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Following God’s calling

Your vocation

Being yourself and being prayerfully open to all possibilities will help you discern God’s calling whatever stage in life you are at.

For some, this may be the very beginning of your journey. Will you be called towards ordination or will it be one of the many lay ministries such as training as an evangelist, a youth officer or a pioneer?

For others, discerning vocation might be taking a different path from the one you’ve been travelling on. Is God calling you to move from lay ministry into ordination? Or do you feel called to move out of your current career to explore the possibility of ministry, lay or ordained?

It may even be none of the above but simply being a faithful disciple in whatever you do. Here in the Diocese of Norwich we want to create a culture where every aspect of our lives is part of our response to God’s call, whether we’re younger or older, urban or rural, many years ministering, or just setting out.

Whether God is calling you back to Norfolk to serve your curacy, you are a retired clergy person looking for a change of location, or you are planning a career change, you’ll find a strong support network here in this diocese. The help that comes from your church leader in discerning the way forward is backed up by our team of Vocations Advisors and events such as LifeCalling Days and Vocation Sunday.

If you are aged 18-30 and trying to discern whether ministry is for you, we run a year-long Norwich Ministry Experience Scheme to give you the opportunity to taste and see whether this is the route God is calling you to take.

Being open to whatever God may put before you might mean coming to the Diocese of Norwich to see for yourself. If you feel you could belong here and could contribute, God will equip you for the role he gives you and we’ll be here to enable and support you.

Which path shall I take?

If you believe you are called to ministry, there are many ways to serve and paths to follow.

Sometimes the greatest impact can be made by living out our faith as a disciple of Jesus in the wider world. But for those who discern that ministry is the way forward, ordination is just one of the many opportunities available.

In this diocese, we believe in enabling, resourcing and encouraging all kinds of ministry – lay or ordained – from initial training and continuing development, right through to retirement when many choose to continue to serve.

With its diversity of needs, the Diocese of Norwich is a place you can make a difference.

You want to help people make a link between life and faith? Perhaps God is calling you to be a hospital chaplain.
You’re creative and innovative and want to lead people to a new space in their lives? God may be asking you to consider becoming a Pioneer.
You already have a job you love but would like to minister at the same time? Training as a Reader with a focus on the local community could be the path for you.

Your first step might be as an Authorised Worship Assistant playing a key role in benefices where ministers can’t always be available. This could lead you on to training for Reader ministry or ordination. As a younger person, you may want to try our Ministry Experience Scheme to experience ministry in a range of settings including prisons, universities or health care.

You may start off as lay minister then choose another path, perhaps into paid ministry. In this diocese, we aim to make the transition as smooth as possible. We invest in people to provide opportunities and to help you find a clear path to your chosen vocation.

Whatever path you’re called to take, this is a diocese that invests in getting alongside you, helping you and our congregations and communities to flourish.

Steps to ordination

We believe all Christians are called to grow in their discipleship and faithfulness to Jesus Christ and to play their part in God’s mission.

Sometimes God chooses us for a specific role of leadership in His church. If this is your calling, the first step is to talk to your church leader or chaplain or to one of our team of Vocations Advisors who will work with you to identify what type of ministry is right for your unique skills and talents.

If the path points towards ordination, your Bishop will send you to a selection residential known as a Bishop’s Advisory Panel who will decide whether to recommend you for ordination training.

On completion of your course at theological college, you will be ordained a deacon by your bishop and begin a curacy in a parish. Choosing to do your curacy in this diocese, you will be assured of full and friendly support along with plenty of resources. You will work alongside an experienced church leader, putting all you have learned into practice as you prepare for your own ministry.

If you are training for the priesthood, you are likely to be ordained after a year of curacy and be able to preside over Holy Communion. As deacon you will already have experience of weddings and baptisms in your ministry and indeed you may decide to remain a deacon. Whatever you decide, there’s a place for you in this diocese.