Fr Matt and the Vocations Team are gearing up for a week of promoting vocations across the diocese. ‘I Have Called You By Name’ is a vocations roadshow which will travel to six locations. It will seek to witness to our Clifton schoolchildren about the vocations of marriage, religious life and the priesthood. Children from primary and secondary schools are invited to come and hear short testimonies about these vocations and to go back to their schools and share what they have heard.

Doors at all venues open at 9.30am and the team will be around until 3.30pm.

Friday 17th May – St Bernadette’s, Bristol

Monday 20th May – St Peter’s, Swindon

Tuesday 21st May – Corpus Christi, Weston-super-Mare

Wednesday 22nd May – St Dunstan’s, Keynsham

Thursday 23rd May – St John the Baptist, Trowbridge

Friday 24th May – St Thomas More, Cheltenham

Report from St Bernadette’s, Bristol roadshow.

Do please keep this venture in your prayers.

Children from across the Diocese have been responding to Bishop Declan’s invitation to attend an exhibition on the theme of Vocation.  Fr Matt Anscombe (Vocations director), together with the School’s Department, organised the exhibition as part of the Year of Prayer in order to help young people develop a culture of vocation that will enable them to discover what the dream of God is for each one of them.

At the exhibition, the children spoke to Bernardine Cistercian nuns from Brownshill Convent, a Missionary Sister who has worked in Ghana, a monk from Prinknash Abbey, a seminarian and a married couple.   They learnt that vocation is a “calling” and when we are baptised God gives each of us a special calling to follow Jesus and share His love.  They enjoyed finding out about different types of vocation and discovered that in order to ascertain what our vocation is, we need to listen to the call of Jesus and be ready to respond to it.   The photographs show children from St Francis’ Primary School in Nailsea attending the exhibition at St Bernadette’s Church in Bristol.

First Religious Sister appointed as director of the National Office for Vocations

Press Release 20.05.2019


Sister Elaine Penrice has been appointed as Director of the National Office of Vocation.

Bishop Terence Drainey, Chair of the Management Board of the National Office for Vocation, said he was delighted to be able to announce the appointment.

“I have worked with Sr Elaine in her role as Religious Life Promoter and as the acting Director of the National Office for Vocations over the last few years and I am sure she will continue her innovative work into the future.”


Sr Elaine was born in Motherwell, Scotland, in 1972 and after completing her studies in Art & Design at the University of Dundee she entered the Daughters of St Paul, an international congregation of consecrated religious founded to evangelise with the modern means of communication. Sr Elaine spent much of her formation years in Rome, and then in St Louis USA, where she completed her theological studies at St Louis University. Sr Elaine currently works as Productions Coordinator at Pauline Books & Media, and also serves on the leadership team of the Daughters of St Paul with responsibility for vocations ministry.

Sr Elaine said: “It is both exciting and challenging to be the first woman to take up the position of Director of the National Office for Vocations and I thank the Bishops’ Conference for their support and confidence in me.

“In the three years since I began working with NOV as the Religious Life Promoter, I have very much enjoyed being able to support both enquirers and vocations directors and I look forward to developing the work of the office to meet the needs of the Church in England & Wales.

“I would also like to thank the Conference of Religious in England & Wales, for their support in these past three years, and I know they will continue to be my close collaborators in my new role.


“To embrace one’s vocation, is the road to profound peace. It colours everything in our life.

Whether we are called to religious life, holy orders, marriage, or single discipleship, the Church needs us all to witness to “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ” (Col. 1:27).”