Prayer and formation
Stand at the crossroads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way lies; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.
At Ridley we believe that the power and credibility of ministry depends on the Spirit of God, shaping and reflecting the character of Christ in us.
Although everyone is different and each member of the community arrives with their own experience of prayer, we want Ridley to be a place where everyone can deepen their prayer life. We hope too it will be a place where we learn to be those who will enable others to pray.
A host of resources is available to the Ridley community - including student spouses - to nurture a rich and transforming prayer life:
- a chaplaincy team, for support
- a prayer weekend early in the first year, for encouragement
- local spiritual directors, for guidance
- a month of guided prayer and a programme of Ignatian-style prayer, for growth
- a weekly Quiet Hour and Quiet Days, for refreshment
- lectures drawing on the depth and breath of the Christian spiritual tradition, for enrichment
Click the tabs below to explore some of these resources further.
Opportunities at Ridley to grow in prayer include:
All students are invited to talk about their prayer lives with their personal tutor, and to meet annually with the Chaplain to explore ideas, to ask for help with finding a spiritual director or to seek other guidance.
Many members of the Ridley community - including spouses of ordinands - belong to prayer triplets. These nurture ongoing supportive friendships which often continue beyond Ridley into ordained life.
The Prayer Weekend
This is a cross between a retreat and a parish weekend, for all First Year students and their spouses. It provides sessions on different aspects of prayer, with plenty of time for prayer and fellowship in between. As well as being fun and a good opportunity to get to know each other better, it also provides ideas for future use in a parish setting.
Ignatian Guided Prayer
Any students who would like to undertake two terms of Igantian-style prayer are warmly invited to do so. The programme enables a taste of the Exercises of St Ignatius, which provide a useful framework for exploring the spiritual journey. The minimum commitment is an hour of prayer a week and a meeting with a guide for up to an hour once a fortnight. Daily prayer material is available for those who would like to pray in this way every day.
All our students and tutorial staff belong a "Staircase", or fellowship group, which functions in some ways like a home group of a church, meeting on Monday and Friday mornings to say Morning Prayer together.
Monday mornings are extended times of fellowship, providing a place where we listen to one another's stories, where we see God at work in each other's lives and learn to reflect on what is going on in our own. It is place where we both worship together and plan worship for the wider community. It is a place where we laugh, and enjoy one another's company.
The Simeon Centre for Prayer and the Spiritual Life in an integral part of Ridley's life. The Centre provides guidance, encouragement and training in prayer and spiritual formation for all the community.
A variety of prayer resources and opportunities are provided for Ridley's students, and the Centre also contributes to formal curricula through the Cambridge Theological Federation.
To find out more browse the Simeon Centre's webpages.
Spirituality lectures are held five times a year on a Monday morning. Their purpose is to give every student an opportunity to discover something of the rich heritage of the Christian spiritual tradition. They also include aspects of praying such as the use of a journal or fasting.
In a three-year cycle, the community is introduced to a wide range of subjects, including:
- Evangelical spirituality
- Spirituality and music
- Anglican spirituality
- Benedictine spirituality
- The Jesus Prayer