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Introducing our new Young Vocations Champion

Revd Ben Perkins is our new Young Vocations Champion. The new role is to encourage churches to support young people and to encourage them to think about their calling.

Ben said: “Since being ordained and working as a curate, I’ve had so much fun and seen so much growth in young people by getting them involved in leading worship and preaching. It’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. 

“There’s space for everyone in our churches for all sorts of people, with an abundance and array of gifts to serve and work out what they are called to. After all, we are all ministers of the gospel in our own context. Where older people may have wisdom and experience on their side, young people bring freshness and enthusiasm in the bucket-full.”

Ben started his own journey at 14 when he felt called to church ministry. He was encouraged and told about the realities of being a priest in the Church of England. At 19 Ben went to bible college to continue his training and study. By 21 he felt very clearly that he was called to be trained in the Church of England to ordination.

Ben said: “From the time I was 14 there has been a steady nudge towards my calling. Lots of people have sharpened and pushed me, shared the reality and tried to put me off. But they gave me space to try different aspects of what being a vicar would involve. I preached to my youth group, then in church. I am really fortunate to have had some great people in my life and through this journey.”

At 28 Ben is considered young to be ordained within the Church of England and having completed his curacy. As an Associate Minister leading a parish in vacancy, he is also currently an interim training incumbent, helping to train a curate at St Peter’s Farnborough.

Craig Holmes, Diocesan Director of Ordinands, explains why we have a new Young Vocations Champion: “We want to encourage everyone to explore God’s call, but realise there are different aspects to that journey depending on peoples’ background and stage of life. That’s why we have expanded our vocations team to include those who are best place to come alongside others exploring their calling, whoever they are. Ben’s role is to share his experience of being a younger person exploring a calling to ordination, and to connect with and encourage young people to explore their vocation.”

If you or someone you know is 16-30 and interested in exploring a calling to ordination we have lots of information on what you can do next on our calling and vocations web pages.

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