Next Saturday I shall be ordaining 40 men and women to the diaconate in the Cathedral and more than 20 other ordinands from London will be ordained deacon in other dioceses. In the Diocese of London we are blessed with an ever-growing number of vocations to the ordained ministry, but nationally the outlook is far less encouraging.
Most of us know from our own vocational journeys that it was other people, often clergy, who first encouraged us to think about ordained ministry. So in London we have long recognised that our 1,000 clergy are among the best vocational officers that we have.
As part of our Capital Vision we have committed ourselves to a 50% increase in the number of candidates for ordination by 2020. Most of these will serve the Church of England in other dioceses.
With this in mind I want to encourage all of our parishes to have a Vocation Sunday or some other appropriate event sometime around All Saintstide this autumn.
To resource this vital work we are building an online microsite called London Callings. It has a number of two-minute video clips profiling people of various ages and traditions living out the call of God across the Diocese – we are adding other stories and refreshing the site regularly.
I am also sending incumbents and university chaplains postcards and posters that can be used to raise the profile of vocations, and a brochure ‘Everyday People’ to encourage especially Ethnic Minority vocations. If you would like any further resources please email Judy Barrett.
Prayer, that deep listening to God, is the bedrock of all our ministry, so may I encourage you as you pray for vocations also to look for opportunities to talk with someone in your congregation who you think may have a calling. It could be just the confirmatory word they were waiting for to talk and explore further.
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