Spiritual Formation at Ridley
Everyone is different and each member of the community arrives with their own experience of prayer and understanding of spiritual formation. Whatever experience we bring with us, Ridley is a place where we can deepen our prayer lives and be further shaped by the Spirit of God to reflect the character of Christ in us.
"Morning Prayer, a weekly ‘quiet hour’, compline, a retreat, the influence of the Simeon Centre, the presence of the chaplain and the Pastoral Tutor system all mean that corporate and individual prayer are the lifeblood of the institution." Ministry Council Inspection Report, published 2012
- The Regular Rhythm of Worship
The Rhythm of Worship
Worship is a key element in the life of the community. Staff and students work together to plan services, enabling different gifts to be discovered and nurtured. Our desire is to encounter God in worship together so that we may be transformed into the likeness of Christ and equipped to serve God in our daily lives.
Every Thursday during term time, the whole community is invited to gather to hear God's Word and to celebrate the breaking of bread. This is the main act of worship during our week. There are also age-appropriate groups for children and youth.
The community is also invited to gather every other Tuesday with members of the Cambridge Theological Federation (CTF) for ecumenical worship led by each of the CTF houses in turn.
These services give us a valuable opportunity to experience worship from a range of traditions and at the same time help us to appreciate both our common ground and our diversity.
Ordinands meet every weekday morning for Morning Prayer either in Chapel or in small groups.
Each ordinand is a member of a Staircase Group that is coordinated by two Staircase Stewards who organise a rota for staircase members to take up a variety of tasks in the community. Each Staircase Group meets once a week for prayer and fellowship.
- Spirituality Lectures and Spiritual Direction
Spirituality Lectures and Spiritual Direction
Spirituality Lectures are an ongoing series of termly lectures that encourage us to think about and expand our understanding of spirituality. They give every ordinand an opportunity to discover something of the rich heritage of the Christian spiritual tradition.
In a three-year cycle, the community is introduced to a wide range of subjects, which may include:
- evangelical spirituality
- charismatic spirituality
- Anglican spirituality
- Celtic Christian tradition
- monastic spirituality
Ridley Hall is blessed by a group of spiritual directors who offer their time and wisdom to both ordinands and spouses. The process of connecting individual ordinands with spiritual directors is co-ordinated by the Chaplains.
A host of resources is available to the Ridley community – including spouses – to nurture a rich and transforming prayer life.
All ordinands are invited to talk about their prayer lives with their pastoral tutor, and to meet annually with the Chaplains to explore ideas, to ask for help with finding a spiritual director or seek other guidance.
Each ordinand becomes part of a small praying group. These are usually organised by students themselves although the Chaplains can help if required. Prayer Triplets nurture ongoing supportive friendships which often continue beyond Ridley into ordained life.
Any ordinands who would like to undertake two terms of guided Ignatian style prayer are warmly welcomed to do so. Based on the original spiritual exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola this is offered either on an individual basis or in a small group. Many find this an amazing experience of encountering God more intimately in everyday life.
The Quiet Hour
Once a week after Morning Prayer an hour is set aside as a corporate time of silence across all public places in the college in order to learn more about the discipline of listening to God. The hour is dedicated to prayer either in groups, prayer triplets or alone. A weekly prayer resource is curated by the Chaplains, and ordinands are encouraged to make use of the chapel as a space for personal prayer.
A Quiet Morning is held each term and offers ordinands opportunities to engage with silence in different ways. Quiet Days help us as a community to practise and experience the joyful disciplines of quiet, stillness, solitude, meditation, contemplation and prayer. Throughout the year Quiet Days demonstrate different ways of praying and have the twofold advantage of drawing each of us closer to God but also of providing tools for use in future ministry.
The Prayer Weekend
An annual Prayer Weekend is open to first year ordinands, their spouses and staff. It entails worship, prayer, opportunities to explore different prayer traditions, prayerful activities and a social event. It's a wonderful way to get to know each other better in a different setting. Like our Quiet Mornings, it enriches our lives as individuals and as community, and provides ideas, practices and resources for future ministry.
The Simeon Community is a dispersed praying community who meet regularly at Ridley Hall to pray for the college. They are always open to people joining them at this time.