Understanding Vocation

The word vocation is defined simply as a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation and so there is a sense in which every member of the Body of Christ has a vocation to a specific ministry in the Church.  The Apostle Paul tells us in the fourth chapter of Ephesians that some are called to be Prophets, some Apostles and some Teachers with the purpose of building up the Body of Christ and there is a sense in which no single vocation is better than or superior to any other.  The Church needs committee  lay as well as ordained and religious.

We want you to try and consider what form of ministry is God calling you to?  And you almost certainly will need help and support as you progress through this process.  Initially you need to ask yourself whether you feel called to

The Ordained Ministry within the Church be that priest or deacon.

The Religious Life and there are many communities in England for both men and women.

A form of Accredited Lay Ministry or Reader in the Church

Whatever and it is not about passing or failing, but just discerning God’s will and purpose for you by virtue of our baptism everyone of us is called to be a committed Christian who lives out  the Gospel in every area of their lives and who offers their time, talent and energy to the service of the Lord in the Church.

The Process

Bishop Norman sets before us in the video below some of the mechanics in the journey that must be undertaken towards priestly ministry in the Church.


Offering Full Support

The path towards priesthood is exciting but it can be both long and lonely.  It is vitally important that every person considering ordination in the Church should have adequate support mechanisms that will enable them to walk that path with confidence.  It almost goes without saying that your parish priest and family should be your primary support mechanism.  Both of whom will be not only involved in the process of selection, but expected to write in support of your vocation.  Having said that the above are your primary support they certainly should not be your only.  We would encourage all candidates to think about finding

A spiritual director

This can be lay or ordained, but a person who will both challenge your spiritual growth and enable you to continue to grow in awareness of God.  A spiritual director should be a person that you trust, that you find a natural rapport with they should be the sort of person that will both challenge you in your spiritual life and also encourage those positive elements that are already there.  It may well be that your parish priest can suggest a spiritual adviser, you may well know somebody yourself that you wish to approach.


It is usually good practice to split the role of Advisor and Confessor, although some if using a priest as spiritual advisor will amalgamate the two but without any doubt as a Catholic Anglican anyone considering priesthood should also be a regular penitent themselves.

Vocations Advisor

We have a number of Regional Advisors who are all committed to assisting Catholic Anglicans in the process of selection and training in the Church of England.  Please make contact by clicking here.  The most important thing to remember you are not alone, we are in this together.


Would a Traditional Catholic who is not convinced about women’s ministry be selected for training?2020-08-16T19:53:51+00:00

The Church of England is committed to a variety of different churchmanships from Evangelical to Catholic.  Archbishop Justin feels passionately that the Church has room for Traditional Catholics to thrive and grow.

Does a priest work just one day a week?2020-08-16T19:53:39+00:00

This is the common misconception and the reality is all clergy stipendiary and self supporting minsters commit themselves to far more than one day.  Priestly ministry is varied with many different components from pastoral work to practical business management.  Preaching to teaching.  It certainly is not a 9-5 and nor is it just one day a week.

How do you know you are called to be a priest?2020-08-16T19:53:26+00:00

Few would claim to have flashing lights and voices from God.  Often priestly vocation begins with a gut feeling although some people can clearly articulate a guiding hand pointing them in the direction of priesthood.  Anyone considering presenting themselves must be able to talk easily and convincingly about their call.  Vocation to the priesthood begins with God and not with the Church’s need for more clergy or an individual trying to fill their spare time.

Are there any specific educational requirements?2020-08-16T19:53:12+00:00

The Church is obviously looking for people who can cope with theological training.  It would ordinarily expect younger candidates to have studied at University, but life experiences and professional qualifications are always viewed in the same light as academic qualifications.

How long will it take to be ordained?2020-08-16T19:52:59+00:00

Once again it is difficult to give a definitive answer as everybody’s journey will be different but in all honesty this is no quick fix as part of the process of selection is endurance.  Ordinarily from first enquiry to selection you would think of at least a year, most probably longer.  The training itself can be between 2 and 3 years depending on whether it is residential or part time.  Once ordained those looking to priestly ministry will expect a year’s diaconal ministry.

Is the priesthood open to Men and Women?2020-08-16T19:52:35+00:00

The Church of England since 1992 has accepted both sexes into the priesthood.  The Catholic Societies of the Church of England whilst wanting to support and celebrate the rich variety of gifts that both genders can contribute to ministry feel unable to support women’s priestly ordination.

What age can you be ordained at?2020-08-16T19:52:16+00:00

Ever mindful of legislation the Church is subject to the Age Discrimination Legislation.  The minimum age by Canon Law is 23 for a Deacon and 24 for a Priest, although there have been rare exceptions to this rule.  Most dioceses whilst not having an absolute upper age limit would have to look realistically and balance the necessary training and related costs next to expected service.

I thought Priests were Roman Catholic2020-08-16T18:29:37+00:00

The Church of England has always maintained its Catholic Identity and in line with others has committed itself to the threefold ministry of Bishops, Priests and Deacons.  Often priests working in parishes are referred to as Vicars, but this is a specific role on par with Rectors, and Chaplains.  All are priests but some may be the Rector or the Hospital Chaplain or the Vicar/Parish Priest.

Who should I talk to first about my Vocation?2020-08-16T18:29:06+00:00

The first person you ought to consider discussing this with is your Parish Priest as your Parish Priest is likely to know not only you very well, but also the process and the next steps that you should make in your pilgrimage to priesthood.

Is it well paid?2020-08-16T18:30:04+00:00

There are two distinct forms of Ordained Ministry in the Church of England.

(a)  Stipendiary – this is where the priest is paid a stipend enough to feed, house and clothed sufficient is provided to ensure that no priest is ever destitute but a stipend is not the same as a salary and certainly anybody considering ordination should not do so on the basis of the amount paid.

(b)  Self Supporting (Non Stipendiary) – As the name suggests this form of ministry is undertaken usually on a part time basis where the priest undertakes to support themselves financially and gives of their time voluntary to the Church.  Sometimes housing is provided and always the expenses of office are reimbursed.

4.    Can you get married? – The Church of England Ministry is open to those who are single and married but not at present to those in same sex marriages.  There is a process for those who are divorced and those in Civil Partnerships.  But these issues are best dealt with on a personal basis as there are many variants and complications.

Next Step?

Is God is calling you? if so please call us on 0121 382 5533 or send us a message using the form below to discuss the next steps to begin your journey.

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