In the Church of England’s Ordinal, Deacons are ordained “so that the people of God may be better equipped to make Christ known. Theirs is a life of visible self-giving. Christ is the pattern of their calling and their commission; as he washed the feet of his disciples, so they must wash the feet of others”. Deacons may teach, preach, baptise and lead the church community in prayer. They may have a particular care for the vulnerable and marginalised. All those being ordained are first ordained Deacon and indeed remain with the Deacon’s call even as they are ordained priest after the first year of curacy or even other roles like archdeacon or bishop later.

Some people feel called accordingly to remain as Deacons (thus called ‘distinctive’ deacons) who have a particular calling to be a bridge between the wider community and the Church, to a ministry of teaching, to a life of service directed towards the vulnerable and to bring their needs to the wider attention of the Church, not least through prayer.

How do I become a Deacon?

The discernment of whether you might have a calling to be a Deacon is much the same as for those who feel called to the Priesthood. However, the national Qualities for discernment are slightly different. Please see the Church of England website for more.

After a period of careful discernment with the Area Director of Ordinands, you may embark on the national discernment process and be invited to meet a Sponsoring Bishop.
Given the significant teaching ministry of Deacons, you would be expected to undertake a similar training pathway to those preparing for the Priesthood. As with Priesthood, the conversation begins with your vicar in your local church. They may refer you to the Area Director of Ordinands when they feel you are ready.