Vocations


Welcome to the vocations page of the Witney deanery.

If you have reached this page, either you or someone you know is being challenged by God to consider their vocation afresh and make a response – it may be to a lay or ordained ministry, or simply to see a new way to serve God.

Events are listed at the bottom of this page.

From the moment of Baptism, all Christians are called by God to serve as part of the church in the world. This may be in any place you may find yourself in your daily life. The varieties of calling or vocation are many, Ephesians 4v11 and 1 Corinthians 12v28 list examples:
As God calls some
To be …Apostles
Some …Evangelists
Some …Teachers
Some …Preachers
Some …Pastors/carers
Some …

Through our response, our love and potential creativity with God are revealed and will be developed.

Have you thought how your God-given talents can be used in the church or your community? Today parishes need teachers; youth leaders; administrative support; computing skills; creative arts; practical maintenance…Can you help?

Maybe God is calling you to do something else:

• To preach or lead worship?
• To visit those in prison?
• To work with children?
• To care for the sick through pastoral visiting?
• To minister to the dying and the bereaved?
• In mission alongside chaplaincies/missioners in local or world communities?
• A life of prayer in a religious community?

There are opportunities, both lay and ordained in all these areas

What now?

First, come aside with God to pray and listen. Do you set time aside each day for prayer?

Second, make your response: talk it over with Christians you can trust, your family or friends, then with your vicar or church leader.

Third, let God equip you and be prepared to learn more. There are people recognised for their knowledge, wisdom and experience whose books you may read.

What the Vocations Adviser can help with?

Your Deanery Vocations Adviser is here to help you consider your call in some depth so that an appropriate response can be made. The Vocations Adviser may be contacted directly, but usually this is done after you have spoken about your call to your local Vicar. The Vocations Adviser will offer a one-to-one meeting of up to two hours in the first instance, and then follow up meetings of up to an hour as required. Sometimes “homework” might be encouraged.

In the past, such discussions have resulted in confirming calls as varied as emigration to continued volunteer work in the parish. If the call is to the ordained ministry, for example, one will need to have considered several areas of life and have some level of informed confidence in the call before seeing a Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO). Vocations Advisers have no “gatekeeper” status in terms of making decisions about suitability: that is with the DDO in consultation with others, so any doubts or fears can be shared confidentially before the process becomes “formal” in any selection sense. If after a time, a form of licensed ministry is definitely to be pursued, the Vocations Adviser writes a letter of recommendation including relevant references to discussions that have taken place, after agreeing the content with the candidate.

Contacting your Vocations Adviser:

The Witney Deanery Vocations Adviser is Rev’d Tim Edge, who is happy to be contacted by email or telephone so a meeting may be arranged. Contact details are:

Email: tim.edge@talk21.com or Telephone: 01993 773438.

Useful courses and links:

Oxford Diocese web site including vocations: https://www.oxford.anglican.org/mission-ministry/vocations/

National web site on Vocations: https://www.churchofengland.org/life-events/vocations

CPAS’s Talk Calling is for anyone in church leadership and vocations work who wants to enable young people to explore the God possibilities for their lives. Talk Calling is primarily aimed at 14 to 18 year olds, although it can be a useful resource for university chaplains and those working alongside students and young adults.

Link to Talk Calling: http://www.cpas.org.uk/church-resources/talk-calling/#.WiZvP3lpHIV

Vocations in Oxford Facebook page
You might also wish to look at the Vocations in Oxford Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/vocations.in.buckingham.archdeaconry

Prayer topics for vocations

From the National Vocations website: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/533937b9e4b0baa8f8428f34/t/54897f5ce4b051e70e181cb5/1418297180569/Some-Prayers-for-Vocation.pdf

For Clergy and church leaders:
Church support hub from the Ministry Division of the Church of England:
https://churchsupporthub.org/vocations/
“Setting God’s People Free” was released in February 2017. Adopted by the Archbishops Council, it sets out renewed approaches for clergy and lay ministry. See the link below:
https://www.churchofengland.org/media/3858033/gs-2056-setting-gods-people-free.pdf
The Great Vocations Conversation launched on Vocations Sunday 22nd April 2018:
See https://www.churchofengland.org/greatvocationsconversation for more details, and challenge to all the Church’s ministers.

 

Events

A full list of events can be found athttp://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/department-of-mission-diocese-of-oxford-4059808109?s=26328885

 

Hearing God’s Call

Once each term, the 6pm Thursday Sung Eucharist will be “Hearing God’s Call”.
This is an opportunity for those considering God’s Call, in whatever form, to gather to
pray and worship together, meet with others on a similar journey, talk to members of the Diocesan Vocations Team, or sit quietly and pray.

Further details to follow.

 

ViB Exploring Vocation

These sessions are designed for people very early in the process of discerning their call. You do not need to have met with a Vocations Adviser or to have any sense of where this process might take you.

Come and join us in a series of six stand-alone sessions for anyone exploring their sense of call to ministry in the Church of England. These sessions will loosely focus on aspects of the Criteria for Licensed and Ordained Ministry

All sessions to be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Churchill Avenue, Aylesbury HP21 8NH

 Session 3: Criterion B, Ministry in the Church of England

Wednesday 9th January 2019 8pm—9.30 pm

Compassionate Ministry

Hatch, match and dispatch, the Occasional Offices and the Cure of Souls in Parish ministry’

Speaker: Revd Sally Moring – Sally is a parish priest in Wendover  

https://vib3_compassionateministry.eventbrite.co.uk

Session 4: Criterion H, Mission and Evangelism

 Wednesday 13th March 2019 8pm—9.30 pm

Courageous Church 

Facing the future, Pioneer Ministry and Fresh Expressions

 Speaker: Revd Paul Oxley – Paul is a Pioneer Minister in Milton Keynes where he planted St Marks, a church on the move

https://vib4_courageouschurch.eventbrite.co.uk

Session 5: Criterion D, Personality and Character

 Wednesday 9th May 2019 8pm—9.30 pm

 Contemplative Living

 ‘Fashioning Life after the pattern of Christ’

 Speaker: The Revd Catherine Butt –  Catherine is Vicar of St Frideswide, Water Eaton (Milton Keynes)

https://vib5_contemplativeliving.eventbrite.co.uk

Session 6: Criterion C, Spirituality

 Wednesday 10th July 2018 8pm—9.30 pm

 Contemplative Ministry

 Drawing on the spiritual riches of the Anglican Tradition  

Speaker: Prior Anthony and a member of the St Michaels Community – St Michaels is a mixed, lay and professed Anglican community at Willen

https://vib6_contemplativeministry.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Dorchester Area Exploring Vocations Group

Started 6th November, 7:30pm at St John’s Church Kidlington is a series of sessions exploring what it is to explore God’s calling.

Open to all exploring God’s call on their lives and seeking to understand how to respond.  These sessions will offer the opportunity to meet others on the same journey, to reflect on aspects of ministering in the Church of England including vocation, leadership and mission. It is useful but not essential for you to try and come to the majority of sessions. The group provides an opportunity to explore in more depth your sense of calling through sharing vocational information, personal reflection, group discussion and biblical meditation.

Many people who join a vocations group go on to follow their sense of vocation and find it a useful stepping stone to the next phase of where God is leading them. The course is free and open to all.

If you would like further information before booking please contact Jane Hemmings:jane.hemmings@oxford.anglican.org

 

Tuesday 11th December 2018; 7.30 – 9.00 pm 

The second session ‘Faith and how we are rooted in the Church of England’.

Led by Revd Jane Hemmings, DDO for Dorchester and Oxford

And Revd Laura Biron-Scott, Vocations Advisor and Curate in Kidlington

At: St John’s Church, Broadway, Kidlington OX5 1DD

 

Future Dates:

Tuesday 15th January, 2019; 7.30 – 9.00 pm (Reflections on Baptism, the root of our calling)

Tuesday 12th February, 2019; 7.30 – 9.00 pm (Gifts and Leadership)

Tuesday 12th March, 2019; 7.30 – 9.00 pm (Mission and Pioneer Ministry)

Saturday 6th April, 2019; 09.00 – 12.00 noon (Pilgrimage – a chance to reflect together on our vocational journey)

 

Diocesan Young Women’s Vocations Day,  Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin, on Saturday 26th January from 10am to 4pm.

The day is for young women between the ages of 16-32 who may be considering that God might be calling them to ministry in the Church.
The day includes the opportunity for attendees to come and meet others exploring vocation, and young women in training, curacies and senior positions in the Church and a chance to ask all the questions they might have about ministry and taking the next step.

Application via the following link:

https://young-womens_vocation_day.eventbrite.co.uk

Further information is available from Jane Hemmings at: Jane.Hemmings@oxford.anglican.org