Revd Rebecca Rogers has gone through the Ordination process fairly recently, having been ordained in 2010 and completing her curacy at All Saints, Childwall.
My first call to ordination was through reading a book: a true story of someone who came to know God’s love through the ministry of a prison chaplain. The next day I was convinced that I wanted to be a prison chaplain and that this was God’s call on my life. The idea of reaching out to those who were so marginalised and lost truly grabbed me. Speaking to my vicar, he encouraged me to think specifically about the concept of priesthood. Was I called to be ordained as a priest? This may or may not take the form of chaplaincy, but I needed to get my head around this first.
Over the next couple of years I worked in a school with teenagers with behaviour problems and found myself wishing I could pray with them and speak to them about God. At the same time I read books about ordination and read about the idea of being a ‘public representative’ of God. This really resonated with me. Of course, this is the call of every Christian, but in a more public sense for a priest. Two things became clear, that the sorts of issues that I had cared about in prisons, despair, loss and marginalisation, were just as evident here in the school and that had I been ordained, I would have been able and even expected to speak to these young people about God. After this time, the desire to be ordained had grown very strong indeed.
Then followed a year as pastoral assistant in a wonderful urban inner-city parish in London. I helped run a night shelter from the church, as well as all the usual day-to-day parish activities. Surprisingly for me, I loved parish work, the ups and downs and everything in between. Perhaps God was calling me to parish work after all?
8 years on, and I have just finished a curacy in a wealthy and suburban part of Liverpool. I have loved it, and God has used it to open my heart to people even more. Perhaps one day I will be a chaplain, perhaps he simply used that idea simply to get me here. It certainly looks as though my first incumbency is going to be a very different challenge from my curacy, something new again, but what I have learnt is not to limit God. Only He knows where He will take us. We think one thing but He may think another. But it is an absolute adventure, and one which I encourage you to pursue, if you suspect God may be calling you.