The Vocations Team is concerned with identifying and encouraging the gifts of all and developing new routes to lay and ordained ministry. They assess candidates for ordained ministry, Reader ministry, pioneer ministry and support Ordinands as they progress, as well as manage and develop the young vocations initiative.
Vocation is about calling, and our baptism heralds a call to ministry for all Christians. The vocations team within the diocese helps those who want to explore the nature of God’s calling and what that might mean in terms of service and hence appropriate preparation and training for ministry, lay and ordained.
Julia Hill, Lay Ministries Developer, is responsible for encouraging lay vocations, including commended and licenced vocations (e.g. Reader, Lay Worship Assistant, Lay Pastoral Assistant, Lay Chaplains) but also encouraging lay people to perceive the opportunities for ministry in their workplaces and communities.
For those who want to explore a calling to ordained ministry we have a Director of Vocations, (Revd Sue Rose). She works with a group of advisers, Vocations Chaplains, spread across the diocese with two in each archdeaconry. They are available to listen with enquirers to what God is saying.
Because the formative period of an ordained person’s journey is critical, the Director of Vocations is also involved in Initial Ministerial Education (IME) which covers the minister’s curacy i.e. the four years of ordained ministry. That said, discerning vocations is not confined to just the beginning of a role within the church or the wider world; it is an on-going process that shapes and directs us throughout our lives while we are open to God’s leading.