Twenty-two people from a wide range of church traditions gathered in chichester to hear first-hand experience about the meaning of vocation and being called to ministry from the Bishop of Chichester and others.
Rev'd Dr Dan Inman, Diocesan Director of Ordinands, said it was 'fantastic' to welcome eleven men and eleven women under 30 to the Bishop's Palace in Chichester on Saturday to spend a day exploring God's call in the company of Bishop Martin and others.
The Bishop of Chichester spoke engagingly about the meaning of vocation and his own vocational journey from his time as a chorister at Rochester Cathedral through to ordination and parish ministry in Plymouth and Leicester.
The Rev'd Lisa Barnett, Vicar of Scaynes Hill, related with honesty and wit how she sensed a call to ministry and pursued ordination (as a Chichester ordinand) and how she now negotiates family life with being an incumbent.
Two ordinands (Lucy Sullivan, a second-year ordinand from Mirfield, and Taylor Carey, who has just been recommended for training) also spoke engagingly about the discernment process, selection and training.
After lunch, people went off to parishes around Chichester to explore what ministry looks like locally before ending the day with a Eucharist presided over by Bishop Martin at the altar in his chapel that shelters the relics of St Richard. Before tea and departure, our Young Vocations Officer, the Rev'd Robert Norbury, gave a brief talk on how to explore your vocation further in this diocese.
Dr Dan added: "Encouragingly, people came from a wide range of church traditions, all trusting in God's faithfulness and enthusiastically committed to the Church's flourishing through Word and Sacrament in the years ahead. Many have since written to say how inspiring and helpful the day they found the day, and we're already planning more such events for the next few years, including dedicated conferences for those exploring self-supporting ministry and lay ministries, as well as workshops for women exploring ordination, and those pondering religious life."
People are encouraged to note in their diaries the 30 September 2017, when the Bishop of Chichester will be hosting a Vocations Fair at St Peter's in Brighton. More details will follow in the next couple of months.
If you couldn't make it to the day this month (or are over 30!) and are interested in exploring ministry of any kind, do get in touch, as there are a wide range of resources and people available to help you find out what God has in store for your life. As a starting point, either drop a line to our Vocations Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or, if under 30, our Young Vocations Officer (Robert.email@example.com). Equally, drop us a line on here, and we'll get back to you.
'Be whom God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire' - St Catherine of Siena (1347-80)
Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which you have given us, for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us. Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen. -St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)
The Rev’d Dr Dan Inman Diocesan Director of Ordinands Direct: 01273 425014 Mobile: 07825 235872 PA (Wendy Greenan): 01273 425693