As a parish priest, one of the things you get used to is wearing many different ‘hats’ – symbolic of different roles that are engaged in on a daily or weekly basis. As DDO/ Vocations Advisor for the Diocese, it could be argued that I am wearing only two hats, but they are taking some balancing! It is exciting in this newly configured role to be able to encourage vocation from the grassroots level of God’s invitation to all of us to follow him, right through to the emergence of a new ministry – whether that is as a Reader, Church Army Evangelist, Accredited Lay Minister, Workplace Chaplain, Parish Priest or something else entirely – because we have a God who both creates and surprises and, as we seek to prayerfully re-imagine ministry in the diocese, all sorts of new shapes and forms may emerge.
Part of my task is to re-develop a vocations team which can not only bring information, advice and challenge to deaneries and parishes but can also help people take the first tentative steps on a journey of discernment. Some will be asking specific questions about ordained ministry and I have initial conversations with them. Another part of my role is to recruit and train Assistant DDOs who are intrinsically involved in the preparation of candidates for ordination training. I support ordinands through the training process to the point of their ordination as deacons, and am active in the discussions around their placement into title posts.
I’m also excited about the development of Young Vocations ministry in the Diocese, and appreciate working with Dave Stroud, a CCCU Chaplain and ‘Champion’ for Young Vocations in the Diocese who (along with Murray Wilkinson, our ChYP’s Ministry Advisor and others) is organising our first ‘exploring life’ day for 15-21 year olds in March.
With Jacquie, my able PA (for this is a role that generates LOTS of form-filling and extensive paper trails!), I can be found tucked away at the top of Diocesan House, but hope to be around the Diocese a fair bit in the next few months. You can also pick up information about events and pearls of wisdom at #cdiocalling.