How do I discern my calling?

What is God calling you to do with the gifts, skills and experience that he has placed into your hands today? We are all called to faithfully love God and love our neighbour, but each person is called to live this out in a unique way. To begin to discern what your particular call might be, start by answering the following questions:

  • What are the skills and gifts I most delight in using?
  • Where am I, physically, emotionally, relationally?
  • What does God need doing here and now that I would be good at doing?
  • What have other people affirmed me in?

Click here to find out more about the diocesan exploration course 'Exploring Christianity'

Vocations Chaplains are available to meet with you to help you discern what God's call might be.
If you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Adviser for Ordinands and Vocations (DDO) for an initial conversation.

Licensed and ordained ministry

The Church of England recognises many different types of vocations: relational and social as well as ministerial. Our relational vocation includes God’s call for us to be in particular relationships (for example caring for children or people; or marriage or singleness). We may also be called to a social vocation where we have a particular place or role in the wider community or workplace, allowing God to use us in these roles. At some point in your Christian journey, you may feel that God is calling you to use the gifts and skills which he has given you in a more public way in the church or the world.

The Church of England licences lay ministers and ordains priests and deacons. Lay ministers encourage links between the church and the world by teaching the faith, enabling mission and leading in church and society. They work with deacons and priests to help the church to grow in faith which affects everyday life. Ordained deacons and priests have a more representative role. Ordained priests are called to shepherd and lead God’s people in their worship of God and mission to the world. They do this through a ministry of word and sacrament. Ordained deacons are called to serve and equip the people of God to make Christ known. They assist priests as they share in the task of preaching and offering pastoral care in the church and in the community. 

Find out more:

Are there people like me in licensed and ordained ministry, and how will I be supported?

Many different kinds of people from different backgrounds are in licensed and ordained ministry – diversity is warmly welcomed. You can use the national Mentoring Directory to find a mentor who will support you. The Adviser for Vocations and Ordinands will also be happy to suggest local mentors or others who may be helpful for you to contact. There are also some local groups who are seeking to encourage diversity among those exploring their vocation.

The mentors in the national directory who are based in the Diocese of Bristol are Anjali Kanagaratnam, Beverley Charles, David Jones, Elveen Mead, and Mark Nam.

Read about minority ethnic vocations here   Read about young vocations here

‘Am I Called to Ministry?’ evenings

If you are interested in either ordained or licensed lay ministry, please talk first with your vicar or chaplain before coming along to one of our ‘Am I Called to Ministry?’ evenings, which are held twice a year for six weeks. Please contact to find out when the next event is.

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