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Ordained Ministry

by Helen Clemow last modified 10 Nov, 2021 11:19 AM

Ordained ministers of the diocese

Through ministry, the Church responds to God’s invitation to join in his mission to the world. Through Christian baptism we are all called to play our part in the Church’s ministry, by taking our discipleship seriously and constantly seeking to deepen it through worship, learning and service. Some are called to express ministry in a particular way, as authorised ministers: either lay or ordained.





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A Threefold Ministry

Ordained ministry is expressed through the threefold order of Bishop, Priest and Deacon, as described in the Ordinal. Although Priests continue to be Deacons, and Bishops continue to be both Priests and Deacons, each order of ministry has its own proper focus. Deacons are particularly called to embody the servant nature of ministry; priests to embody its sacramental nature; bishops to exercise a ministry of oversight and teaching.

Assistant Curates 

Once ordinands have finished Part 1 of their Initial Ministerial Education they are licensed as lay workers until they are ordained deacon at Michaelmas. Once ordained as deacons, they are relicensed as Assistant Curates for Part 2 of their Initial Ministerial Education, typically another four years. Those who are called to the priesthood will also be ordained priest the following Petertide.

Associate Ministers 

Having completed Part 2 of their Initial Ministerial Education, all ordained ministers are relicensed to a new ministry. In the case of those who will continue to serve in the same context, they are relicensed at this point as Associate Ministers. They exercise a supporting role within a ministry team.

Ordained Pioneer Ministers (OPMs) 

Ordained Pioneer Ministers have a specific calling to grow church in new contexts. They are selected and trained with this ministry in mind. Follow the link to find out more about them.


Some ordained ministers are called to continue as Deacons throughout their ministry. They are known as Distinctive Deacons and in some Dioceses are referred to as Permanent Deacons.

Rural Deans 

Rural Deans are nominated by the Bishop after consultation with Deanery clergy. They share with the bishops in a ministry of oversight and are consulted regularly as part of an extended senior staff team.


Archdeacons are members of the Bishop’s senior staff team. While the Bishops ‘lead’ the Diocese, the Archdeacons ‘manage’ the Diocese. Their particular responsibilities include all aspects of parish development and the deployment, licensing, and pastoral care of ordained and lay ministers.


Chaplains may be found in Education, Health, Offending Services and the Armed Forces, and may be invited to minister in parishes.

For more information, contact:

Canon Jonathan Triffitt

Director of Mission, Ministry and Communications,  

God is calling

Is God calling you to be a Priest? Click the graphic to download a leaflet.

God is Calling Priest


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