Sunday, 18 July 2010

I love my job

The last month has been fairly manic but in the midst of it all have been several reminders of what I love about my job. A couple of weeks ago we celebrated our diocesan lay education and training programmes in Chelmsford Cathedral; it was a great occasion with a real sense of joy. Last weekend we held our Reader selection conference and met some gifted, faithful candidates offering to train to serve in this important lay ministry of preaching and teaching. It was particularly encouraging to see the diversity of candidates in age and background.

Then yesterday at St. Paul’s Cathedral staff and students of St. Mellitus College gathered together for our Graduation and Valedictory Eucharist. We said goodbye to recently ordained deacons and the Chelmsford Readers who were licensed last autumn. This cohort of students is the first group to study together from the two constituent parts of the college; North Thames Ministerial Training Course and St. Paul’s Theological Centre. ISt Mellitus graduation 1t has been so encouraging to see the way the students have integrated, studied, worshipped and grown together in formation for ministry. They have modelled SMC’s commitment to generous orthodoxy.

The students graduated from Middlesex University, St. Mellitus College’s validating body; the ordinands receiving their BA in Contextual Theology and the Readers a Dip He in Ministry. The awards were presented by Dr Claude Pehrson on behalf of the university’s Dean. Claude is a good friend to SMC having been involved in the validation of our various programmes and we wish him well as he retires this summer.

SMC banner During the Eucharist the students presented the college with a banner they had commissioned, a creative working of the St. Mellitus College logo. Each of the students was also presented with a certificate by Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, Dean of SMC, and myself as Director of Lay Ministry Studies. I was particularly proud of our Reader students, four of whom had received distinctions in the Dip HE. Following the service and some photographs at the West door of the cathedral we headed off to St Bride’s Institute for some lunch.

Other highlights of the last month have included chairing a diocesan working party on authorising local preachers; preparing and planning to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible in 2011 and several visits to deanery chapters to talk about SHAPE, part of our diocesan vocations initiative. There’s a fair amount of routine in my role with lots happening on a cyclical pattern, but at the heart of it all is the opportunity to support and resource Christians and churches in their ministry and mission and that is a real privilege.

1 comment:

Alice Smith said...

Thanks for all you do Phil - have a good summer!