Ordination

If you feel a calling to Minister and would like to be considered for ordination please fill out the application form below and send it back to us.

If you are already ordained in another church, please note that applications must be accompanied by a letter of excardination from your current church.

If your application is successful you will be required to either travel to Lancashire, UK for your ordination ceremonies. Or with prior arrangement - cover the costs of travel and provide accommodation (if required) for the Bishop and at least one other Clergy.

The Church of St Mary & St John runs it's own seminary where you can study and submit course work to us online. The Minor Orders will earn you a Certificate in Esoteric Comparative Theology and the Major Orders a Diploma in Esoteric Comparative Theology. Please see the seminary section for more details.

 

Ordination Application Form

 

Clergy

Clergy members of The Church of St Mary and St John are those Ordained to any of the following Orders: Lay Cleric; Lay Reader; Cleric; Doorkeeper; Reader; Exorcist; Acolyte; Sub-deacon; Deacon; Priest/Priestess; Monsignor; Abbot/Abbess and Bishop, as well as any who shall belong to named Religious Orders designated under the Church's protection.

The Lay positions are at the discretion of the local Priest. They are offered to members of the congregation who wish to be more active within the Church and can be used as a prelude to seeking orders. These are non ordained positions.

 

Cleric - 1st Degree

The training period for the minor order of Cleric is expected to be a minimum of six months. However this depends on the progress of the Aspirant and is at the discretion of the synod of Bishops.

The position of Cleric is to start the nurturing process of the spiritual path. To begin a process of devotional pray and study, which will lead the Aspirant closer to the Divine, and further away from the mundane. This is achieved by a three fold process:

1. Training of the physical body, utilising exercise, cleansing, personal prayer and meditation. (This can include - Yoga, Tai Chi, Callisthenics or a combination of all three. Ideally organic foods, avoiding processed foods and chemicals.)

2. Expansion of the mind, through reading of the scriptures, study of religious and spiritual paths and traditions.  Also taking a more active and direct role in the communal prayer, the Divine Eucharist and other rites and services of the Church.

3. To take a more active role within the service of humanity through the Church.

 

Doorkeeper - 2nd Degree

The training period for the minor order of Doorkeeper is expected to be a minimum of six months. However this depends on the progress of the Aspirant and is at the discretion of the synod of Bishops.

The historical duties of the Doorkeeper would have included: The ringing of the Church bells, keeper of the keys, opening of the building and acting as watchman. In modern times we now treat them more as symbolic and give them a deeper moral significance.

As with the order of the Cleric we continue the nurturing of our physical and mental faculties, as well as our spiritual and moral training.

 

Reader - 3rd Degree

The training period for the minor order of Reader is expected to be a minimum of six months. However this depends on the progress of the Aspirant and is at the discretion of the synod of Bishops.

The duties of the order of Reader will include reading from the gospels, intoning the lessons, and the blessing of bread and all first fruits usually at Harvest Festivals.

 

Exorcist - 4th Degree

The training period for the minor order of Exorcist is expected to be a minimum of six months. However this depends on the progress of the Aspirant and is at the discretion of the synod of Bishops.

In the history of the ancient Church the duty of the Exorcist was to cast out demons and devils from the bodies of those who appeared possessed by external forces. In modern times we now understand that these are actually our own inner demons. These are parts of our own inner psyche which we need to learn to understand and so rid ourselves of our own separateness and selfishness. By learning to control our own bad habits we can by example, precept and direct action, if needed, help others.

 

Acolyte - 5th Degree - Esoteric Comparative Theology Certificate (CertECTh.)

The training period for the minor order of Acolyte is expected to be a minimum of six months. However this depends on the progress of the Aspirant and is at the discretion of the synod of Bishops.

Acolyte is the last of the minor orders. Having now achieved a balanced and healthy body, expanded your knowledge of the scriptures and gained a deeper understanding of the workings of the Church. The Aspirant will now seek to initialise their higher mind by developing their intuition and ignite their inner light.

 

Sub-deacon - 6th Degree

The training period for the major order of Sub-deacon is expected to be a minimum of a year. However this depends on the progress of the Aspirant and is at the discretion of the synod of Bishops.

Sub-deacon is a preliminary stage to the training of the Priesthood, in which the Aspirant is given time to test their vocation, insuring that the path upon which they have embarked is their true calling. This gives them time to way up the responsibilities and as far as they are able, to count the cost that such a path may take.

 

Deacon - 7th Degree

The training period for the major order of Deacon is expected to be a minimum of a year. However this depends on the progress of the Aspirant and is at the discretion of the synod of Bishops.

The Deacon is known as the servant at the altar and has been recognised within the Church from its conception, and is mentioned in the New Testament.

The responsibilities of the Deacon are the cleanliness and presentation of the altar, washing of the linens, as well as the presentation of the lavabo and the empty cruets. The Deacon will need to learn and understand how to be a leader, also to create a deeper understanding of the spiritual nature of humankind and it's connection to the Divine.

 

Priest/Priestess - 8th Degree - Esoteric Comparative Theology Diploma (DipECTh.)

The training period for the major order of Priest/Priestess is expected to be a minimum of a year. However this depends on the progress of the Aspirant and is at the discretion of the synod of Bishops.

The Priesthood embodies the aspects of both leader and teacher and is the direct spiritual link between humanity and the Divine. The Priest/Priestess is responsible for performing the Eucharist and all the other sacraments. They are responsible for the day to day activities of their ministry and the spiritual life of their congregation.

 

Monsignor

This is an honourary title and position, conferred on those who have achieved long or exemplary service to the Church.

 

Abbot/Abbess

The role of Abbot/Abbess is one granted by the Bishops to those who have shown great understanding and commitment to the Church, as well as having an exemplary understanding of the inner Divine Wisdom.

The responsibilities could include the establishment of a territorial Abbessy within a particular country or area. This responsibilities may encompass the ordaining of Aspirants through the minor and major orders, up to and including that of Priest. These powers are only granted by express permission of the Presiding Bishop and the Vicar General.

 

Bishop - 9th Degree

The highest major order is that of the Bishop.

 

Vestments

Clergy are required to wear correct Clerical Dress/Mass Vestments when administering the Sacraments, and should dress appropriately when taking Funerals, visiting the Sick and appearing at any other function where they are to offer Ministry. It is the free choice of the Clergyperson concerned as to whether they wish to wear Clerical Dress when not exercising such functions.

The Clerical Shirt for both men and women shall consist of a shirt of the appropriate corresponding colour to their Orders with a White Collar Insert. The Clerical Shirts for each Order are: Grey for Cleric, Doorkeeper and Reader; Black for Exorcist and Acolyte; Dark/Bottle Green for Sub-Deacon; Dark/Royal Blue for Deacon; Violet Purple for Priest, and Roman Purple/Magenta for Bishops and Presiding Bishop. The style of collar is up to the individual and any of the four main types are acceptable providing the Collar Insert is White. Any member of the Clergy may wear a Pectoral Cross/Tau/Ankh, although for those below the Order of Bishop this should be two inches or smaller, discreet and not overly demonstrative. A Black Clerical Shirt should be worn at Funerals by Exorcist, Acolyte, Sub-deacon and Deacon. Priest & Bishops should were their appropriate coloured shirt.
Devotional medals may be worn if wished.

Cassocks may be worn as part of the dress of the Clergy. The appropriate colours are as follows:
For the Minor Orders of Cleric through to Reader, a Black Cassock with a Grey Sash/Fascia about the waist, Exorcist & Acolyte, a Black Cassock with a Black Sash/Fascia around the waist.

For the Major Orders of Sub-Deacon, a Black Cassock Piped and Buttoned in Dark/Bottle Green with a Dark/Bottle Green Sash/Fascia around the waist. Deacon, a Black Cassock Piped and Buttoned in Dark/Royal Blue with a Dark/Royal Blue Sash/Fascia around the waist. Priest, a Black Cassock Piped and Buttoned in Violet Purple with a Violet Purple Sash/Fascia around the waist. For the Vicar-General and Bishops a Black Cassock Piped and Buttoned in Roman Purple/Magenta and a Roman Purple/Magenta Sash/Fascia around the waist.

The Presiding Bishop may wear a Choir Cassock of Rose-Purple Piped and Buttoned in Red with a Red Sash/Fascia around the waist.

Clergy of Major Orders may also wear a Black Cape Piped in their appropriate colour over their Cassock. The Roman style or Sarum style of cassock is acceptable.

A list of and Instructions for, the use of Vestments at the Celebration of Mass, along with details of Liturgical Colours and other relevant information is available from the Vicar Generals office.

Clergy should wear Vestments appropriate to the Service, Season and Situation (i.e. Denominational setting, Mass etc). Due reverence and respect must be shown by all Clergy to Vestments which are used to convey further depth and meaning when serving The Divine.