The Ministry of Deacons – Diocese of Fredericton

Role and Function of Deacons
A deacon needs to have the character of a servant, and this character should be visible in the deacon’s life and ministry. Ordination to the vocational diaconate is not a way to recognize or validate existing ministries, but a means of forming living icons who illuminate Christ as the model of servanthood to all the baptized. Deacons are not ordained to do the outreach ministry for the Church, but lead all in the church community into servant ministry in the world. They are prophetic ministers who are called to challenge the Church to always look outside and beyond itself.

Deacons are under the authority of the bishop and of the supervising priest under whom they work. The liturgical functions of a deacon are not their primary ministry, but are symbolic and expressive of their central ministry:

  • serving all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely;
  • interpreting to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world.

The fundamental difference between priests and deacons according to the late Archdeacon Ormond Plater of the Diocese of Louisiana is that “priests tend to the ‘Church gathered’, deacons tend to the ‘Church scattered.’” Deacons will normally serve 80% of their ministry in the community and 20% with the church. Deacons will be servants who have a visible ministry to the dispossessed, are willing to undertake the role of prophet, and will strengthen the servant ministry of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Fredericton.

A deacon is encouraged to attend meetings of the [church] Corporation; without vote but reporting regularly and when requested on the on-going work. A deacon assigned to a particular parish is considered “assistant clergy” and, as such, will resign should the incumbent resign his or her
appointment. A deacon may be re-appointed by the bishop to serve during the interim under the direction of the bishop and/or the territorial archdeacon and church wardens. Upon the appointment of a new incumbent, the deacon's covenant may be re-negotiated, or the bishop may
appoint the deacon to another ministry.

from Bishop's Directive 8-3 The Deacon in the Parish
Bishop of Fredericton: Directive 7.2 Discernment Leading to Ordination to the (Vocational) Diaconate
See the Diocese of Fredericton pamphet "The Ministry of Deacons"


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