Right everyone, here’s something really important for us DDs. Rev Ian McIntosh, head of ministry formation for Ministry Division, has sent me his first draft of formation criteria for Distinctive Deacons for IME 1 (only). (IME stands for Initial Ministerial Education, and is for the phase of training that happens on theological courses or theological colleges prior to ordination).

I’ve said that I’ll share these widely with other deacons so that the feedback I give him is as representative as possible.

He has worked closely with the formation criteria we developed in Exeter (at MinDiv’s request). Please take a look, and let me have your response. This is our chance to make a difference for the diaconate!

Let me know in comments below or email if at all possible by the end of this week. MinDiv is working fast on all the criteria.

Apologies for the size of print:  if you hold down CTRL and press the plus sign several times you will enlarge it.



Enormously encouraging news for us. I had a meeting with +James Newcome, bishop of Carlisle, last week, who is the deacons’ champion.

He agrees that it would be an excellent idea to start moving towards some kind of national network which will not be over-formal, but which would be recognised by national bodies such as Ministry Division and the House of Bishops. He wants us to call it ‘Anglican Network of Distinctive Deacons‘ and says that we need a cross or a badge, and favours the one worn by Catholic deacons as being clear about our identity. We will need a patron and of course I asked if he would consider it, and he said he would be delighted.

The next step is that he will set up a meeting with the new Director of Ministry Division, Chris Goldsmith, and has asked me to be there. I am also to write to +Martin Seeley, head of the Ministry Council.

Please keep all this very much in your prayers. It is by no means a foregone conclusion, and there will be hurdles along the way. May they be flattened by the steamroller of diaconal prayer!! 🙏 And may God grant us all wisdom and lead us according to his holy will.

If you would like a deacon’s lapel pin, (size is just under one inch, in white and red enamel)

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then Deacon David Bean (Southwell) has offered to buy them in bulk from the Buckfast Abbey bookshop (which, as far as I can discover, is the only source in the UK) and will mail one to you if you wish.  Please let me know if you would like one:  send me your name and address privately by Direct Message on the deacons’ Facebook site

or, if you’re a member of the GoDeacons Whatsapp group, you can give me those details securely on that.

Please also let me know if you would like me to file your details for future reference, or if you would prefer to have them erased.

David’s asked for orders to be made by Sunday 11 August.

So much to be thankful for:  so much to pray for!

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SHARED DISCERNMENT PROCESS Renewed candidate qualities and discernment processes 2019

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At last! We’ve been waiting for these for a couple of years.

… our work of discernment explores a call to ministry which is relational …. missional … collaborative …. diverse and adaptive.

The House of Bishops has approved and commended a new Shared Discernment Process.  Bishop Mark Tanner writes

(It) … is designed to foster lifelong discernment and formation.


… The Six Qualities havee been developed with the ordinal in mind, and with a view to broadening access both to the ‘unseen-called’ and the ‘excluded- called’.  The six qualities are:

  • The call to ministry …
  • Love for God …
  • Love for people …
  • Wisdom …
  • Fruitfulness …
  • Potential …

There follow two grids, looking at these six qualities, one for priest and one for distinctive deacon.  Each of the qualities is looked at under four headings:  in relation to Christ, Church, World and Self.

Many of the qualities needed for ministry are generic and therefore the same for both ministries:  however, the deacon grid does refer to diaconal qualities.  I’ve highlighted these on the scan below:


Here is the priest grid, for comparison:

Ministry Division is preparing a working document for DDOs to use, a

model where testing and assuring evidence of knowing and doing will mainly be done by Dioceses working together in a region with being and growing as the focus of a second stage more akin to the current BAP.

The TIMELINE for this developing work is scheduled to finish at the end of 2020.  The first new panels under this Shared Discernment Process will begin in January 2021.

Please let me know what you think, either in the comments here, or on our Facebook page or via Twitter @WardenGill or via an email to


(Image from Unfinished)