Ordination is both a personal and a corporate journey. God calls, the individual responds and the church affirms.
There is a clear pathway in the diocese for those who wish to test a vocation to ordained ministry.
The first step for anyone feeling that God may be calling them to ordained ministry is to go and talk it over with their vicar or rector. S/he will advise them, perhaps suggest some reading to be done or some experience to be gained or task to be undertaken. When the candidate is ready they and their parish priest complete an initial form (click here to find the link to the forms) and email it to the DDO, John Darch. An initial interview is then arranged with one of the Suffragan Bishops who, if they recognise a fledgling vocation, will refer the candidate to the diocesan Vocations Advisers.
A team of experienced advisers throughout the diocese who are co-ordinated by the The Revd. Cath Braithwaite (firstname.lastname@example.org). The candidate will have a short series of meetings with one of the advisers talking about how they feel God is calling them to ordained ministry (either stipendiary or SSM) and exploring a number of foundational vocational issues.
After the Vocations Advisers have endorsed the candidate s/he then works for a period of several months with one of the DDO Team (pictured above) focusing specifically on the Church of England’s selection criteria.
As part of this process the candidate will be required to undertake a one-month placement in a parish different to the one they come from (and maybe further reading and writing) in order to gain a wider experience of the diversity of the Church of England. When it is felt that the candidate is ready to proceed they are referred to the diocesan Examining Chaplains.
The candidate will have three separate in-depth interviews with three Examining Chaplains (one Vocational, one Pastoral, one Educational). They present written reports to the Sponsoring Bishop who then interviews the candidate and makes the decision on whether or not they should proceed to a BAP.
Bishops’ Advisory Panel (BAP)
Formerly known as a Selection Conference the BAP takes place from Monday afternoon to Wednesday lunchtime and candidates from across the Church of England are interviewed and assessed as the final part of the discernment process. The BAP makes its recommendation to the Sponsoring Bishop who then informs the candidate of his decision.
Pre-Ordination Training (IME Phase 1)
Recommended candidates become ‘ordinands’ and train for two or three years (dependent on age and qualifications), either at a residential theological college, on a context-based course, or locally at the All Saints Centre for Mission and Ministry. After ordination their training continues as the candidate serves a curacy (IME Phase 2). See: Curate Training
Click here for our policy on age at ordination.