Gratitude and Expectancy: A message from the Principal
During this 2018–19 academic year we have sought to be a community defined by gratitude and expectancy.
We give thanks because the Spirit of God continues to guide and shape us, to provide for our needs and to move Ridley Hall towards His hopeful future. We are expectant because God is faithful and all our hope is set on Him both here at Ridley and in the churches and communities to which many of our students will be sent this summer.
In March a review team appointed by the Ministry Division conducted our six-yearly Periodic External Review (PER). At the beginning of April we received a very encouraging summary of the review team’s likely findings. Among other things the summary commended Ridley for the clarity of our formational aims, the sharing of formational space by ordinands and lay ministry students, our proactive approach to working with financial challenges, our creation of a safe space for learners to explore and grow in faith, our robust local partnerships and our hospitality to a diverse traditions. We give glory to God for such a positive report, which is the result of a great deal of prayer and much hard work by staff and students here at Ridley. The full report will be made public later this year and we trust that you will be encouraged by all that you read.
We continue to give thanks for our location in Cambridge, at the heart of one of the world’s leading university cities. This Easter term we have been delighted to welcome the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University, Professor Stephen Toope, to Ridley Hall. He and I engaged in a conversation facilitated by one of our ordinands on the subject: Shared Wisdom and the Global Future — The contribution of theology to the challenges of our time. Staff, students and members of Federation colleges had the opportunity to hear from the VC and ask questions. The conversation, questions and responses stimulated our imaginations and provoked insights and ideas that we hope and pray may lead to fruitful action as the Church seeks to share good news with local and global communities in the midst of significant challenges in the years ahead.
There is so much to be hopeful about here at Ridley as we seek to prepare people to share the gospel of Jesus Christ as lay and ordained ministers. Please continue to pray for us and remember that you are welcome to visit us and witness for yourself all that God is doing here.
Michael Volland, Principal