Christianity Church of England & Ministry Vocation

Young Vocations Guest Post Series // 3 Taylor Carey

Third in this series of guest posts looking at young vocations, today’s post comes from Taylor Carey…


‘The one who calls is faithful’ (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

This is Westcott’s motto, and it’s inscribed on the bell that summons us to worship each day, reminding us of our calling to grow into who we are meant to be. It doesn’t matter that we frequently find hearing that call difficult, even impossible: God goes on being God, nudging us with the stubbornness of self-giving, perfect love. Discerning a vocation is not just receiving a quick set of instructions to do x, y, or z. Discernment involves watching and listening, sensing that groundswell of energy which shifts our perspective and makes us ask, “what about this?”. That’s a difficult question to ask, and we need humility and the honest counsel of others in order to arrive at a truthful response. We can always trust, however, that God’s prompting is no mere illusion. His touch sets our lives in restless vibration, like the strings of a guitar; ours is the task of listening for the harmony he intends us to resonate.

I was brought to faith by a steady drip of transformation. The psalms at morning and evening prayer helped me to flesh out the depth and complexity of human experience, walking through pain and joy as they were offered in question and adoration to God. The discipline of structured prayer helped me to see that God meets us in the muddled messiness of our lives, whether we feel ‘holy’ or not. The Church’s traditional worship makes attentive listening to God possible. The advice I’d give to someone exploring a call to ordained ministry is simply to be still and know that God is God: watch, wait, reflect, and pray, and sense that current guiding you gently into a truer way of being you.

…and, of course, read, and seek the counsel of some of those whose lives bear the imprint of God’s grace. Etty Hillesum’s Diaries show a life devoted to loving attention amidst the worst of twentieth-century brutality. St Augustine’s Confessions record a restless heart seeking its rest in doing the will of God. Both of these astonishingly beautiful love stories were companions on my journey, and indeed still are, as I continue to seek out the melody that God intends me to sing.



Taylor Carey was born and raised in Sussex, went to university in Scotland, and is currently training for ordination at Westcott House, in Cambridge.

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