All set to celebrate ordination weekend!

Every summer the Church of England celebrates the ordination of new deacons and priests.

Across Bath and Wells this weekend (30 June and 1 July) we are delighted to be ordaining ten priests – those who have served one year of their curacy – and nine deacons – new reverends being ordained for the first time.  For the first time in over ten years, the diocese is hosting ordination services in local churches as well as Wells Cathedral.

Join us as we pray for all our ordinands in the rich variety of their traditions and vocations.

Amongst the nine new reverends are a professional singer, an artist, a dance teacher, a drama teacher a former student of music and a director of a growing organisation which coordinates contemporary worship nights for young people.

“They are a really pioneering and creative bunch, which reflects our aspirations as a diocese” says Revd Sue Rose, Vocations Team Leader.

Michelle Taylor and Suse Ison-Stierer are two of our #NewRevs. Read their stories here.

Over 400 ordinands will be ordained  as deacons in the Church of England this summer. On Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, some of their stories will be highlighted in the Church’s #NewRevs campaign.

This newest generation of clergy will join others in leading churches through prayer, teaching, and worship. In doing so, they will further the mission of the Church, to be a Church for all people and for all places.

What exactly is ordination?

  • Ordination is a church service that marks the beginning of a lifetime of service as a member of the clergy. Vicars are probably the most well-known type of clergy.
  • Those training to be ordained, are known as ordinands.
  • During an ordination service, ordinands make lifelong vows, which include promises to share the gospel and serve their communities.
  • A bishop will pray that the ordinands have the gifts to lead the Church in worship, pastoral care, and mission.

When do ordinations happen? 

  • Traditionally, most ordination services take place at the end of June, during Petertide.
  • Petertide is a feast day marking the martyrdom of Saint Peter, the fisherman, who as a disciple of Jesus was an instrumental figure in the early church.
  • Ordination services usually take place in cathedrals, in Bath and Wells we are ringing the changes with ordinations in four locations across the diocese.

How does one become an ordinand?

  • Those being ordained would have felt called by God to serve as a deacon or priest. For some, this will have involved many years of praying before making the commitment to come forward.
  • Almost everyone being ordained as a deacon this summer, will have completed a training course at one of the theological education institutes (TEIs) based around the country.
  • Before entering a TEI, ordinands would have gone through a selection process, where candidates are tested on a range of topics, such as their understanding of the Church, their faith, their sense of vocation, leadership, and collaboration.
  • Training courses typically take two to three years. After the course, ordinands will normally receive either a bachelor’s degree or a diploma of higher education.
  • Tuition fees for ordinands are covered by the Church; the Church also pays a contribution towards ordinands’ living expenses.

How have ordinand numbers changed over the years?

  • Last year more than 500 people started training, an increase of 14% on 2016.
  • In 2017, the number of women entering training grew by 19%, the highest in a decade and accounting for just over half the cohort.
  • The number of young people (under 32), entering training last year grew 39% on 2016, representing 28% of those entering training in 2017.

What happens to the ordinands after ordination?

  • Newly ordained clergy begin their ministerial life as deacons. The first jobs they do are called curacies (they are known as curates).
  • After a year, most deacons are ordained again as a priest. Although some choose to remain as deacons throughout their ministry.


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