommend particular reading and may suggest that you have a placement in a different church for a while. If the Vocations Adviser believes that your calling may be to ordained ministry, they will arrange for you to meet with the Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO), Nick Bird. You are likely to meet your local bishop around this time, and the Vocations Team will make a decision as to whether you might attend a Stage 1 Panel, run by the national church, which is part of the Shared Discernment Process.

If everyone agrees that your calling to ordained ministry should be explored further, the DDO will arrange for you to meet with one of Assistant DDOs (ADDO), who will begin the work of preparing you for a second national panel. On the recommendation of the DDO you will have a second meeting your local bishop who will consider whether to sponsor you to attend a national discernment event (a Stage 2 Panel) – which recommends whether someone is ready to enter training for ordained ministry.

If at any stage in the discernment process you conclude that your calling may be to another recognised ministry within the Church (such as Reader or Authorised Lay Minister), you will be put in touch with an appropriate adviser who will support you in that process of prayer and discovery. Many people simply realise that they are called to be where they already are, and we would want to affirm them in that.

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