Archive for August, 2014

So I mentioned earlier this week that our attic is full for this coming academic year… And then I had a tweet from another vicar’s wife who doesn’t exactly have an attic, but does have a space for a Ministry Trainee at their church in St Bees. So I said I’d get the word out. Their location is totally different to ours – rural Cumbria (with seaside!), and there is a lot of work with a local school involved – it looks like a great post for the right person. Cliff, the vicar, wrote to me with some further and better particulars of the post, which might whet your appetite:

St Bees is an ancient church complete with a famous dead crusader and a legendary Irish princess, but with a desire today to bring the Gospel to our community. The vicar is Cliff Swartz, an American who with his wife Katie moved to England in 1997. They’ve lived and worked in Cambridge and East Yorkshire, and had some years back in the States for boarding school ministry in New England and parish ministry in Manhattan. Each time they’ve moved, God has blessed them with a child, which means five children over their seventeen years of married life. They are now never going to move again. Cliff’s wife Katie is the one who would really give all the wisdom to the trainee, but don’t tell the wardens.

Cliff is vicar of the Priory Church in St Bees, which is moving along from middle of the road gently declining Anglican village church, by introducing a ministry with a greater focus on teaching the Bible to all ages and in all settings, and so it is gently growing and reaching its community, by God’s grace. The parish has been excited to have its first ministry trainee this past year. He has been encouraged to stay for the optional second year. We hope to add a second ministry trainee, and would prefer a young woman, but the right person is more important. Twenty pupils went along to a Gloddaeth Holidays camp (glod.co.uk) this summer from St Bees School, and the youth work in the parish is getting off the ground, so there is lots to do in that area. We are small enough to craft an experience to meet the gifts of the trainee, and mix up work at the Priory Church, St Bees School and the North West Partnership which offers the weekly training course.

Housing and term time meals are provided in staff housing at St Bees School. A grant is made available for living expenses along with ministry expenses and training expenses paid by the church council. We are a small outfit, where a broad experience and a safe environment to learn and grow can be achieved. We live in a beautiful, but remote, place, and so insist on the participation of ministry trainees both in the North West Partnership scheme as well as the Living Room, which is the 20-something Christian group run with a church in partnership with us here. And you’ll be home for Christmas.

There is a proper advert that Cliff sent me but I can’t get it to load up, but you can download an application form from their church website or email him vicar [at] stbeespriory [dot] org. BytheSea came to us via this blog last year because the Children’s Worker at his church is a reader. Maybe you or someone you know might like to work with Cliff and Katie…

Ministry and the seaside, an enticing combination

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The Queen is a Teen

My lovely daughter turned 13 whilst we were away on our Pathfinder Venture. I popped my head round the door of her dorm to say Happy Birthday. Her first teenage words to me:

Go away Mummy!

(In her defence, I should probably mention that she was getting changed at the time….)

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There’s all sorts of summer news on our Ministry Trainees past, present and future:

1. Our first Vicarage Ministry Trainee, Happy, was ordained into the presbyterate at the end of June. He’s going to come and celebrate Holy Communion here whilst we’re off on our summer holidays. Happy’s dad was ordained deacon this Petertide too.

2. Rocky, who survived a whole two years in our attic, was ordained deacon at the end of June. He and Bee are now living a short car ride away from us, excited to be serving back in the Black Country.

3. Gambit, who was a Ministry Trainee in our church in Wolverhampton, was also priested this Petertide. We were very happy to join with him in serving young people on our Pathfinder Venture just last week.

4. BytheSea, who’s been living with us this year, went to his Bishop’s Advisory Panel in early June and has been recommended for training. He’s now finished in the Vicarage and is off to train at theological college in September.

5. Red has also left us, to be a Ministry Trainee at the church where his fiancée is already working. He is hoping to go for Church of England selection in a few months’ time.

6. Very excitingly, two new Ministry Trainees have been appointed to join us at the end of August. King is coming to us from Essex via studies in Wales and The Shropshire Lad is from the opposite end of Lichfield diocese. Although it’s sad to see BytheSea and Red leave us, we’re excited about all the things that God will do with a change in the staff team in church and the new gifts and attributes that the new MTs will bring. Do please pray for the new-look Vicarage household. These are the first Ministry Trainees to come to a house with a teenager in it….

Woody and Buzz

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