Vocations - Ordinations Commissions...
So you want to be Ordained?
Currently students completing courses may be considered for Ordination. Being a student does not give anyone the right to ordination (as we are seriously not the conveyor belt, ordination factory, other places offer that which is laughable).
Please speak to us prior to studies being taken up to discover the order and prerequisites of individual criteria and spiritual discernment in making decisions on ordination.
We will all be guided essentially through the leading of the Holy Spirit in assessing the ministry level of the candidate, also using, good old fashioned, simple common sense, along with a psychological evaluation, which will certainly help the Pastoral board to determine the outcome of any discussed future ordinations. By this we speak of ‘Holy Orders’ in Apostolic Succession, elevating members to the Priesthood, Diaconate or the Bishopric. Also includes Commissioning as Minister’s of the Gospel. If any doubts then please speak to your WCCC Bishop, or email us at email@example.com
Vocations The WCCC welcomes interest and invites applications from candidates of any age interested in discerning a vocation to the permanent sub-diaconate, ancient order of deaconess, diaconate or priesthood. The minimum age for ordination is twenty-four (24) there is no upper age limit. All applicants must be in good health mentally and able physically to exercise a ministry. We expect you to have a Foundation degree earned through WCCC and life experience or your pastoral work and studies would be counted towards your degree. Check it out with us!
The WCCC does not offer stipendiary positions, all our clergy are “non-stipendiary” meaning that they must be financially self-sufficient and are either (self/) employed, retired or members of religious institutes (shared economy). Expenses are sometimes covered by congregations, but applicants should be aware that no accommodation or salary will be provided by the Church to them.
Clergy in the WCCC are not required to be celibate, married and single men alike are welcome to apply. There is no bar to marriage post ordination to any of the degrees of Holy Orders. All clergy are required to be chaste i.e. faithful to their partner, or modest in the development of their personal relationships. Celibacy remains an option for clergy i.e. to remain single and chaste, and many of our clergy live such a consecrated life.
The WCCC will only ordain candidates into the Sacred Ministry who have an existing ministry, one in detailed concept or for a religious institute (the Order of Penitent Franciscans of Faith - OPFF, or the Order of St George - OSG, are currently the only forms of consecrated life expressed within the WCCC). The WCCC does not ordain for other denominations and will not re-ordain or sub-conditionally ordain existing ministers without Incardination if such action is deemed necessary or desirable.
After a process of discernment an applicant may become a “seminarian” and be enrolled on the Seminarian Formation Programme, this is the same whether for permanent diaconate or priesthood. A minimum of three years before ordination to the diaconate may normally be expected, four to five years for the priesthood. Previous ministerial experience and academic qualifications relevant to theology may be taken into consideration though this is at the discretion of the Formation Rector and/or the Pastoral Development Board. All costs of tuition and course materials are to be borne by the student (though some assistance (Bursaries) may be provided for the un-waged or those on low income).
Incardination is the process by which a Cleric or Sacred Minister in true Apostolic Succession becomes Canonically part of a Catholic Church or jurisdiction. Every Catholic cleric belongs to a particular church, this has been the case for centuries since the earliest Church Councils stipulated that every Ordained man should belong to a particular church community and a particular Bishop. In every Catholic jurisdiction in the world, East or West, Sacred Ministers be they deacon, priest or bishop belong to a Church in this way. Most true Gospel churches work this way rightly dividing the Word of God in as hermeneutics dictate in Church practice.
In the WCCC Ordination means "belonging to" and "obedience" i.e. the cleric is recognised as a member of the Church and is entitled to the privileges and rights that pertain to his status in Canon Law and at the same time is beholden to certain responsiblities and ultimately subject to his ecclesiastical superior, the Bishop. Catholic tradition and order dictates that a cleric and imparticular a Sacred Minister can only act sacramentally on behalf of a Bishop, incardination provides this cover.
There are several reasons why an "estranged" cleric may wish to incardinate with the WCCC. Through no fault of their own some clerics find in the development of their spiritual life and vocation that they no longer feel called to minister within the original church of their ordination. The WCCC does not discriminate against clergy who left a celibate ministry to become married or who no longer feel called to a celibate expression of commitment; who no longer feel able in conscience to continue their ministry in the church of their ordination or who for whatever reason resigned their original ministry and wish to become active again.
The process of incardination in the WCCC involves a period of discernment and communication in the first instance between the enquiring cleric and the nominated liaison for the Church. During this time, the candidate is invited to supply as much information as possible as to their reasons for seeking incardination, the circumstances of their leaving the church of their ordination and the liaising representative answers questions about ministry within the WCCC. All discussions at this stage are kept confidential. If after this initial period both parties feel that pursuing incardination would be the best step forward, on recommendation of the liaising representative an Application Form will be sent to the candidate from the Chancellery who will oversee the Incardination Process.
Throughout the Incardination Process candidates will be invited to provide as much information as possible regarding their previous ministry, the circumstances of their leaving, their reasons for seeking incardination within the WCCC and what they feel they can contribute to the mission and ministry of the Church. A cleric will not be incardinated who does not have some plan of ministry for the future unless he is sufficiently prohibited from exercising a ministry through infirmity or advanced age.
Various documents will be required from clergy wishing to incardinate supporting their Application including Certificates of Ordination, Confirmation and Baptism as too any documents providing proof of professional training and academic qualifications. As well evidence of excardination or rescript from a candidate's previous jurisdiction or equivalent documents are desirable. In certain circumstances where it is not always possible or difficult to provide documentary evidence (e.g. the church of baptism no longer exists, documents/records destroyed or mislaid etc), some alternatives of proof are accepted.
References too are required from people who have known personally, worked with or taught the candidate both in secular and church life and if relevant a letter of support for their application from the candidate's spouse. The WCCC believes that incardination is an holistic process seeking to know the "whole person" and candidates are encouraged to be open about their life and experiences - the good and the bad. The WCCC does not discriminate nor re-judge candidates for passed mistakes neither does it seek to inflict renewed condemnaton however, severe legal sanctions whether secular or ecclesiastical will be taken into consideration sensitively.
The WCCC hopes that whatever the outcome of an Application, the process will have been as painless and as spiritually rewarding for the candidate as possible.
• The WCCC is an Convergence ministry to the body of Christ, possessed of sacramental validity through an unquestionable, authentic and recognised Apostolic Lineage.
• The WCCC is a recognised Christian part of the Kingdom body and enjoys a membership of thousands of people around the globe and in affiliation or with Inter-Communion contracts is a large part of the ecumenical outreach in this new Convergence movement of the Holy Spirit. It is the only "independent" Catholic Convergence jurisdiction so recognised in the UK.
• It has Convergence - fraternal relationships with other recognised orthodox churches of the Catholic Tradition both nationally and internationally and by Eastern and Western rite churches and has a reputation for stability and propriety. It also enjoys ecumenical charitable relations with other churches within the UK and around the world, of various traditions.
• It is a Canonical jurisdiction where the rights and responsiblities of clerics and laity are provided and protected and it conducts its internal affairs appropriately, justly and charitably.
• It is a personable church meaning that due to it's size its clergy and people are known to each other and know and are known by their Bishop(s) a real community of Christian fellowship and a living school of Christian discipleship.
Deacons in the Early Church were the assistants to the Bishop not just liturgically but assisting in the organisation and pastoral care of the Church Community to which they belonged. As the Order of Presbyter developed and the distinction between Priest and Bishop became clear, the Deacons remained the first vocation in service of the Church.
PERMANENT: Following the Apostolic example of the Early Church and historical and current developments in the exercise of the Sacred Ministry, The WCCC offers Ordination to men desirous to serve the Church permanently in the Clerical State as Deacons. The Church recognises that not all men called to ministry are called to be Priests and recognises that over the centuries the Church as a whole has failed to give the respect and honour due to this Order as it was understood and practised in the Early Church. It is not simply waiting tables as the protestant church imagined.
Permanent Deacons are fully "Clerics" of the Church, that is they are Canonically bound in obedience to their Bishop and to the recitation of the Divine Office. They are "officers" of the Church and as such may hold positions of responsibility both locally within a Parish or generally within the Diocese.
TRANSITIONAL: Deacons ordained transitionally prior to Priestly Ordination. The WCCC sees no distinction between the rights and duties of Transistional and Permanent Deacons except the desire of the former to receive Priestly Orders.
They may also be either Transitional, or Permanent in essence. This is also a valid position of authority in the local Church and specifically serve the bishop as a female Deacon (serving servant) and are the hand and the feet of their Bishop. They directly report to the Bishop rather than the Priest as they may be auxiliary posts and can be missionaries in essence and Ministry stations of the Holy Spirit to the community and to the local church.
Transitional Deacons are expected to assist locally in the Parish to which they belong or are put to serve until their Priestly Ordination and may hold positions of authority locally in such circumstances. It is unusual for Transitional Deacons to hold positions with Diocesan responsibility prior to their Priestly Ordination
A Priest stands at the Altar on behalf of the Bishop – he is a Deacon still and yet also permitted, authorised and Ordained to share in the priesthood of his Bishop. A man cannot become a Priest without a Bishop and he cannot exercise a Priestly ministry without belonging to a Bishop.
The vocation of a Priest is to serve but also to lead, he shares particularly in the Apostolic authority of the Bishop to teach, to forgive, to bless and to offer. The Priest is both Deacon - server and Presbyter - priest; his is a dual vocation to serve the Bishop and to share with the Bishop in leading the people.
Too often people mistake or misunderstand the nature and vocation of Priesthood. It is not, as some people believe, to be "in charge"; a Priest's authority comes from his Bishop, by sharing in the Bishop's authority he has authority, but not his own authority only his Bishop's.
A Priest is bound Canonically i.e. by the Church's Law, in obedience to his Bishop; he cannot do anything without the Bishop's permission as it is the sharing in his Bishop's ministry that he is able to celebrate the Sacraments and most especially the Mass.
In the WCCC this understanding of Priesthood (as explained above) forms the basis upon which we discern vocations to Priesthood. The length of time for discernment and seminary study reflects the ongoing and careful discernment of the Church and the Bishop as to the suitability of the candidate and his understanding of priesthood. Committment and dedication to the WCCC, to the Church and primarily the Bishop, is what will decide whether a candidate is Ordained or not to the Priesthood
The WCCC welcomes interest and invites applications from committed members of its congregations to discern and explore opportunities in lay ministry. Examples of licensed lay ministry are Pastoral Worker, Reader or permanent Sub-deacon other forms of lay ministry not requiring a license but instead some training and a certificate include Hospital Visitor, Christian Listening Counsellor, Sunday School Teacher and Parish Catechetist.
No monetary remuneration is offered for these posts either licensed or un-licensed however some Congregations may cover a percentage of or all expenses. Essentially lay ministry is voluntary and a gift of the persons own talents, abilities, time and resources to expressing a more committed participation in the life of the Church.
Training is coordinated by the local Rector/Vicar and may include participation on these courses or with other Churches or external organisations as well as internal provision in the WCCC. Training for a Licensed or Certificated Ministry may involve deeper study theologically or pedagogically which may be charged for either by an external provider if necessary, or the WCCC which the student will have to cover (however, assistance can be offered to candidates who are un-waged or on a low income studying with this Seminary).
Some or all of these positions require statutory checks with relevant Government agencies - i.e. CRB Check in UK.
PASTORAL WORKER: Responsible for representing the church or parish in home or health institution visitations, calls to new or potential members, and other contacts involving care and support. May coordinate the activities of lay volunteers or coordinate education or social out-reach activities in support of the parochial clergy; a licensed lay minister of the Church.
READER: A lay person authorised for the Church by license of the Diocesan Bishop to assist in the liturgical reading of Scriptural texts within the context of Divine Worship i.e. the Mass, Offices and Rites of the Church.
SUB-DEACON (Permanent): A layman with a vocation to serve the Church as a cleric (meaning he is bound by Canonical Law and the recitation of the Divine Office) but not as a Sacred Minister (i.e. deacon or priest) who assists in the celebration of the solemn offering of the Liturgy of the Church (Mass, Offices and Rites) in the Sanctuary. A Sub-deacon may also fulfill a pastoral role in the parish assisting the clergy as directed and working alongside a Pastoral Worker sharing in pastoral provision. It is his special prerogative to read/sing the Epistle at High Mass whenever it is celebrated in the parish in which he resides and to assist in such capacity around the Diocese when invited to do so. Is also permitted to administer the Blessed Sacrament.
(Note: Transitional Sub-deacons are men in training for the Sacred Ministry.)
HOSPITAL VISITOR: A person who shares in the pastoral provision of visits to members of the congregation who may be hospitalised or generally as part of the parish’s outreach activities to visit hospitals. They are to “befriend” the sick, visiting them regularly, providing what assistance they can to make their stay in hospital comfortable and endurable, to be a listener and to encourage their wellbeing.
CHRISTIAN LISTENING COUNSELLOR: A specific activity in some parishes providing a drop-in service to the public generally for people who wish to know more about the Christian faith or who want to talk and to share a problem with someone objectively. This ministry is specialist in that certain courses must be completed. The role of a Counsellor is not to give advice but to listen and help by coming alongside the person and perhaps assist the person to find appropriate help from official and professional sources if necessary i.e. a spiritual problem, crisis of faith etc they would direct the person to a cleric; an employment, health or social problem they would refer them to the appropriate public service provider, Housing Office, Jobcentre, Clinic Solicitor, Citizens Advice, etc.
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER: A person keen to assist in the development of the Faith with children properly belonging to the Church i.e. the children of parents who are members of the congregation. They inform the young of the basic teachings of the Faith, familiarising them with various expressions and practical aspects of the Faith and introducing and providing familiarity with the Scriptures and story of the Church.
PARISH CATECHIST: A person who assists in the education of young and mature adults in preparation for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation. They may also assist in the provision of education for the laity generally in coordinating, running and facilitating Study Groups and other such activities designed to communicate the teaching of the Church and inform on the responsibilities of Confirmed members of the Church and of the Faith generally.
These will need to be paid (for the expenses of the relevant Bishop presiding) by the candidate applying for ordination to Holy Orders. Therefore, All Travel arrangements, Air Fares, Taxi’s, Hotel stay, food and light refreshments are to be the direct responsibility and born by the candidate personally. It is not the responsibility of our World Communion, or this Convergence Theological Seminary.
As above: All Travel arrangements, Air Fares, Taxi’s, Hotel stay, food and light refreshments are to be the responsibility and born by the candidate personally. It is not the responsibility of the World Communion or this Convergence Theological Seminary.
All required training for Holy Orders will be assessed by the Pastoral Development Team and anyone wishing to be ordained must have a Psychological test currently set at £40 to be paid in advance (up front) and usually done in person at the Campus Office, though if hardship and prohibitive cost, or large distances are involved, then these may be carried out over the phone - usually by our resident Pastoral Psychologist/Psychotherapist.
Any further training for Holy Orders will need to be carried out through our Convergence Theological Seminary though current experience and Qualified training completed elsewhere will always be taken into consideration in the positive.