‘The Great Vocations Conversation’ is a new initiative from the Church of England to encourage all ministers, lay and ordained, to have at least one conversation about vocation with someone new every month.
Research has shown that people often need others to show them what their gifts are, and whether they potentially have a calling towards ministry. ‘The Great Vocations Conversation’ has therefore been set up to encourage ministers to talk to particular parishioners who they feel may have a calling in this area.
‘The Great Vocations Conversation’ was officially launched on Vocations Sunday on 22nd April, and ministers can sign-up to the challenge via www.churchofengland.org/greatvocationsconversation. They will then receive monthly emails containing devotional resources filled with prayers and ideas. These resources will also be available in print later in the year.
The Church of England set itself a five year target in 2016 to increase the number of people in ministry by 50% by 2020 – from 500 to 750 per year. So far the numbers have increased by 15% to 600 ordinands per year, but the desire is that the campaign will enable those numbers to increase. There is also a hope that age, sex or ethnicity will not be a barrier to people wanting to enter ministry.
Steve Benoy, Director of Ordinands at the Diocese of Peterborough, has welcomed the introduction of the campaign:
“We have a vision to increase the number of clergy and lay ministers to grow the ministry of the whole Church. We’ve been encouraging more people towards ordained and lay ministry, and this campaign is a great way of doing it – with some great resources. We look forward to the phone ringing and emails coming in.”
Have a listen to Bishop Andrew Watson (the Bishop of Guildford) and Revd Roxanne Hunte (from the Diocese of Southwark) to see they’re backing ‘The Great Vocations Conversation’.
If you want to explore ministry further, or know someone who does, contact: