Ordination or Holy Orders are the terms used to describe a sacrament which has three degrees: bishop, priest and deacon.

The fullness of Holy Orders rests in the office of bishop. Consecration as a bishop makes him a real and legitimate successor of the apostles.  Priests are ordained to serve the entire Church and, like the bishop, exercise this ministry through pastoral care for the people and administration of the sacraments.  Deacons are ordained either transitionally (as part of the path to priestly ordination) or permanently to serve at the altar and exercise the ministry of the word (preaching and teaching).  They also take on specific efforts of charity, service to the sick, and pastoral care.  Deacons are not ordained to forgive sins (except in the administration of Baptism) and they cannot celebrate the Eucharist, hear confessions, or anoint the sick.


In our Diocese, we have a dedicated Vocations Director, Fr Matt Anscombe, whose role it is to nurture vocations.  If you would like to know more about Fr Matt’s work supporting those who are discerning a calling to the priesthood and other vocations please can contact him on 01275 833 699 or by email [email protected]


In the Salisbury Catholic Churches we have been richly blessed to have had several men from our churches respond to God’s call to ordination in recent years  - diocesan priests Fr Tom Smith, Fr Dominic Findlay-Wilson and our own Permanent Deacons John Detain, John Proctor and Steve Godwin.  In addition, Fr Thomas and  Fr Albert Lawes who are brothers from Salisbury are now ordained with a further brother Dominic in Seminary Melbourne, Austrailia.  

Please keep all of our priests, deacons and seminarians in your prayers.