Is God calling me to be a vicar?

Priests are called to lead God’s people in the offering of praise and the proclamation of the Gospel and to sustain the community of the faithful by the ministry of word and sacrament, that we may all grow into the likeness of Christ.

What does it mean to be a Vicar?

Being a vicar means that you have been called by God, and affirmed by the church to ordained ministry, working with your bishop and fellow clergy to lead a worshipping community in strategic mission and ministry in a particular parish or benefice.

Who can be a Vicar?

If you are someone:

  • Who is called by God to lifelong ministry of sacramental, missional and pastoral leadership amongst the people of God and the community they serve

This may be the calling for you to explore.

National Criteria for Ordained Ministry

  • Committed to minister in the Church of England
  • Of faith and prayer
  • Who is self aware, mature and stable
  • Who has the capacity to build healthy relationships
  • Who is able to work collaboratively with an incumbent colleague
  • Who is passionate about mission and evangelism
  • Who is open to formation and reflection
  • Who can integrate your priestly ministry with existing work and family
  • Who enjoys working in a team, sharing in ministry, enabling others, under the leadership of the vicar

What can it be in reality?

for me, parochial ministry is an adventure with God in the company of these two different parishes. Discovering God already at work in so many different places outside and inside the churches is exciting. Seeing peoples faith grow and watching the ways their response to God has let them step outside of their previous faith is a real joy.

"This ministry is full of surprises and I have learned to trust God more through living it."

Tim Erridge

What’s involved in becoming a Vicar?


Working out your calling is about listening attentively to God and reflecting with others. If you feel called to this ministry you will be accompanied on your discernment journey by one of the team of Assistant Diocesan Directors of Ordinands (ADDO’s). With them you will explore the national criteria for ordained ministry before attending a Bishop’s Advisory Panel where a decision will be made about whether your calling is realistic, informed and obedient.

This is followed by a curacy. This may be in Bath and Wells or another diocese in the Church of England. Ordinands, and their families, must be prepared to move to the appropriate context. All stipendiary ordinands must be nationally deployable.

To find out more details about the process in Bath and Wells, please download the 'Discernment to Curacy' booklet below.


Ordinands train on one of the Common Awards approved pathways at a recognised Theological Educational Institution (TEI).

This training may take place over two or three years and could be Residential, MixedMode and Part time Regional courses. The DDO will work with the candidate to decide the most appropriate pathway depending on prior learning, perceived need, personal circumstances and Funding guidelines.

Being a Vicar

  • All clergy have a statement of particulars.
  • The specific priorities and vision for each vicar are spelled out in the Benefice profile on appointment, then subsequently reviewed by the vicar and PCC working together.
  • They will have regular biennial reviews with a member of Bishop’s Staff.
  • They will serve under Common Tenure.

Who to contact

If you would like to find out about becoming a Vicar, please contact:

Revd Matthew Frankum, Vocations Team Leader

Rosalind Miles, Administrator for Vocations


Discernment to Curacy booklet


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