encounter area

Green leaf
young leaders

For those just starting out in leadership (or hoping to)

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Blue leaf

Support and wisdom for those on the ordination path

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Pink leaf

A Gap Year of discipleship and parish ministry

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Encounter is all about exploring God’s calling on your life, especially if you’re based in The Diocese of Chelmsford and under thirty years of age.

The good news is that whoever you
are and whatever your background,
you have a calling:

Arrow scroll

Jesus promise is that he has chosen each one of his followers; chosen and appointed them to bear fruit. That’s a promise that is true for every believer, regardless of age.

The working out of that calling begins as we simply live as his disciples. As we continue to follow and serve him in faith it develops and he calls some people to be disciple-missionaries in the ‘normal’ workplace via 9-5 jobs, for life – we need lots more people to recognise and fulfil that calling.

And others he calls to specific ministries within the church – we also need lots more of them too. That could be in Youth or Reader Ministry, the Religious Life (becoming a monk or nun) or a Church Army Evangelist.

Or it could be to Ordained Ministry in the Church of England (see ‘What’s what?’ for descriptions of these roles), that’s probably what’s drawn you here in the first place.

This website and all that Encounter represents is designed to point you in the right direction so that you can explore your sense of God’s calling further, and fulfil all that he has for you.

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last."

John 15:16

God has always chosen, called and made very good use of younger people for his purposes. Scripture describes the amazing stories of many such people, including Samuel, David, Timothy and Mary, to name just a few.

There is no evidence to suggest that this is no longer true! In fact many of the most significant historical leaders of recent times began their journey when they were young.

That said, for most of us, God’s calling is often quite a difficult thing to discern, and it can feel like just ‘the echo of a whisper of a call’ (Bishop Stephen Cottrell).

Thoughts like, ‘surely God wouldn’t choose me’, ‘I’m far too young at the moment’, ‘I have nothing to offer, ministry is for older people’, are common amongst most when trying to discern God’s call, perhaps especially amongst younger people.

The church and the world are desperately in need of innovative and passionate leaders; young people who are prepared to make their lives count for something, even if they haven’t got it all worked out yet and are unsure of exactly what that calling looks like yet.

Could that be you? Could God be calling you to ministry in some form in the Church of England? This website is designed to help you begin to answer that question.

There are three main aspects to Encounter, Growing Leaders, Journey and Residential, hopefully one of those will help you explore your calling further. If you just need an initial chat at this stage then do get in touch and I can point you to the most appropriate person on the team.

We’re only really able to discern God’s call on our lives when we dare to share what we’re sensing with others. So why not take that next small-big step in your journey and get in touch with one of the Young Vocations Advisers in your area?