Ordained Ministry

Ordained ministers are called to gather in the people of God for worship, to create communities of disciples, and to send out the people of God to participate in God’s mission of love. It can be a bit of a challenge, but then all the best things are!

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An introduction to ordained ministry:

Deacons

Reaching out to those on the margins of the church and society, deacons are a catalyst for the whole church to participate in this ministry. Deacons teach and preach, they assist priests in leading worship and in administering (but not presiding at) Holy Communion. They may baptise and solemnise marriages and undertake pastoral work as assigned. Everyone who is training for the priesthood is ordained first as a deacon and spends their first year in ordained ministry in this role.

Distinctive (or permanent) Deacons

Are not called to lead the ministry and mission of a specific church as is a vicar, permanent deacons are called to serve those on the margins, and are committed to motivating the church in this ministry. The discernment process is akin to that for priests, but with slightly different criteria. Likewise they train, attending a local part time course with those who will be ordained priests, but receive elements of formational training geared to their kind of ministry. Distinctive Deacons are self-supporting.

Priests

Called by God to work as shepherds and servants. A priest might lead or facilitate ministry within a community, whether that be as a vicar of a church, or a chaplain in the Armed Forces, industry, hospitals and hospices, prisons, universities and colleges and schools. Other priests work as assistants, fulfilling needs according of the role and utilising their individual gifts. They can take part in the full range of tasks that the vicar does, but under their leadership. Assistants are usually self-supporting in this diocese.

Ordained Pioneer Ministers

Deacons or priests who are leading a ‘fresh expression’ of church.  It is hard to define what these mean because they are ‘fresh’ and breaking the mould. But they are:

Missional – serving people outside church;

Contextual – listening to people and entering their culture;

Educational – making discipleship a priority;

Ecclesial – forming church.

People discerning a call to this ministry are usually already involved in a fresh expression locally, and believe God may be calling them to develop their ministry through training and ordination.  The discernment process is similar to that of deacons and priests with the addition of a ‘Pioneer Panel’ and with slightly different criteria (see criteria download, above).

Self Supporting Ministers

Most of the above minsters can be non stipendiary (self supporting). This ministry is an essential element in the provision of ministry within the diocese with an important missionary function to fulfil in making connections between church and world.

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