Encouraging diversity in vocations
14 August 2017 IN: Ministers
The Revd Nick Smeeton is now in post as the Diocesan Director of Vocations, with the remit of fostering a culture of discipleship across the diocese and increasing lay and ordained vocations.
Until recently Nick was vicar of Holy Trinity Coldhurst and St Stephen and All Martyrs, Oldham. He takes up his new role at a time when the Church of England nationally is placing a greater emphasis on increasing vocations to equip it for the future. The Church is aiming to increase the number of ordinands by 50%.
Nick said, “I want to build on what has already been achieved in Manchester Diocese. We have a good track record of encouraging a large number of high quality candidates for ordination. I’d like to see more BAME candidates, younger female candidates and people from less academic backgrounds coming forward. I hope that the imaginative training pathways we offer will make it easier for people with families to train.”
Nick also wants to help create a culture of discipleship so that it becomes more natural for lay people to talk about their faith with the wider community. “I’d love to see people feeling more confident about sharing their faith in all kinds of situations. I want to support people to grow in whole-life discipleship and share what they value and experience.
Working with the Lay Ministry Officer, Jamie Mackenzie, Nick will support the popular training course Foundations for Ministry, which is often a first step for people exploring a call to a new form of ministry. Many people go on to become Authorised Lay Ministers and share in public ministry in their parish.
Nick is also responsible for the selection of Readers and wants to raise the prominence of Reader ministry that can add so much to the life of a parish. He hopes to revitalise Reader ministry that includes preaching and teaching, leading worship and providing pastoral care.