New Church of England Study Resource Explores Ordination

The Church of England has published a new resource to help any members preparing for ordination this summer.

The Church of England has published a new resource to help any members preparing for ordination this summer.

The season for the ordination of deacons and priests in the Church of England traditionally follows the feast day of St Peter the Apostle, celebrated on 29 June.

This year, the Church of England is enjoying its highest number of ordinations since 2000, with more than 560 men and women set to join the Church of England's clergy in 2007.

The number of ordained deacons going on to stipendiary ministry has also seen an encouraging rise in the last two years, as 283 of the 566 being ordained as deacons this summer prepare to take this route.

For the candidates, the ordination service is a life-changing event and one that sheds light on the deeper significance of their calling to ordained ministry.

As the ordination period approaches, the Church of England has published a new resource that provides ordination candidates with the Common Worship Ordination Services and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer Ordinal, as well as a brief history of ordination rites and a commentary by the Liturgical Commission.

The one volume Common Worship: Ordination Services also provides useful information for those involved in the planning of ordinations, including guidelines on how to use the worship space, vesture, music, and compiling the service booklet.

The Church of England's understanding of ordained ministry is expressed in its liturgy, and the book - designed in the award-winning Common Worship format - unpacks the recently authorised services with helpful annotations, including detailed references to Scripture and the Canons of the Church of England, guiding the reader through the background to each element of the rite.

The Rt Rev Stephen Platten, Bishop of Wakefield and Chair of the Liturgical Commission, writes in the book's foreword that study of holy orders and ordination rites "points beyond those subjects in two directions - to reflection on the Church as a whole, 'Christ's beloved bride, his own flock, bought by the shedding of his blood on the cross' and on Christ himself, 'the Apostle and High Priest of our faith and the Shepherd of our souls'."

Common Worship: Ordination Services is priced at £16.99 (paperback) or £30 (hardback) and is available now from Christian bookshops or online at

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