Our Vision

Hearts on Fire with a Vision for growth

Further Information & Resources

Further Information & Resources

Here are some other resources you may find helpful while exploring your vocation:

Download our diocesan booklets on Exploring VocationReader Ministry, SPA Ministry, Distinctive Diaconate

For general and specific national information about ministry, visit the national Church of England vocations website.


On vocation: How to Find your Vocation
John Adair (Canterbury Press, 2000):
A good introduction to thinking about vocational discernment.

On younger vocations: Hearing the Call
Jonathan Lawson and Gordon Mursell (SPCK, 2014):
A useful book for those under 30 considering ordained ministry.

On ordained ministry: Ministry without Madness
Gordon Oliver (SPCK, 2013):
An insightful reflection on ordained ministry generally in today’s Church of England.

Stories of ordained ministry: Being a Curate
Jonathan Ross-McNair and Sonia Barron (SPCK, 2014):
A good collection of ‘real life’ stories from those in training at theological college and those recently ordained.

On Reader ministry: Reader Ministry Explored
Cathy Rowling and Paula Gooder (SPCK, 2009):
An excellent and informative introduction for those considering Reader ministry.

On the Anglican Church: Anglicanism: A Very Short Introduction
Mark Chapman (OUP, 2006):
A good introduction to the history and development of the Anglican Church.


The Ministry Division, on vocation:

A short film about vocation:

For those under 30 exploring a vocation:

Information about Reader ministry:

Information about religious life:

Information about the Church Army:

Information about spiritual direction:

Information about youth ministry:

Information for clergy: support for those who are exploring vocations

As a vicar or chaplain, there will be times when you are approached by those who feel they are called to public ministry in the Church. Here are some suggestions to guide enquirers through the discernment process in the Diocese of Southwark:

  • Encourage and support the enquirer; but be as realistic and honest as you can about their sense of vocation. Do you feel that the enquirer has a vocation that is realistic, obedient and informed?
  • It is important that an enquirer is aware that formal ministry in the Church can be very demanding and that there will be high expectations on the part of those whom they serve. Enquirers should be urged therefore to be as transparent and honest as possible about themselves in the vocational discernment process.
  • Use the resources suggested to guide and support an enquirer.
  • Explore how an enquirer might take greater responsibility in the parish or chaplaincy to test their vocation.
  • The selection criteria expect candidates to display a strong knowledge of the breadth and diversity of the Church of England; do consider whether a placement in a different church context might be useful for your enquirer.
  • If you discern that the enquirer may have a genuine vocation, refer them to a Vocations Forum. This may be booked through Sue Stewart at Trinity House. N.B. You should have known the enquirer for at least a year in your capacity as their parish priest or chaplain before referring them to a Vocations Forum.
  • Be realistic with the enquirer about timescales and expectations. The discernment of a vocation is a prayerful journey, which requires time and careful reflection to be effective. It is not something that can be ‘fast-tracked’ or undertaken hastily. The process from initial enquiry to beginning training will take a minimum of nine months, though this can be significantly longer depending on the needs and circumstances of the enquirer.