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Vocations Sunday, the third Sunday after Easter, is a great opportunity to explore together where God is calling each of us, ......."  
Archbishop Justin Welby

Vocations Sunday 
will take place on 12th May this year. This e mail contains links to resources. We hope  that as many parishes will take this opportunity of really focussing their time on the 12th to create a culture of vocations. 
 
As many will be aware the Church of England has set itself the ambitious target of increasing priestly vocations by a massive 50% over the next few years and there are some truly amazing things happening up and down the country.  The reason why this is absolutely essential is because we face something of a crisis in vocations with a much higher proportion of parish clergy reaching retirement and far fewer offering themselves for priestly ordination.  The challenge of Vocations Sunday is twofold. 

First of all it is to currently serving clergy, churchwardens and PCC’s to ensure that our churches and congregations are always kept aware of the need to encourage, support and pray for more priests.  Vocations begin with the Lord, for he calls, our task is to constantly pray that he will continue to call and we must never be misled into thinking that priestly vocations are like secular vacancies.  Being called has nothing to do with how great our need is, so let us ask the Lord of the Harvest to provide labourers for His harvest. 
(You can download the ACS prayer by clicking here)
 
Secondly it is to the individual that yes God might be calling you to be a priest.  One of the things these resources will help us all realise is that there is no one shape or size for a priest, He calls a variety of people with a variety of gifts.  Some of the videos on the “Here I Am website”, beautifully illustrate this point and so to any individual that is reading this I would encourage you to think seriously about whether God is calling you to be a priest.  The Blessed Virgin Mary surrendered herself to the will of God in those powerful words where she said “Let it be done to me, according to your will” and indeed every day how many of us pray “Your will be done”.  So is God calling you to be a priest?
 
Please put the 12th May in your diary, review what is available here and do not hesitate to contact me personally at the Additional Curates Society if you require any further information or assistance.  There are also details of our Vocations Day and weekend which we hope will be of assistance to parishes and individuals on this most special day.
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Father Darren writes....... 
 
As General Secretary of the Additional Curates Society, my primary role and main purpose is to resource the church’s ministry by encouraging and supporting those who feel called to priesthood.  It is both an honour and a joy to be able to walk alongside individuals on this great journey of discovery and help them negotiate and navigate their way through the complexities of Diocesan and National selection procedures.  Over the years I have been privileged to listen to so many different stories from individuals who feel called to the ordained ministry, to witness the challenges that so many have faced in the lead up to ordination and to be able to stand outside of the official selection process and yet be very much part of it through closely working with many of the very talented and able staff that look after the Church of England’s vocation work both in their dioceses and in the Ministry Division in Church House Westminster. 
 
If you would like any help or support in any way at all then please do not hesitate to get in touch.  You can call me on 0121 382 5533, or email me on fr.smith@additionalcurates.co.uk or write to me at
16 Commercial Street Birmingham B1 1RS.  Please do not feel embarrassed or awkward, because  whatever place you are in the discernment process I am here to help, and if I don’t know the answer to a question then I will certainly seek to find out.
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Why not Pray for Vocations using the ACS Prayer:

You can download the prayer by clicking here
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Vocations Events
 
ACS is hosting another vocations weekend on Friday 30th August to Sunday 1st September and you can request further details by e mail : click here. You can also download a poster and book a place by clicking here

There is also a Vocations Day for anyone who has already attended a weekend and this will be at our offices in Commercial Street,  Birmingham
on Saturday 6th July from 11.00am. For more details and to book, please click here
 
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Vocations Resources
 
The Here I am You Tube page has a number of videos with stories from those considering ordination, and some recently ordained. Do they speak to you? Click here to see the videos.

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Have you joined the Great Vocations Conversation? Have at least one conversation about vocation each month with someone different from you 
Full details are on the website :
Click here to find out more
 
Almighty God, give us priests.
 
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