Bishop announces vocations 'gap year' at Cathedral

The Bishop of Shrewsbury has announced a new initiative for vocations will open beside Shrewsbury Cathedral on September 24. The Rt Rev Mark Davies hopes that the venture will support young men in particular who feel they may have a calling to the priesthood. The purpose of the house is to offer the opportunity to consider a vocation to the priesthood and a time to discover whatever God's plan for their lives might be.

It will involve a gap year at the heart of the life of a Cathedral. It will be year which offers time to live in a small community, get to know the Catholic faith and will be deeply centred on the Eucharist, with a Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the heart of the house and project.

Writing in the Easter 2016 edition of the Shrewsbury Catholic Voice, which will be available in parishes from Palm Sunday, Bishop Davies wrote that this Discernment Year would be among "the most worthwhile of ventures" if it served to assist young men to determine if they truly have a calling to the priesthood.

Bishop Davies said: "I want to put such support for vocations at the heart of the Shrewsbury Diocese and at the centre of the life of its Cathedral.

"On September 24 this year a new initiative will launched at Shrewsbury Cathedral with the opportunity to spend a 'gap year' in an environment deeply centred on the Eucharist. "This will be a unique opportunity to spend time close to the Holy Eucharist to grow in a life of prayer rooted in prayer and guided by the writings of the great saints; the celebration of the liturgical year at the Cathedral; getting to know the Catholic faith better in a small community through study of the Scriptures and the Catechism; and by engaging in the apostolic work of the Cathedral parish. "In this same environment we will also offer weekend visits for those starting to consider their calling."

The gap year will be called the 'Shrewsbury Year'. At present, work is under way to try to ensure that the house will be ready to receive its first applicants by Saturday September 24, the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Anyone interested in joining the Shrewsbury Year should contact Father Jonathan Brandon, the diocesan Director of Vocations to the Priesthood, at St Columba's Church, Chester at

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