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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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The Diaconal Association of the Church of England (DACE)

Diakonia World Federation

Founded in 1988, DACE is a small charitable organisation which exists to provide support to the estimated 150 distinctive deacons in the Church of England and which also enjoys international representation through DIAKONIA World Federation of Diaconal Associations and Diaconal Communities.


Historically the precursor of DACE was the Deaconess Committee (affiliated to DIAKONIA in 1966) which initially represented the Order of Deaconesses and then Deacons too, in the years prior to the ordination of women as priests.  By 1987 new structures were being created in the Church of England to respond to new possibilities for ministry. At a conference for Deacons and Deaconesses in that year it was decided to create a single organisation for Deacons, Deaconesses, Church Army personnel and Lay Workers.  DACE was created.

In 2014 DACE was reconstituted as an organisation offering full membership to deacons and deaconesses who have not been subsequently ordained priest and associate membership to bishops, priests and lay persons with the following aims:

  • To be an advocate for ordained diaconal ministry in the Church of England as part of the three-fold ministry of Bishops, Priests and Deacons

  • To promote diaconal ministries in the Church of England

  • To support and pray for all diaconal ministers

  • To consider the theological ,liturgical and practical implications of diaconal ministry within the total ministry of the Christian church

  • To provide signposting for the dissemination of teaching and training opportunities appropriate to diaconal ministry

  • To maintain links with other diaconal Communities in The United Kingdom and Ireland

  • Through membership of DIAKONIA Foundation to maintain links with regional and world groupings, and engage with its theological and practical projects and exchange.

The Diaconal Association of the Church of England

The ministry of deacons is very varied but the common thread is that they hold before the Church its mission and servant calling in the world, modelling an outward focus through making connections and meeting the needs of those on the edge of society.  By drawing attention to need, engaging in practical service and bringing prayer needs to the attention of the Church, deacons live out the gospel in collaborative style.  They encourage and enable ordained and lay people within the Church and people engaged in community service and administration to use their gifts in the “diakonia” of the whole people of God.

DACE furthers the understanding of the distinctive diaconate by providing advice and support to enquirers, working with DDOs on how best to recognise and support diaconal vocations, fostering the mentoring of distinctive deacons by deacons and providing information as requested by Ministry Division.  DACE holds national and regional meetings to consider diaconal theology and practice and provides bursaries for attendance at DIAKONIA Regional and World assemblies.         

For more information please visit the DACE website.  The Archbishop of York has been President of The Diaconal Association of the Church of England since 2014.