Experience in parish ministry and mission

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Parish experience

Parish Attachments

Parish Attachments

All our students who are training for ordination belong during term time to a Cambridge church or a college chapel in the University of Cambridge, attending Sunday services and either an afternoon or evening activity per week.

Parish attachments offer an opportunity to broaden your experience of church and to begin to get a taste of ordained ministry in a particular context. It is likely you will be given opportunities to lead intercessions, read, preach and participate in other ways on Sundays. You will be supervised by the vicar (or chaplain) who will meet with you at least once a term.

Quite often there will be more than one ordinand on attachment in a particular church or group of churches. This is a great opportunity to share experiences and perspectives, and it is likely that your supervisor will sometimes meet with you as a whole group.

Ordinands who are training for two years will usually be attached to the same church for both years, although if their attachment is to a college chapel they are likely to move to a parish setting in their second year. Three-year ordinands usually move to a different parish attachment for their final year.

Parish Placements

Parish Placements

Every ordinand at Ridley spends a minimum of four consecutive weeks in full-time ministry in an Anglican parish, usually in the summer vacation before their final year.

Each student meets with their Pastoral Tutor to discuss the right sort of parish for them to be placed in. Some students choose to go somewhere in England selected for the particular context of the church (rural, inner city, suburban), or for the particular circumstances of an incumbent (some female ordinands for instance choose to spend a month working with a female incumbent).

Where students already have considerable experience and knowledge of parish ministry in the UK there is the opportunity to discuss the possibility of serving in an overseas parish placement.

Parish experience for pioneer ordinands

Parish experience for pioneer ordinands

Ordinands on the Pioneer course are encouraged and assisted to find term-time attachments and summer placements with parishes and churches that are already involved in pioneering work.

The Diocese of Ely has a strong commitment to pioneering, and we have close relationships with churches and individuals involved in pioneering in this and other dioceses, at national level in the Church of England, and in Fresh Expressions.

Ordinand reading the Bible in chapel
Ordinand reading the Bible in chapel

Mission experience

Social Context Placements (SCPs)

Social Context Placements (SCPs)

All first-year ordinands take part in one or two Social Context Placements (SCPs), depending on the length of their training. Each SCP consists of about 40 hours of placement time - either in a block during a vacation, or on a weekly basis in term time.

This is a great opportunity to experience a context outside the church that you may never have had any connection with before. SCPs give valuable time to explore the way the Christian faith relates to issues of contemporary secular life.

There are many different SCPs on offer to our ordinands, ranging from chaplaincy work in a prison, hospital, hospice, school or the armed forces, to working alongside bereavement counsellors, in L’Arche Community or on a project for marginalised young people.

Preaching

Preaching

Ordinands receive teaching on preaching as part of the Emmaus Programme (for more about the Emmaus Programme, see Spiritual Formation), which also gives each student opportunities to practice preaching.

Parish attachments offer further opportunities to preach, under the supervision of the incumbent or chaplain, and in your final year of training you will meet in small Sermon Groups with a tutor.

College Missions

College Missions

At Ridley Hall we believe that mission is essential to ministry because our God is a missionary God! Participating in a mission is an excellent way of building a commitment to mission into our lives.

Whether or not we are natural evangelists, each of us has gifts to offer in a mission context. Every ordinand who is here for more than a year will take part in at least one mission at some point during their training.

A mission team consists of a member of staff and a team of up to 12 students. The team normally meets together beforehand to prepare events and to pray. Spouses are welcome to join a mission team.

Ordinands are also encouraged to develop mission opportunities as part of their parish attachments or placements (see above).

A mission-focussed community

A mission-focussed community

In addition to these college-based mission opportunities, we are passionate about seeing integration of mission into the everyday reality of student life. See community worship & mission.

Students in the Scum of the Earth workshop
College mission to 'Scum of the Earth' in Denver, Colorado