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.
The Church of England website offers a comprehensive overview of ordination and includes guidance on selection and training:
For further information about discernment, selection and training, contact the Revd Canon Tim Jones, our Diocesan Director of Ordinands.
I received a card from a close friend encouraging me to go into ministry - this ignited a fire that burned for about 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.
I am studying at Westcott House (a theological college in Cambridge) and I am a residential student completing a three-year BA hons degree in Theology, Mission and Ministry. I was drawn to Westcott House because of their style of worship and the courses that they offered plus the community felt like family from the first time I visited.
It has been a challenge to be a student again after being in a full-time job (I was teaching Religious Studies in a secondary school) but the college have been really supportive. I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of people during my placements, I have assisted as well as led evensong service in a Cambridge college and I also help run a homelessness project in Manchester.
By Laura Pope
Self-Supporting Ministers (SSM)
For more information about SSM, please contact the Revd Tony Redman, Bishop's Officer for Self Supporting Ministers.
SSM News 2019 | PDF
SSM News 2018 | PDF
SSM Leaflet | PDF
What is SSM? Leaflet | PDF
I have been a Christian since the early 1980s. I worked for 35-years with the Metropolitan Police in a civilian management role and was much involved with the Christian Police Association in London before taking retirement.
I moved to Suffolk and trained for three years with the Eastern Region Ministry Course (ERMC). I was appointed to serve as a part-time SSM in my local Benefice of Woolpit and Drinkstone. I also work as a member of the St Nicholas Hospice Chaplaincy Team in Bury St Edmunds.
I have always enjoyed engaging with people and the local community and my appointment has enabled me to expand the privilege of serving others in a variety of church and secular settings together with learning more about myself and the love of God through Jesus Christ for all people. My hobbies include tinkering with old cars when I get time! by Mike Birt – SSM