For large part of the Church of England, the standard model of an ordained minister is the full-time stipendiary priest, or, alternatively, the chaplain. Yet, there are a growing number of clergy for whom their vocation consists of life in the Church and work in the secular world.
Jenny Gage argues that in the twenty-first century, priests in secular work (PSW) are not a new phenomenon. They have a specific vocation, which is not to be subsumed under any church-based model of priestly ministry. She makes the case for understanding priestly ministry in secular work as a distinct vocation, which is as necessary to the life of the institutional Church at a time when secular society is rapidly changing, as it is to those whose vocation it is.
Both the sacramental nature of this vocation and the work they do are key to the vocational identity of priests in secular work and to their calling to build God’s kingdom in the world.
Beginning with her experience of reflecting her vocation as a maths educator and as a priest, Jenny Gage explores priestly ministry in secular work through a number of theological lenses including the narrative formation of identity, theology of work, and theology of place.