Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Thumbs Up from the CofE

I have been recommended for training for ordination in the Church of England!
Just over 18 months ago I began the process of testing my call to ordained ministry. I met with a vocations advisor about 5 or 6 times and wrote a few pieces for him, about my journey of faith and calling, my understanding of ordination and priesthood and the sacraments. He also came to visit Su to check she could make a decent pot of tea. At the end of my time with vocations advisor no. 1, he recommended that, as I was new to the Church of England, I spend 6 months on placement at Holy Trinity church, as well as a short placement in a parish of a different tradition. I got as involved as I could in the life of Holy Trinity and also spent some time at St Thomas the Apostle, an Anglo-Catholic parish in Longford. At the end of my placements I met with vocations advisor no. 2 a couple of times to review my progress. She asked me to review the cynical and depressing book Last Rites:The End of the Church of England. I will post the review on here sometime.
I then began to meet with the Coventry Diocese Director of Ordinands, Roger Spiller. We began to work through the following process:

We met 5 or 6 times, and Roger came to meet Su to check the quality of her baking. He then decided to put me forward for a 'Bishops' Advisory Panel on Selection for Training for Ordained and Accredited Lay Ministry' (snappy title I know). I filled in lots of forms, had CRB checks, wrote a theological reflection, prepared a presentation, practiced my limp handshakes, popped a plumb in my mouth and off I went on 21st-23rd May. The 3 day 'selection conference' was a rigourous and intense but rewarding and enjoyable experience.
There was a nervous 10 day wait and then I got the phonecall yesterday giving me the nod. All very exciting and very scary! At last I know what I'm going to be doing with the rest of my life.


Su said...

Clearly you got through on the strength of my baked goods then!

Jess said...

I am so pleased that you have got through! Since I read your first post about this I was concerned that you might not and I know that it is a very hard journey for those who don't get through. May your training be joyful and your ministry very special for you and Su. I hope your diocese gives as much support to her as it does to you ;-)

Jon said...

Thanks Jess, and apologies for not replying to your previous comment and email. I do appreciate your thoughtfulness. I did try and approach the panel with an open mind, trusting that God would use the process to reveal his will. In some ways I would have been relieved (if confused) if I had not been recommended. As I have I am excited and a little bit scared!

Jason said...

Good to see you back and blogging!
And most hearty congratulations at coming through the discernment process (or, I should say, having arrived at a discernment!). Blessings to you on this next stage - theological college - and prayers for a fruitful and faithful ministry in service to Christ and the church.

Jon said...

Thanks Jason.
I'm really looking forward to training. How's life in Cambridge?