Joel Mennie from Bath talks about his call to become ordained
I took some time to respond to what I believe is God’s call on my life to be ordained.
My journey began when I was living and working in Cambridge. I had, at the time, a number of friends who were studying at Ridley Hall, which is one of the ordination colleges in the City. I would often meet up with them and would ask inquisitively about their experiences, and how they were led up to this point in their lives. Their stories, hopes and aspirations were ones with which I could easily relate. As they spoke, a passion and excitement at the possibility that my life may take a similar course, was stirring in me.
A couple of years rolled by and I had moved to Bath, married, and was pursuing a new occupation. I was very happy with my situation. Yet the call was still the same, it was becoming too strong to avoid any longer. I knew I had to do something about it.
I met first with my incumbent, who affirmed the idea that I should pursue this call further. He put me in touch with the vocations adviser, who then referred me to the DDO (Diocesan Director of Ordinands). For the past three years I have been meeting with various people in the Bath & Wells vocations team who have stood by me, challenged me, advised me, prayed for and prayed with me. I have been on placements, written essays, and have read countless number of books. I have laughed, and cried. I have known times of happiness, and sadness. I have thought long and hard about the route my life has taken up to this point, and route that it may take in the future. I have learnt a lot about myself, the church, this world, and those who live in it.
In a few weeks time this part of my journey will transition, in one way or another. I will be attending a BAP (Bishop’s Advisory Panel). From here I will find out whether I have been selected by the Church of England to enter theological college as an ordinand.
My journey has been long, and I learnt many lessons along the way. One thing that I’ve come to realize is that it’s not about me, it’s about God. It’s about traveling in the direction that He wants me to go. It’s about being in the place that He wants me to be, and doing the things that He wants me to do. I believe that I heard God’s call on my life, through prayer I have tested this, and I believe my responsibility is to obediently respond to that call.
This is an abridged version of a blog entry that Joel wrote for The Huffington Post. You can also follow Joel @joelmennie.
Listen to Joel tell his story to the BBC for Vocations Sunday.