Your role... Ordained Ministry

by Michael Ford last modified 08 Feb, 2016 04:39 PM

The Church of England follows the ancient threefold order of ordained ministries; deacon, priest and Bishop. The majority of ordained ministers are deacons and priests.

The Church of England follows the ancient threefold order of ordained ministries; deacon, priest and Bishop.  The majority of ordained ministers are deacons and priests.

The Deacon…


The ministry of a deacon is that of the servant; both within the Church and in the wider community.   Every bishop and priest is first ordained as a deacon, reminding us that priestly ministry is rooted in service.  However, some people feel called to a life long ministry as a deacon and these ‘distinctive deacons’ make visible the life of self-giving, making Christ and his redeeming love known by their word and example.  Deacons serve wherever they are needed, but they may also have a particular focus in their ministry depending upon the needs of their local community and their own particular gifts. 

The Priest…


The priest is to build up the Body of Christ in the Church drawing people and communities together through the celebration of the sacraments, teaching, preaching and pastoral care. Priesthood is not only about what a person does. Priesthood is about what a person is.  Through the lives they lead, priests point to the transforming love of God in Christ, encouraging all God’s people to become agents of God’s love, justice and peace in the world.  

Stipendiary or Non-Stipendiary…


A stipendiary minister is someone who exercises their ministry full time from which they receive an income (a stipend) and usually a house.  Whilst most will minister primarily in a parish setting throughout their lives, some will function in a specialist ministry as chaplains to hospitals, the armed forces, prisons, industry, schools, universities and colleges.  Increasingly, many people exercise their ministry as they continue in their on-going occupations.  Such ministers are referred to as non-Stipendiary, or self supporting ministers.  The title reflects not on their ministry, but on the fact that they receive no income from it.

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