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Source: (consider it) Thread: Whom shall we send? The Vocations Thread
Doone
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tessaB [Votive]
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RainbowGirl
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quote:
Originally posted by A Soprano Learning to Listen:
Hello all, I was sent over here by Pigwidgeon.

I've spent most of this afternoon reading this whole thread and I feel like I know you all a little!

Recently I've started to explore my calling to ordained ministry with my priest. It's the beginning of an exciting journey for sure! The next step is to speak to the area warden and see where that goes...

I was hoping that there may be a few people on the thread going through the beginnings of the process at this time ☺

Also, could I ask whether there was ever a particular event that made you start to listen to the nagging feeling that had been surpressed?

Thanks in advance

I'm here if you want to talk, I've been stuck in the beginning of the process for a few years now and about to start interviews for the year of discernment (process is a bit different in Oz to the UK).

My 'event' was the washing of the feet on Maundy Thursday, watching the Dean wash the congregations feet it hit me that it was what I was called too and where I had to be. At the time it was rather liked being beaten over the head by a frying pan.

RG

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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[Votive] for you Soprano as you set out on your journey.

[Votive] for your licensing tessaB

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My blog: http://alastairnewman.wordpress.com/

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Notapassingphase
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Hello again. Apologies for only showing up around this ship when I'm after something...
Was wondering if anyone here might like to listen to me moan and hand-hold a little?? Pretty please.
I can't quite bear to talk about this with too many in people in RL (I *think* I'm completely anonymous here - pm me if not so!), and I need to get my thoughts a bit straighter before I speak to the vicar / vocations adviser. Would be really helpful to have some idea of the questions they might ask and the possible reaction I might get to various things.

So the main issue I have is that I have this crippling sense of being called - I really really want to explore this thing but [apart from all the wondering if it's vanity and feeling unworthy etc, which I assume most people worry about] the main problem is that I'm in a civil partnership with someone who is fanatically anti-religion. It's going to be horrendous. I presume they are going to ask if my family is supportive, and I will have to say 'not really no'. Will that be a bar to taking it further? Anyone have experience of this kind of thing, or advice?

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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I don't know how the CofE (or any other denomination) would deal with this, but yours seems to be a situation calculated to lead to a lot of stress for someone in the ordained ministry.

Firstly, if I'm not mistaken, ordained CofE clergy in civil partnerships are expected to be celibate, so I presume you'd be questioned about that. But secondly, I think it'd be reasonable for church authorities to wonder how you'd manage in such an all-consuming role if your partner resents what you're doing. After all, it's not the sort of job that you can forget when you get home, is it?

However, I understand that the CofE does have some part-time paid posts for the clergy, and perhaps these impinge less on one's home life. Alternatively, maybe entering unpaid lay ministry and keeping a paid day job would be less demanding.

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Notapassingphase
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Yes, that is very true. I suppose I feel called to the priesthood, but not necessarily to being a vicar; it's all so hard to work out when it's so hard to have the conversations. There is also the related question: if we split up, how would they view that?
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Curiosity killed ...

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Notapassingphase, there are people on the Ship who have more personal experience of these areas who may have relevant insights and knowledge to impart.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Notapassingphase
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Great. I hope they pop by soon! [Smile]
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Callan
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Originally posted by notapassingphase:

quote:
So the main issue I have is that I have this crippling sense of being called - I really really want to explore this thing but [apart from all the wondering if it's vanity and feeling unworthy etc, which I assume most people worry about] the main problem is that I'm in a civil partnership with someone who is fanatically anti-religion. It's going to be horrendous. I presume they are going to ask if my family is supportive, and I will have to say 'not really no'. Will that be a bar to taking it further? Anyone have experience of this kind of thing, or advice?
I think that parishes will take an interest. When I was appointed to my current post I had a very agreeable lunch with the Wardens (who were also the parish reps.) They then rang me up to say that they wanted to meet Mrs Callan, who happens to be a Methodist. So they came over for a cup of tea and everything was fine. But in your instance you have to be sure that a) any parish is OK with you being in a civil partnership and b) they are OK with your partner's views. That means, I think, a free and frank conversation with the DDO about whether or not the Diocese will support someone in a civil partnership and an equally free and frank conversation with your partner as to whether or not your partner will support your ministry.

I wish you luck. I also wish that I had something more positive to say. Most of us feel - nay are- terribly unworthy, don't worry about that! My instinct is to say that if you are in a relationship with someone you love that is more important than ordained ministry. I realise that is easy to say when things have worked out, over time, for oneself, but if I had to choose between my ministry and my family, my family would win hands down.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Notapassingphase
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Thanks Callan, that's helpful. The full and frank conversation with my partner is coming up soon I think, don't think I can keep ignoring this forever and will have to let it play out one way or another. I suppose part of my thinking is that discernment + training + curacy = minimum 8 years, and who knows what the situation will be then, but if I keep delaying even having the conversations I'll be bloody old!
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ThunderBunk

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Notapassingphase, partner aside (but for partner substitute family and a varying proportion of myself), all features of your predicament sound horribly familiar. You are in my prayers.

My mind and heart are currently heading towards training in spiritual accompaniment because of my sense of where the church is and where it is going. I'd be very happy to go further by private message if you'd find it helpful.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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Anselmina
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Notapassingphase

Being in a civil partnership shouldn't of itself be a bar, as some CofE clergy serving in paid posts and living in the vicarage with their partners do this already. But as others have said, the process would be more straightforward if your partner was on-board with your calling - or at least not opposed to it, however opposed s/he might be to religion. Your DDO should know how to guide you further into selection and beyond, with regard to any complexity concerning your partnership.

Anecdotally, I've been aware of some married students (obviously opposite-sex) whose spouses were NOT happy with the turn life was taking. But of all the marriages that subsequently - and sadly - ended after ordination, the majority were in fact of students whose partners had been completely supportive at the time; and some of whom were themselves also student ministers. I'm quite sure it is the same for some in civil partnerships. People change. And split ups in clergy relationships are not, unfortunately, that uncommon.

For yourself, I guess you've got to assess whether or not your calling is really 'crippling' as you describe it, or actually liberating you? And also what is your responsibility to your partner? What can s/he reasonably expect from you, by way of your contracted (whether legal or psychological) expectations from your partnership? Do you think (rhetorical!) it might be telling, that you're already contemplating a situation post-split, and the consequences? I'm not saying that's a bad thing, or need have a specific interpretation to it. Only that it might indicate something of what's going on inside your own future projections for ministry and life in general?

Good wishes to you as you explore further!

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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Ethne Alba
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Having a calling to priesthood....doesn't necessarily involved being a Vicar.
Thank the Good Lord

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Bishops Finger
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Indeed it does not (though you may well find yourself presiding and preaching at a Parish Eucharist one Sunday!).

It's difficult to tell, but I get the impression (through anecdotal evidence only) that at least some C of E Dioceses are much more liberal (aka 'open-minded') in their approach than others.

An informal chat with one's Archdeacon and/or Director of Ordinands seems a Good Scheme.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Notapassingphase
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quote:
though you may well find yourself presiding and preaching at a Parish Eucharist one Sunday
Just reading that makes my heart beat faster (in a good way!)
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Notapassingphase
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Anselmina

Thank you. Much to think on and pray over.

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by Notapassingphase:

So the main issue I have is that I have this crippling sense of being called - I really really want to explore this thing but [apart from all the wondering if it's vanity and feeling unworthy etc, which I assume most people worry about] the main problem is that I'm in a civil partnership with someone who is fanatically anti-religion. It's going to be horrendous. I presume they are going to ask if my family is supportive, and I will have to say 'not really no'. Will that be a bar to taking it further? Anyone have experience of this kind of thing, or advice?

It seems to me the first thing you need to get straight is the boundary between you and your partner on the religion issue. IMHO the only way this is going to work long-term is if both of you show a truly Arthurian courtesy toward one another on the issue, with huge huge tongue control. Meaning, you can never so much as moan about the fact that your partner isn't offering you support or comfort for the many, many hassles and heartbreaks you're going to encounter in ministry--you will in effect be operating as if you were unpartnered. And your partner, in return, will have to suck it up and deal whenever ministry runs rampant across your life (and by extension,your partner's) without saying a word of blame or anger. (I'm talking, for instance, about cases where you get an emergency phone call--death, dying, somebody near-suicidal, whatever) and have to go out, even though the two of you had plans that night.)

There are vanishingly few human beings who can always hold their tongues under such circumstances when both of them actually ARE committed to whatever the cause is (in this case, ministry). There are also very few people who can carry the whole burden of ministry on their own without ever falling backward onto their partners in the hope of being caught and comforted. I don't know if it can be done. If it can, you'd better take video so we can post it in the Museum of Things Strange for all to marvel at.

Here's a thought--could you perhaps "ride along" or "apprentice" with a minister of your choice for a few months to see what it's like? That would allow you to see any developing conflict before you made a permanent commitment to anything, and then you'd have more data (of the interpersonal type) to make a decision based on.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Aravis
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If the church was entirely supportive and suggested you begin training, what effect would that have on your relationship? How much have you discussed this?

Looking a lot further down the line, I've known clergy with agnostic/atheist spouses or partners and it has worked out better for them in chaplain posts - school, university or hospital. Living in a vicarage can be a bit uncomfortable for an atheist. As a chaplain you have a clearer division between work and home.

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Nanny Plum is a Legend
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Hello! Very long time since I last posted, and time for an update. Last year I was working with a VA who then retired rather suddenly (I hope no connection!) - then it took time for the diocese to allocate me a new one - and then we had to start at the beginning because no notes had been kept/handed over [Roll Eyes] .

So I'm pleased to say I yesterday completed my time with the second VA, and will be getting the report and a recommendation to go forward to the DDO, next week.

Then possibly after another six months or so, a BAP...?

If nothing else, this process teaches patience [Big Grin]

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Albertus
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Glad it's moving forward.
(Your earlier experience sounds depressingly familiar from my explorations in the CofE/CinW some years ago. I have long suspected that in some dioceses the idea that the Holy Spirit will see it all right in the end is sometimes, and quite inexcusably, used as a get-out-of-jail card for a sloppy and slapdash approach to running the discernment process.)

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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tessaB
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Yay! After 3 years and around 45 various assignments and bits of work, after a lot of really interesting studies, some heartsearching and a few late night essay crises....beloved husband and I were licenced yesterday by the bishop of Dorking, Bishop Jo Bailey Wells!
A lovely service, made even more special by sharing it with the other 5 LLMs on our course, and by it being in our home church.
Here's to the future!

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tessaB
eating chocolate to the glory of God
Holiday cottage near Rye

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RainbowGirl
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Congratulations tessaB! May you have a blessed future in the church.

I've been formally accepted into my diocese's discernment year, kicking off in a few months. So my timeout is over, though given how involved I've gotten over the past year it hasn't felt all that much like a time out. I'm also due to graduate from theological college at the end of the year, so things are rather taking on a life of their own.

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Curiosity killed ...

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Congratulations tessaB!

Best wishes to others on this pathway.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Welease Woderwick

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Great news TessaB!

[Votive] for your [joint] ministry.

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I give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.
Fancy a break in South India?
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What part of Matt. 7:1 don't you understand?

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Doone
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TessaB [Yipee]
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Piglet
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Congratulations TessaB! [Yipee]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Pomona
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Sort of vocation news - I'm applying to do an access course at a local FE college with the aim of doing a theology degree at a regular university, and then going for ordination from there. As my qualifications are pretty dire due to circumstances, improving those seems a good idea anyway! My first choice would be St Mary's University in Twickenham, as having on-campus Adoration and a community house as an accommodation option is pretty appealling!

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Bishops Finger
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That's quite a plan, Pomona - may it come to fruition! What's the approximate time-scale?

I have it on Good Authority that ordinations in the C of E this year are encouragingly numerous, and the same may well apply to LLMs.

Well done, tessaB + Mr. - welcome to the ranks of the lowly, but useful!

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
That's quite a plan, Pomona - may it come to fruition! What's the approximate time-scale?

I have it on Good Authority that ordinations in the C of E this year are encouragingly numerous, and the same may well apply to LLMs.

Well done, tessaB + Mr. - welcome to the ranks of the lowly, but useful!

IJ

Access course is a year, degree would be three years (unless I study in Scotland - Glasgow has an excellent programme, but I don't want to have to do four years). By that point I would be over 32 so would be looking at 2 years as an ordinand). Of course a bonus of getting a secular degree is that I am more likely to be employed if ordination doesn't happen!

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Bishops Finger
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Well, all best wishes for your Plan! The Church(es) could do with more of your generation coming forward for training and ordination.

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Pomona
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Luckily enough, that is already the case - 25% of those starting ordination in September are 32 and under (32 is the cut-off point for officially being Young Clergy).

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Albertus
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Yes, good for you, Pomona. St Mary's - I knew Prof Peter Tyler (Prof of Pastoral Theology & Spirituality there) slightly, amny years ago- lovely chap, very funny and warm. The way to impress him in those days was to show an encylopaedic knowledge of the work of Reg Varney.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Piglet
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Best of luck, Pomona! [Smile]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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Hope that goes well, Pomona.

All I'd say is that if you can try to talk to someone friendly at theological college or in a DDO's office about "Bishop's requirements" for the theological part of ordination training. There's quite considerable constraint on which courses count towards the theological part of ordination training, e.g. you need to do a certain amount of OT, certain amount of NT, doctrine, apologetic etc. You'd want to make sure the courses you did at uni satisfied those requirements as much as possible, as that would then simplify your subsequent training towards ordination.

If I find out anything useful after starting in September I shall let you know! (Pretty sure we're friends on fb too)

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My blog: http://alastairnewman.wordpress.com/

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Pomona
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Oh, I would be in a different diocese anyway but I may ask theological colleges (I am in Winchester diocese currently - only just - and I'm in rather a hurry to leave....). But I'm happy to do extra work at training if need be.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Nanny Plum is a Legend
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I'm now part-way through working with the Director of Ordinands and have been asked to consider training options for Sept 2018 - plan is to probably go to a BAP next year.

Looking for support as I try to work out what to do next. I've assumed til this point I would train part-time and keep working - I was all along thinking about non-stipendiary ministry -
but the DO is urging me to consider incumbency, which they say means full-time training. This is quite scary, as my husband doesn't work, so a proper leap of faith that I would still be able to support my family...

I'm (obviously) contacting the likely training institutions to find out from them whether part-time is in fact an option and my DO has that wrong (doubtful).

Any words of wisdom at this point? ("Run! Run for the hills!" is probably not quite it... [Biased] )

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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by Nanny Plum is a Legend:
I'm now part-way through working with the Director of Ordinands and have been asked to consider training options for Sept 2018 - plan is to probably go to a BAP next year.

Looking for support as I try to work out what to do next. I've assumed til this point I would train part-time and keep working - I was all along thinking about non-stipendiary ministry -
but the DO is urging me to consider incumbency, which they say means full-time training. This is quite scary, as my husband doesn't work, so a proper leap of faith that I would still be able to support my family...

I'm (obviously) contacting the likely training institutions to find out from them whether part-time is in fact an option and my DO has that wrong (doubtful).

Any words of wisdom at this point? ("Run! Run for the hills!" is probably not quite it... [Biased] )

I have just finishing training full time and am now in curacy. I know people who have trained part time but with a view to being incumbents post-curacy - there are no hard and fast rules, though some dioceses have strong preferences, especially if you are younger.

However, if you can make the sums work (and many do train without the spouse working at the same time - for some, it just isn't possible to be the primary child career whilst training, so the spouse does it), the additional time devoted to formation in full time training is worth looking seriously at.

Which colleges/courses are you looking at? (PM if preferred!)

Posts: 393 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged



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