Provost Thomson is the new Provincial Director of Ordinands

The Very Rev Dr Elizabeth Thomson, currently Provost of St Paul’s Cathedral Church in Dundee, is to be the new Provincial Director of Ordinands (PDO).

The PDO works for the College of Bishops to oversee and manage the discernment processes and nationwide team that deliver recruitment and selection for authorised ministry (ordained and lay reader) in the Scottish Episcopal Church. The present PDO, Canon Ian Barcroft, is retiring from this role at the end of July after five years’ service.

Bishop Andrew Swift, Acting Convener of the Scottish Episcopal Institute Council, said: “On behalf of the College of Bishops, I am delighted to announce that we have appointed the Very Rev Elizabeth Thomson to be the new Provincial Director of Ordinands.

“Elizabeth will be taking up this full-time post at the beginning of August 2024, on Ian’s retirement, and will be connecting with all those presently in discernment and the team of volunteers that supports this work to ensure that all is handed over smoothly.  Be assured that there will be a smooth transition from PDO to PDO!

“The role of PDO is vital to the life and spiritual health of those exploring ministry in the SEC to ensure that bishops are well advised in the ministerial decisions they take and that SEI is well-prepared to help ordinands and lay reader candidates engage well with their formation and training.”

Provost Thomson said: “I am very much looking forward to taking on this role, working with the College of Bishops and the discernment team and developing the SEC’s vocational work. This is an exciting and stretching opportunity.”

Provost Thomson has been in ministry in the SEC since she was installed at St Paul’s in 2021 following many years of ordained experience in the Church of England.  Originally a native of Edinburgh, she is currently an Assistant Director of Ordinands in the SEC discernment team.

Bishop Andrew added: “As we welcome Elizabeth to this role, I would like to thank Ian for his work of the past five years, with the implementation in 2019 of a new system for selection and recruitment for Scotland and his guidance and attention to detail since that time.  He has established an excellent foundation on which Elizabeth will build as she supports the College of Bishops in this work.”