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Last updated 9th August 2017

What does vocation mean?

Vocation is a ‘calling’ from God, unique to each person - no two vocations are the same. A vocation is something particular that God is asking us to do with and in our lives and which only we can fulfil as part of our whole life discipleship journey.

Cardinal Newman put it this way:                

“God has created me to do him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another”

God may call us to different things at different times in our lives. He may call us out for his purpose to:

  • work in a job that enables you to serve others for Jesus' sake  eg Jonathan English talks about being a maths teacher at a high school 
  • to work or volunteer for an organisation that works for the benefit of our community, eg Dan Bishop talks about being a Christian Youth Worker at a high school 

as well as being active in our local church. 


Within the Church of England setting there are many opportunities to use your gifts in formal ministry following training and licensing as a:

  • paid/unpaid deacons/priests serving in a parish 
  • paid/unpaid chaplains (lay or ordained) serving in settings such as a prison, hospital, university or the armed forces 
  • Pioneer Ministers (lay or ordained) serving in non-traditional settings 
  • Church Army worker serving in a parish or project setting
  • Reader  

There are many opportunities for informal ministry including:

  • Occasional preacher
  • Leading worship
  • Pastoral care
  • Spiritual direction
  • Children, family and youth work
  • Involvement with Fresh Expressions of church
  • Parish adminsitration and governance
  • And many other roles, ask your parish priest

There are also a number of opportunities for younger people to test their calling through:

Please click on the relevant links to find out more about each role.

If you are interested in taking your calling to ordained or licensed ministry further, please would you (and your vicar) also read the 'discernment process' guide and complete the Candidate's form . Your vicar should also complete the incumbent's referral form.

Alternatively please contact our Vocations Co-ordinator; The Revd Catherine Hale vocation@blackburn.anglican.org for an informal conversation

The following websites might also be of help: