Exploring the Ordained Ministry of Deacon
Deacons undertake the same selection process and training as those preparing for any type of ordained ministry. Please see Exploring Ordained Ministry page for more details.
The Church of England recognises three orders of ordained ministry: bishop, priest and deacon. Those called to priesthood spend an initial period of time in ordained ministry as deacons before becoming priests. Others are called most strongly to remain in the diaconate as deacons. The diaconate exists as a ministry in its own right throughout the Church of England, and the Diocese of Exeter affirms this ministry as the diocesan diaconate (known elsewhere as the ‘distinctive’ or ‘vocational’ diaconate). Distinctive Deacons in Exeter belong to the College of St Philip the Deacon.
In the video below Andy Farmer talks about why he is called to be a distinctive deacon and not a priest.
Please also see our Deacon Vocation leaflet and Tool Kit. The Tool Kit is a resource for distinctive deacons with contributions from deacon practitioners, focusing on practical aspects of diaconal ministry. New tools are added from time to time.
Deacon’s Tool Kit
- Preparing for mission: 4 session course for parishes
- Distinctive Deacons: Deacon in the public square
- Deacon in the workplace
- A potted history of the Diaconate
- Deacons in an interfaith context
- Why have a deacon?
- Ministry Reflections for deacon curates
- Deacons and Weddings
- Deacons at end of curacy
- Deacon’s role in Eucharist
- Dispositions diaconal focus
Diocesan deacons have a strong call to an outward-looking, community-minded ministry with the hallmark of mission through service. They prefer to be out and about, making contacts, building relationships, identifying and meeting needs, creating stepping-stones between God and the world. Deacons are pioneers, radical in their outlook and ready to try new ways of serving God in the community. They often have a particular concern for issues of poverty and justice and many minister to those on the margins of church and society.
A diocesan deacon works with the bishop, usually alongside their parish priest with whom they minister as an ‘ambassador for Christ’. They proclaim the gospel as Christ’s heralds in their life and work, encouraging congregations to share the good news of God’s love with the community. Deacons have a recognised role in church services which reflects the hallmarks of their ministry, such as reading the Gospel, encouraging intercessory prayer and sending the congregation out at the end of the service to play their part in God’s mission.
A diocesan deacon is at present a self-supporting minister, and many deacons continue in secular employment, their vocation deeply influencing the way they do their job and develop their ministry. Their diaconate encourages all baptised Christians to glorify God by reaching out to others.
If you would like to explore vocation further, please contact Rev Hannah Alderson, Vocations Development Officer.
College of Deacons
Warden of Deacons: Rev Deacon Gill Kimber
Diocese of Exeter, 10A Belle Vue Court, Belle Vue Rd, Paignton, Devon TQ4 6ER. Please see email address below.
Rev Deacon David Rogers (PTO)
16 Quay Road, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2BU
mob: 07815 060197
Rev Deacon Lynne Chitty (PTO) Member of Mill House Retreats Community
Mill House Retreats Devon, EX16 7ES Tel: 01884 829000
Rev Deacon Beverley Cree
Assistant Curate in the Benefice of Plymouth Emmanuel, Saint Paul Efford, and Saint Augustine/Plymouth Emmanuel Mission Community
Rev Deacon Andrew Farmer
Project Director Cornwall for Oxford Innovation and Benefice of St Andrew Buckland Monachorum with Holy Spirit, Milton Combe
Rev Deacon Rita Bullworthy
Rev Deacon Chris Whinney
Rev Deacon David Watson
The Deacons listed above are included in the Diocesan Directory. Please search for contact details here.