Ordained Ministry in the Church in Wales
A candidate who offers themselves for ordination puts their whole life at God’s disposal through the church. It may be that they are asked by their bishop and by the needs of the role to fulfill tasks that are not part of their understanding of the role. This is part of being a servant of the church, particularly in changing times. To serve God in Ordained Ministry is an amazing privilege.
The ordained ministries, particularly those of deacon and priest, may be expressed in many ways depending on the gifting of the individual, the needs of the church and the context in which they find themselves.
Most deacons in the Church in Wales become priests as well, building their leadership on their servanthood, but some candidates may feel called to be deacons without taking the step to priesthood. Those called to this expression of the diaconate will be expected to display exceptional pastoral gifts and team-working skills.
Some will feel called to continue living and working in the communities from which they have emerged. Those called to this expression of ministry will be expected to have the wholehearted support of these communities and a realistic expectation of what it means to be ‘a prophet without honour’. Because it does not involve a complete uprooting, local ministry is not usually stipendiary and training is not usually residential.
Deployable Ministry (Deacons and Priests)
Some will feel called to go wherever the church sends them. Those called to this expression of ministry will be expected to show a realistic expectation of how this will impact on their families and dependents and the resilience necessary for this calling. Because it can involve a complete uprooting, deployable ministry may be stipendiary and the training may or may not be residential.
Ordained Pioneer Ministry
Some feel called to an ordained ministry in a pioneer context. Where this calling is felt prior to ordination, candidates must satisfy a specific provision for pioneer ministry in addition to the criteria for ordination. Where the calling is felt after ordination, the specific provision for pioneer ministry may be applied before appointment to a pioneer post.
Training for ordained Ministry
There are a number of different pathways to ordination in the Church in Wales. Very briefly these are detailed below, but please speak to others (your Vicar initially and then the Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Vocations).
Full Time Stipendiary Ministry
Following considerable prayer and reflection and supported by recommendations and references the Diocesan Director of Ordinands would arrange for candidates to attend a Diocesan Discernment Board. This is usually a series of interviews held over 1 day.
If recommended by that Board, the candidate would attend a Provincial Board, held over 3 days.
If recommended the Bishop may invite the candidate to begin training
Training would normally be full time over 2 or 3 years and be organised by St Padarn’s Training Institute. There are various options as to how this training would take place which can be discussed further but it’s worth looking at the St Padarn’s Website for some details of the types of training that take place (www.stpadarns.ac.uk )
Non Stipendiary Ministry
The pathway would be similar to that mentioned above for those who are being trained for Non Stipendiary (deployable) ministry. For Non Stipendiary (Local) Ministry, candidates would attend a Diocesan Board and then a Regional Discernment Board who would make the recommendation to the Bishop.
Training for this ministry would include taking the Theology for Life Course along with various placement requirements.