Some Key Issues

Some of the things that could prevent a candidate going forward for ordination

(This is not an exhaustive list)  These guidelines do not represent a formal legal statement.

The national Church of England web page with the canons (rules) regarding ordination is here

  • The candidate has no discernable sense of calling from God
  • Safeguarding issues
  • Age limits
    • The minimum age for ordination is 23 for deacons and 24 for priests, though you can begin formal exploration when you are younger
    • There is an official diocesan policy regarding the maximum age for ordination. This can be summed up as:
      • Under 55 at the point of starting training for stipendiary ministry
      • Under 57 at the point of starting training for Self-Supporting Ministry
    • NOTE: It is  Diocesan Bishop's policy not to waive these limits in any circumstances.
  • The candidate is not a British citizen or does not have the right to work in the UK and so cannot remain here
  • Baptism and Confirmation
    • A candidate must have been baptised and confirmed in the Church of England, with appropriate certification, or have been baptised/confirmed in another Christian denomination, and formally received into the Church of England.
  • Previous marriage 
    • If the candidate or their spouse has a previous marriage and their former partner is still living, they have to go through a Canon C4 process
    • This also applies if the candidate is currently single but has more than one previous marriage.
  • Lack of clear Christian commitment 
  • Significant financial debt (excluding mortgage, car loan or student loan)
  • Previously not recommended by a Bishop's Panel three times
  • Non-residency in the Leeds Diocesan area - in these cases speak to the DDO in the diocese where you live.
  • "Great crimes" - a term used to describe serious criminal activity
  • Lack of regular church involvement

Some things that need not prevent you from being ordained (despite what you might have heard!)

  • You have children
  • You are disabled
  • You left school without any qualifications
  • You grew up in another denomination
  • You have occasional doubts about your faith
  • You are female
  • You don't support the ordination of women
  •    You find it hard to remember Bible verses
  • You have an outstanding student loan to pay off
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