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Friday, 14 October 2011

15 Postulants Attend Annual Vocations Seminar

Postulants at the Diocesan Office
From 11 - 14 October the annual Diocesan Vocations Conference was held at St Columba's House in Woking, England. This year 15 postulants for Holy Orders from across the diocese gathered for these intensive days of discernment led by the Director of Ordinands (DDO), the Revd William Gulliford. Fr Gulliford was assisted by the members of the Diocesan Ministry Team and Assistant Directors of Ordinands, the Canons Malcolm Bradshaw and Michael Bullock and the Revd Barbara Moss. The postulants, men and  women, came from the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, France, Italy and Austria.

The journey to Holy Orders is a lengthy one, and requires patience on the part of those testing their vocation. In the Diocese in Europe postulants first attend an Enquirers' Conference then have interviews with the DDO and sometimes one of his assistants. After completion of various pieces of written work, they attend our Vocations Seminar at which their suitability for Holy Orders is explored according to these 9 criteria:
  1. Vocation
  2. Ministry within the Church of England
  3. Spirituality
  4. Personality and Character
  5. Relationships
  6. Leadership and Collaboration
  7. Faith
  8. Mission and Evangelism, and
  9. Quality of Mind  
After a positive recommendation from our Diocesan Vocations Seminar, postulants are then sent to a Bishop’s Advisory Panel of the Church of England where further discernment is undertaken, which results in a recommendation or non-recommendation to enter training.

During this year's Seminar the postulants visited the Diocesan Office and had a tour of Westminster Abbey which ended with attendance at the Eucharist for the Translation of St Edward the Confessor.

The postulants (and the Ministry Team) work hard over these days. A tradition which has developed over the past years is to have an evening of relaxation where the postulants share delicacies from the countries where they are living. It is always a highlight! 

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