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Anyone willing to hold my hand during discernment process?

(191 Posts)
Minicooper Wed 04-Jan-17 20:31:31

I'm exploring a call to ordination in the Church of England - met the DDO before Christmas and have a meeting with the bishop's advisor tomorrow to begin the process of applying for an archbishop's faculty as I'm divorced and remarried.

I'd love some support and advice if anyone's been through similar?

Thanks in advance!

Fluffythefish Wed 04-Jan-17 21:44:17

I haven't as I am from a different denomination (but now working for the CofE). But I have been a candidating interviewer as well as an interviewee many moons ago. What I would look for was a clear sense of call, an ability to express faith openly (you would be surprised at the number of people who seemed to find referring to Jesus or God quite difficult) and a willingness to learn, be open and be challenged. i.e. not a finished product but someone ready to be shaped for Ministry. This is an exciting albeit scary time and you are in my prayers

niminypiminy Wed 04-Jan-17 21:57:24

I didn't have to have a faculty but I have been through the discernment process in the CofE. Very happy to offer support!

Fluffy puts very well what they're looking for.

Minicooper Wed 04-Jan-17 22:56:51

Thank you both. Funny, fluffy, I almost put in my opening post that it's both exciting and scary!

niminypiminy Thu 05-Jan-17 08:39:34

Praying for your meeting today Mini

Madhairday Thu 05-Jan-17 11:12:21

Happy to handhold too, dh is a vicar so have been through the process with him. Prayers for today, how exciting!

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Thu 05-Jan-17 11:39:50

I've been through the process and I'm happy to help.

Minicooper Thu 05-Jan-17 23:35:52

Thank you all! Really appreciate the prayers, niminy - and thank you madhairday and greenheart - all advice and experience is very welcome!

The meeting tonight was fine - the bishop's advisor was kind and sensitive and easy to talk to. Don't know how long the process will take, but he suggested the next step would probably be a meeting with the bishop in a few months time...

Thanks for the support.

Tiggles Fri 06-Jan-17 12:28:00

Hello, I'm an ordinand in Church in Wales and had to apply for a faculty as DH is divorced. Glad the meeting went well yesterday.
It took several years for me before I went off to a bishops panel from when I first met the DDO, but that could be because I was a baptist and had only been going to the CinW for a short while.

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Fri 06-Jan-17 18:36:53

From first meeting with a vocations adviser to going to BAP was about 2 years for me. It does seem to vary by diocese.

Minicooper Fri 06-Jan-17 21:55:09

Thanks, greenheart and hello, Tiggles! I'm about a year in so far, but DDO suggested I wouldn't be starting training until 2018 at the earliest, so still quite a long way to go...

niminypiminy Sat 07-Jan-17 06:55:03

It was two years for me too. But my experience of those two years was that it was ages. Especially in the early stages there were months between meetings. At the time the waiting seemed endless but in retrospect they were vitally important. I changed a lot through the discernment process and that takes time. Learning to wait was definitely part of that.

Minicooper Sat 07-Jan-17 19:50:27

I know what you mean, niminy. It sounds like is going to be 3 years minimum for me - and that's before any potential training! But I am becoming more patient - learning to trust God's timing and not want to rush such an important decision.

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Sun 08-Jan-17 17:39:29

There is also the discernment of when to give the process a bit of a shove. A friend of mine has been mucked about by changes in personnel at the diocese and she seems to keep going to the back of the queue. Mostly the phrase is 'trust the process' but this is the C of E we are talking about and the potential for admin error can be higher than you might wish it to be.

Minicooper Sun 08-Jan-17 20:31:31

Thanks, greenheart. It's hard to know when to push and when to be patient, but sometimes useful to give a gentle reminder! I'm waiting to hear back from my DDO who emailed me beginning Dec to arrange a meeting, then hasn't been in touch since... Still trusting the process so far though...

EddSimcox Mon 09-Jan-17 21:42:19

Can't offer any advice at all mini but very happy to listen. You have excellent advisors already (niminy, greenheart, MHD etc...) - all v brilliant women who have helped me a lot!

What's an archbishop's faculty if you don't mind me asking?

Madhairday Tue 10-Jan-17 08:04:40

It's certainly a slow process! We went through 2 baps so took about 4 years in the end- lots of endless waiting around. I think that is a necessary part of it in a way - to take time to really think and pray about every step, every meeting. If it was too rushed it probably wouldn't work as well for discernment on both sides, I guess. Frustrating while you're in it, though.

How are you getting on?

Minicooper Tue 10-Jan-17 13:15:52

EddSimcox, church law states that you can't be ordained if you've been divorced and remarried or if you've married a divorced person. After interviews and investigation, your bishop can apply for an archbishop's faculty which gives permission to be ordained (subject to the usual discernment process, BAP etc) Does that make sense?

Madhairday, I'm fine thanks. Sometimes the process does seem slow, but I know I'm growing and changing through it, whatever the outcome

Minicooper Tue 10-Jan-17 13:18:11

Two baps must have been difficult too - sounds like you got there in the end though... Just living through the dark or confusing times is so hard.... Fine when you know the outcome and can see how God was working on things all the time!

EddSimcox Wed 11-Jan-17 09:37:25

Oh yes I see. Is it just about divorce then? I thought there might be a whole list of things that might trigger a referral up for permission as it were.

You may know it already, but just in case not, Picking apples of gold by Jules Middleton has lots of blog posts about discernment you might find interesting.

Tiggles Wed 11-Jan-17 11:10:22

I've come to value the slowness of the process. Maybe that is half the battle! I remember at the beginning finding it so frustrating waiting to talk to people, for them to actually respond to emails etc.
I also had 2 BAPs the hardest part wasn't having to go back for a second one (although I nearly didn't go through with it) but seeing all the people I had been to the 1st BAP with getting ordained as I was still waiting to start training.

Minicooper Wed 11-Jan-17 17:46:46

Thanks EddSimcox, I've read her dude to ordination, but not her blog. Thanks for the link.

Tiggles, that must have been tough. What stage are you at now?

I've heard from my DDO and have my first meeting with him next week. Scary and exciting all at once!

EddSimcox Wed 11-Jan-17 18:11:11

Dude to ordination? Is that a book? or a typo?!! I know her on twitter but never heard of that..

Good luck with the DDO, that's great news!

Tiggles Wed 11-Jan-17 18:33:50

God willing I will be ordained deacon in June -the bishop signs that off in March as the BAP only is a selection to training not to ordination. So I'm currently looking at a possible curacy placement.

Minicooper Wed 11-Jan-17 22:14:16

EddSimcox grin typo I'm afraid - I meant guide to ordination, but I quite like the sound of dude to ordination!

That's exciting, Tiggles, I'll be praying for all to go well and for it to be really clear when the right curacy comes up.

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