Ordained Ministry


Picture by Keith Mindham

Ordained Ministers (deacons and priests) are called to represent the church in the wider world. They lead the church’s mission and ministry through worship and prayer, preaching and teaching, community engagement and pastoral work.  Some ordained ministers are self-supporting and serve locally, and some are stipendiary. Some are parish-based, while others serve in schools, hospitals, prisons and elsewhere as chaplains.

I received a card from a friend encouraging me to go into ministry - this ignited a fire that burned for ten years before I acknowledged it!  When I finally responded it felt right, like this is what I was supposed to be doing all along - Laura Pope, Ordinand training at Westcott House, Cambridge.

The Church of England offers a comprehensive overview of ordination and includes guidance on selection and training:

Church of England Preparing for Ordained Ministry | Weblink

For further information about discernment, selection and training, contact the Revd Canon Tim Jones, our Diocesan Director of Ordinands. 

Auxiliary Ordination Pathway

Our Bishops offer an Auxiliary Ordination Pathway to becoming a Priest.  

Self-Supporting Ministers (SSM)

Self-supporting ministers are called by God to be sacramental clergy within the Church of England. They are trained to the same standard as any other clergy, and their main duties are broadly similar to stipendiary clergy: to reconcile the divided, heal the broken, and restore the lost, but they choose to exercise their ministry without being paid a stipend. 

I have always enjoyed engaging with people and the local community and my SSM appointment has enabled me to expand the privilege of serving others in a variety of church and secular settings. I have learnt more about myself and the love of God for all people - Mike Birt,  SSM in the Benefice of Woolpit and Drinkstone.

For more information about becoming a Self-Supporting Minister, please read our leaflet:

SSM Leaflet | PDF

To discuss being a SSM please get in contact with the Revd Tony Redman, Bishop's Officer for Self Supporting Ministers.