Book review: Hearing the call: stories of young vocation

Dr Tim Ling, Head of Ministry Development

This is a short, well-priced and accessible book that may be of particular value for young people trying to discern if they are called to be ordained – and the clergy and laity that may support them in this process. Whilst this is its core audience the authors are also clear that all human beings have a vocation and that it is no greater to be called to ordination than serve God in any other way. We all have an interest in this topic!

The book is framed around eight biblical calling narratives that are complemented with more contemporary stories and reflections. It is co-authored by Jonathan Lawson and Gordon Mursell. Jonathan provides stories from his work with young candidates discerning their call that can help them to realise that what they feel isn’t that strange: that others have been there before – whilst Gordon similarly helps the reader discern through stories from the bible that people throughout history have also felt called by God, and reflects on how they have listened to what God is saying to them.

As the Church of England focuses on the need to discern more vocations, this book is a good starting place for anyone trying to discern what God is calling them to be and to do.

The Rt Revd Gordon Mursell was Dean of Birmingham Cathedral and then Bishop of Stafford, until his early retirement in 2010. The Revd Jonathan Lawson is Vicar of St. Gabriel’s Church in Heaton and also Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands for the Diocese of Newcastle.

View the book on the SPCK Publishing website.