Suc­cess for young or­di­na­tions push

The Church of England - - NEWS -

A PUSH TO SE­CURE more vo­ca­tions to or­di­na­tion from younger people ap­pears to be gain­ing suc­cess. Fig­ures re­leased by the Church of Eng­land show that in 2013 the num­ber of people un­der 30 ac­cepted for train­ing rep­re­sented 23 per cent of the to­tal.

The Min­istry Di­vi­sion of the Arch­bish­ops’ Coun­cil has made moves to re­cruit young people by pro­vid­ing con­fer­ences and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties such as the Min­istry Ex­pe­ri­ence Scheme, which is be­ing pi­loted 2013/14 and is likely to be ex­tended for a fur­ther aca­demic year.

Com­ment­ing on the fig­ures for 2013, Liz Broughton, Young Vo­ca­tions Ad­viser to the Min­istry Di­vi­sion, said she was ‘de­lighted’ with the re­sults. She said it was “great that a sub­stan­tial num­ber (of young people) are hav­ing the con­fi­dence and sup­port to hear and re­spond to God’s call to priest­hood. We wel­come young people and value the gifts, enthusiasm and in­sights they bring.”

The Rt Rev Steven Croft, who is chair of the Min­istry Di­vi­sion, said: “The Church of Eng­land has a fresh vi­sion and com­mit­ment to see young people in their teens and twen­ties ex­plor­ing God’s call to min­istry.”

The Arch­bishop of York has been prom­i­nent at en­cour­ag­ing vo­ca­tions among young people. The Step­ping For­ward Con­fer­ence he hosts at Bish­opthorpe Palace for 18-to-30-year-olds is now in its sixth year.

At a con­fer­ence held ear­lier this month Dr Sen­tamu said that Step For­ward was about pro­vid­ing space to en­able young people to think whether or­dained min­istry might be some­thing God is call­ing them to­wards.

Dr David Good­hew, Di­rec­tor of Min­is­te­rial Prac­tice at Cran­mer Hall, Durham, is one of the people who help to or­gan­ise Step For­ward. He said that be­fore they at­tend the con­fer­ence many young people had never told any­one about their thoughts of a vo­ca­tion to or­dained min­istry ‘fear­ing fam­ily or friends would think them bonkers for do­ing so’.

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