Vocation: God Calls Everyone

Welcome to the Diocese of Leeds Vocations web pages! Please use the menu to navigate around the Vocations pages - you'll find this on the left on a PC/tablet or above on a mobile.

Most of the Vocations Team's work involves working with those exploring a call to ordained ministry, but we are here to support and encourage everyone to discover God's purpose for our lives, especially in formal roles within their local church. You will find more about lay vocations on the Lay Training pages.

The Vocations Team supports candidates through the whole discernment process, including their formal training, right up to the day of their ordaination as deacon. After that, responsibility passes to the Clergy Development Team.

The Church of England's national page about vocation is run by Ministry Team (formerly known as Ministry Division). Their main web page is here.

We are all called by God

Vocation is for everyone! It isn't just a word for special people. There are many things that God calls everyone to do, especially:

Many of the things Jesus told his disciples are things that every Christian is called to do  - "love one another" "love your enemies" "seek God's kingdom".

Remember that the church is called to do these things together. First and foremost, the church is called and all vocation is often about discovering our part in what God is doing through the church.

Some people discover that God may be calling them to quite a specific ‘calling’ and this is sometimes called a vocation. Vocation means different things to different people. Some people feel called to their daily work or a particular task. 

In the church, vocation is often the word used to describe God calling someone to a specific role within the church. This is frequently a calling to ordination, but there are many formal roles in the church. These could include vicar, chaplain, youth worker, lay preacher, deacon, evangelist, joining a religious community, planting new churches (pioneer ministry) etc. All of these might be paid or unpaid.

Some people are called to serve God in their everyday lives

  • in your job or career
  • in your home as a parent or carer
  • in your spare time as a volunteer

For many people in the world, there is little choice about what we do with most of our time, but the Bible encourages us to do everything in the light of God's existence and love: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters" (Colossians 3:23)

Some people are called by God to serve Him in their church community

This might include

  • as a church warden
  • as a music leader or member of the choir
  • in a practical role such as building repairs
  • a worship leader
  • as a welcomer
  • as a member or leader of the pastoral team
  • etc

Many of these roles are temporary, and mostly they are unpaid.

Some people sense that they may be called to specific ministries that the church formally authorises

These might include

  • As a Reader (now often called Licenced Lay Minister)
  • As a member of e Religious Community (often known as monks and nuns)
  • As a deacon
  • As a priest (often called a vicar, chaplain, minster, reverend, padre, clergy etc)

In these cases, the church provides specific training and authorisation. For clergy this happens at a national level. 


The processs of discovering God's call on our lives is called "discernment". There are formal procedures in each Diocese that are used, and specific criteria that need to be met. You can find out more about this process here.

What About Me? First Steps.

How can I know what God is guiding me to do?

  • The first thing to do is to pray.
  • Ask God to guide your path.
  • Read the Bible.
  • Offer yourself to His service.
  • Do the things that Jesus commanded: seek the Kingdom, love others, share his Good News.
  • Talk with those who know you well and will give honest answers.
  • Speak to your vicar or chaplain.

Iit would be good to visit the Leeds Diocese  digital learning platform and sign up to receive information from the vocations team.  This will let us contact you about events and courses that are happening and send you occasional mailings which might help you.  We won't pass your data to anyone else without your permission and won't bombard you with emails.  If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so at any time by clicking on the link or emailing the vocations [at] leeds.anglican.org (subject: Exploring%20Vocation) (vocations team). You will also find regular updates and useful resources on or Facebook page - see the link below.

Many people have found it helpful to do the Introduction to Theology Course, run by our Lay Training Department. This involves 12 sessions over 12 weeks and you can find all the details here.

An extensive list of books about vocation and related topics is available.

Alternatively - browse some of the Useful Links.

We're also on social media:

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   Leeds Vocations Facebook

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Leeds Vocations Twitter

Meet the team

Revd Canon Derek Walmsley

Revd Canon Derek Walmsley 
Diocesan Director of Ordinands & Vocations

Revd Steve Proudlove

Revd Steve Proudlove
Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands & Vocations (half time)

Jjenice.guild [at] leeds.anglican.org (enice Guild)
Administrator to Diocesan Director of Ordinands & Vocations
0113 353 0260


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