Within the Church of England, Ridley’s culture of constructive engagement with difference - embodied in its membership of the Cambridge Theological Federation - is prized. Ridley ordinands are generally welcomed as deployable team players, with a nuanced embracing of their Anglican identity. As such, our students stand in the tradition of the 1967 NEAC at Keele and its defining emphasis on responsible citizenship within the Church of England, as an alternative to isolationism.
Ridley is part of the Diocese of Ely, and we work closely with the diocese on a number of levels.
Several of our teaching faculty are actively involved in diocesan life. Our Chaplain Jane Keiller has served in the diocese since 1980 as deaconess, deacon and priest in churches within Cambridge. She has contributed in many different ways to the diocese over the years, as a Clergy Reviewer, Bishop's Selector, and as a founding staff member on a locally-based Spiritual Direction course. Both Jane and our Principal Andrew Norman are Honorary Canons of Ely Cathedral.
Many of our non-teaching staff also have active roles within the diocese and local parishes. Our College Administrator is an Authorised Lay Minister, and our webmaster is a member of the diocesan synod and serves on the Diocesan Communications Group. Two of our support staff also currently serve as churchwardens, and a member of our housekeeping staff team is actively involved in her church as pastoral assistant, as is a member of the Etheldreda Community of Ely Diocese, established to help people live their daily lives by a simple Benedictine Rule of Life.
David Male, our Tutor in Pioneer Mission Training, is an Associate Missioner of the Fresh Expressions team and Leader of the Mission Shaped Ministry Course for Cambridge and Suffolk, and is also a member of the Church of England's College of Evangelists. His role as Director of the Centre for Pioneer Learning is part-funded by Ely Diocese, and Ridley has a formal collaborative relationship with the diocese in pioneer ministry.
All our ordinands and frequently several of our youth work students are on attachment in churches and college chapels in the diocese, and we work closely a wide range of clergy who supervise their attachment training in a wide cross-section of parishes. It is a collaboration that is mutually beneficial. Clergy welcome the opportunity to have a student from Ridley work alongside them, bringing new perspectives and ideas, and giving the chance to articulate and reflect on their own ministry within their particular context.
One of the primary aims of our Simeon Centre for Prayer and the Spiritual life is to work alongside church leaders and congregations around the country - and particularly in the Diocese of Ely, teaching and nurturing the disciplines of prayer, mentoring and spiritual direction.
The Centre runs regular day workshops which draws many clergy and lay people from congregations around the local area, and the Centre's Director (Adrian Chatfield) and Chaplain (Jane Keiller) are frequently invited to speak at churches across the diocese and at Ely Cathedral.