A Message from the Archbishop of Canterbury
All who are baptised are called to ministry, whether that is lay or ordained. The Church needs a wide variety of ministers in order to serve all people. God calls young people and older ones, wealthy and poorer. The Church’s ministers come from all walks of life, social classes, ethnic backgrounds and educational abilities.
You may be feeling excited, anxious, uncertain or inadequate but the Holy Spirit will lead, prepare and equip you as you move forward in faith and obedience. Above all be open to God’s surprises!
Do You Have a Calling?
The good news is Yes! You have!
Our first calling is to live life in all its fullness and to represent Christ in the world.
This is our common calling as Christians.
But there is a further calling, a particular calling, sometimes called a ‘vocation’ which is not for everyone but may be for you. This particular calling is to serve God and all people through one of the Church’s authorised lay or ordained ministries. For this particular calling you have to allow your sense of vocation to be tested by the Church through its discernment processes.
What are the Marks of a Vocation?
- An internal sense of call.
This is a strong persistent conviction that God is calling you
- Your call is recognised by others
People close to you, who know you well, recognise God’s calling in you
- Your sense of call is realistic
It is possible for you to fulfil the ministry you feel called to.
- Your sense of call is informed
You have some understanding of the demands and expectations of your calling
As you begin to discern what it is that God may be calling you to, consider a variety of options. Here are some possibilities for exercising an authorised ministry within the Church of England. Explore these – and see if any strike a chord with you. But remember God may use your gifts, skills and commitment best in another way yet to be discovered.