Every Christian is a servant of God and has a role to play in the lay or ordained ministry of the Church. Lay ministries range from helping out in various ways on an honorary part time basis, to full time work as a Stipendiary Lay Minister. The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne is committed to the ordination of men and women to all orders of ministry – deacons, priests and bishops.
Ordained ministries include Deacons, Priests, and Bishops. Deacons and Priests generally work in Parish or Chaplaincy settings where people undertake ministries of a public or representative nature within the Church or on behalf of the Church; they pass through selection processes and undertake appropriate training. Once this is completed, they need to be authorized by the Archbishop.
People enquiring about ministry need to be members of the Anglican Church, connected to an Anglican Parish and be known in that context as being of good character, having leadership ability and ministry potential. References will be needed from Parish leaders as well as friends and colleagues. The Archbishop has outlined qualities looked for in candidates for ordination in the following terms.
1. Most basic of all is Christian faith and character. A candidate must be able to give a clear explanation of his/her discovery and realization of Christ.
2. There must be evidence that Christian character receives a high priority, which affects attitudes to prayer, money, other persons, power and sexuality.
3. A person must exhibit strengths of character and courage to resist personal and community pressures.
4. They must possess physical and psychological fitness.
1. A person must exhibit a ‘passion’ for ‘God in Christ’ and his Church and,
2. Show evidence of a desire to minister Christ and to talk about ‘God in Christ’ to others.
3. There must be evidence of capacities and desire to lead communities of faith and love.
4. The person will need to possess people and community life skills and sensitivities and realize that,
5. Simply to have a desire to be a deacon or priest, or ‘attraction to spiritual life’ are not necessarily a call to ordination. God’s call must be tested by the Church.
1. A person will need to be willing to be appointed anywhere in the diocese and display a willingness to join a pool of leaders who will match a Diocesan-wide ministry strategy.
2. They will need to have intellectual capacities to study and reflect on scripture and theology coupled with high regard for these sources.
3. It will be important to have an ability to attract contemporary Australians into relevant church life and display both flexibility and awareness of our context.
4. Any potential ordinand will need to be open to a sensible understanding of the Anglican Ordinal and be willing to work at understanding the essence of Anglicanism: Bible, Creeds, Polity, Liturgies, History and its flexible spirit as expressed in, among other places, the preface to the Book of Common Prayer.
5. Candidates should come from strong parish involvement.
For more information see Theological Education.