Bishop Chris’s leaving service will be an integral part of this year’s Diocese of Truro Vocations Day in the cathedral on Saturday, September 14 – and it couldn’t be more fitting.

Before his ordination, Bishop Chris spent many years as a Reader, and even longer as a disciple committed to bringing Christian values into the workplace and other areas of life – and the next step on his pilgrimage is to head up the Ministry Division for the Church of England. In this new role he will lead a team looking to encourage and increase the scale and diversity of those called to both lay and ordained ministries within the church.

Endless possibilities

Vocations Day is an opportunity for anybody to explore their calling – whatever that might be. It could be that someone feels called to the priesthood, but it could equally be that they are drawn to helping others in their community by becoming a local worship leader, local pastoral minister, a youth worker, a churchwarden, a teacher or school governor. The possibilities and opportunities for service are endless, and a calling can manifest itself in many ways. There will be people on hand to help you listen to the voice that is calling you, and to begin discerning how you can answer that call.

Both Bishop Philip and Bishop Chris will be there for the day, and attendees will have an opportunity to hear from each of them.

The day begins at 10am, with a welcome and prayer from Bishop Philip and the Diocesan Director of Ordinands, the Revd Canon Jane Vaughan-Wilson, followed by an introduction to some of the diocese’s spiritual directors who will be there as a resource throughout the day.

Bishop Philip’s personal journey

Bishop Philip will then speak about his personal, vocational journey, some of the milestones along the way in the form of both people and events – and some of the values and priorities that have become integral to his ministry as a result.

The day will be punctuated by the opportunity to talk in small groups with facilitators. This will help those who come along to explore the call they might be experiencing and what the next steps might be for them.

A Q&A session with a panel of people including both bishops, and others who have responded in different ways to God’s call in their lives, will also be a core part of the day.

Video screening

There will also be a screening of two videos, which tell stories of call. These feature the work of Natalie Gavan with Christians Against Poverty and Christopher Gray’s work with music and young people at Truro Cathedral.

Over lunch, visitors will have a chance to look at the many stalls around the cathedral, each with ideas for different expressions of vocation.

Service of thanks for Bishop Chris

After lunch, people will come together at 1.30pm for worship and the service of thanks for Bishop Chris’s time in the diocese. Bishop Chris will preach –  and it is hoped that others from across the diocese who might not have been able to make it for the full day will come along for this.  After the service, there will be presentations to Bishop Chris and his wife, Ellie, who also served as a minister in the diocese, followed by tea and cake and the chance for everybody to socialise.

Jane Vaughan-Wilson said: “Vocations Day is open to everybody, and I would encourage anybody who feels they have a calling to serve God in any way to come along. There will be plenty of food for thought, as well as opportunities to start discerning the shape that a vocation might take in their life. There will be experienced people there to help with this – not least the spiritual directors, who come from both ordained and non-ordained backgrounds.

Welcome to come along

“I’m delighted that Bishop Chris has chosen to have his leaving service as part of the day – it is a very natural fit, not least because of the role he is going to take on and the fact that he has been active in the church both as an ordained minister and a lay person.”

“People are welcome to come along for as much or as little of the day as they would like, and we do hope that lots will join us at 1.30pm for the service to say thank you to Bishop Chris and to ask for God’s blessing on his and Ellie’s future ministry.”