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Monday, 30 January 2017

27 explore vocation to the sacred ministry from across the Diocese

Fr William (bottom right) with members of his team and the 27 enquirers
27 enquirers from across the Diocese in Europe, from Sweden to Sicily, gathered in London last weekend to explore issues related to ordained ministry in the Church of England. It is an annual conference run by our Director of Ordinands, the Revd Canon William Gulliford, to give our enquirers an intensive exposure to the Church of England in its heartland. It is often a first stage in the process which may lead to clarifying a vocation to the sacred ministry.

During the three days, the process of discernment for holy orders is explained, as well as the selection, training and deployment norms of our Church. Advice is given on spiritual direction to assist in personal discernment. Some topics pertinent to ministry in the Church of England are covered, such as the norms of obedience and authority, the 5 marks of mission and issues in human sexuality. Parish visits are set up for a variety of experiences, often contrasting with the enquirer's own home congregation. As well as priesthood, the distinctive diaconate is set out as one of the possible vocational journeys.

Such a level of interest in the sacred ministry from these enquirers is indeed heartening. Of the 27, 19 were men, and 8 women. The average age was 36.

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