With our next LifeCall Ordination evening happening on May 20th we spoke to Bishop Cyril Ashton, Assistant Bishop in our diocese about why these evenings have such importance and his personal reflections on hearing that call.
Bishop Cyril has a wealth of experience of vocations.
With a life in ministry starting with a curacy in Blackpool in the late 60's the Bishop has held a variety of roles including Vocations Secretary for CPAS and Vicar at St Thomas Lancaster for 16 years.
Bishop Cyril was then Director of Training for the Diocese of Blackburn before becoming Bishop of Doncaster in 2000.
retirement in 2011, the self-confessed motorcycling enthusiast has been an associate bishop for our diocese.
Yet if his parents had had their way he would have been an accountant.
That was the early direction he was pointed towards but it never felt right "I had an inner sense that God was calling me" Bishop Cyril explained "I wasn't sure but it felt like the right thing".
Bishop Cyril confesses he tackled the call in completely the wrong way without a clue about how the discernment process worked.
So it's clear that Bishop Cyril sees ordained ministry as a distinct ministry.
"it's about having people who can inspire their congregations.
The clergy are most effective when they can catch a vision and inspire others around that vision.
They also need to have the emotional maturity to spot the gifts of others, to encourage those gifts and to make sure they are not the ones to get in the way of other's development."
Bishop Cyril is certain that this is not simply a recruitment drive for the church.
Recognising the issue of retiring clergy he
is sure that "God is not going to leave his
church without leadership".
And as a passionate supported of lay leadership - in its many forms - he
sees the calling to ordination offers a different path.
"the theological argument about the sacramental nature of ordained ministry has not diminished - ordination is those with a vision and passion to make a difference" he
stresses warming to his
"it's where the clergy are most effective, where they can show leadership and where they can reflect the model of Jesus rather than society's models.
Bishop Cyril is excited to be introducing this evening.