Family, Relationships & Health

Alongside the Criteria for Selection, those discerning your vocation may ask you about:


  • Your family Just as in other areas of life, those who offer themselves for Christian ministry must be ready to consider the implications this will have for their families. Being a visible representative of the Church can make considerable demands on the whole family, and your family (as well as you) must be prepared to acknowledge the difference this will make. There will almost certainly be social and financial implications. Being faithful to your vocation, whilst being very fulfilling, will be costly in all sorts of ways and will involve sacrifice. Those discerning your vocation will want to be assured that you have taken account of this and that your family is supportive of your calling. You must also be willing to live within the discipline of Issues in Human Sexuality.
  • Divorce If you have been divorced but have not remarried, you can be sponsored by a bishop for a panel in the usual way. However, if you are divorced, your former partner is still alive, and you have remarried or if you are married to a divorced person whose former partner is still alive you will require an Archbishop’s Faculty under Canon Law. If this applies to you, your Diocesan Director of Ordinands will explain in detail to you what is involved. You should be aware that such an investigation can be a lengthy process and an Archbishop’s Faculty is not always granted.
  • Your health Those discerning your vocation will want to be assured about your general health and any particular problems, which may affect your ability to cope with the demands of professional ministry. If you have any particular health concerns you might be asked to have a medical examination by one of the Ministry Division’s medical advisers before or after your panel. Before you are offered your first post the church will ensure you are medically fit to serve.
  • DBS (Disclosure and Barring Services) Before you come to a Bishops’ Advisory Panel to test your vocation you will be required to undergo safe-guarding procedures and to complete and obtain a full DBS check.