Where's the Vicar?!
Amazingly, it is nearly six months since I arrived at St Andrew’s as your Vicar. It’s been a wonderful six months as I have got to know the Church family and learnt the way that things work here.
From time to time, the observant among you might have noticed that I drop off the radar for a day or two. This might of course be because I’m on holiday, but I thought you might be interested to know a little more about my commitments away from St Andrew’s.
There are a number of roles I undertake for the Diocese, as well as national networks and training courses, which form parts of my vocation and enrich my ministry in Bedford. I shall try not to make this sound too much like a CV!
Firstly, I am Dean of Women’s Ministry for St Albans Diocese. Work in this area has been part of my vocation since I entered ordained ministry and realised just how far the Church still has to travel in terms of gender and other forms of equality, compared with much of the secular world. As Dean of Woman’s Ministry, I organise networking and training, offer mentoring, and influence policy. I am invited to Bishop’s Staff Meetings periodically, and am part of the national network of Deans of Women’s Ministry, which looks at the wider picture in the Church of England. In this role, I am an ex officio trustee of the St Ethedreda’s Trust, sit on Diocesan Synod and on the Diocesan Board of Mission and Ministry.
Secondly, I am part of cohort 4 of the Church of England’s Strategic Leadership Development Programme. This course, emerging from the Green Report of 2014, gathers clergy from across the Church who are identified as having the potential for senior or strategic leadership for a three year programme of learning. I am the only person from St Albans Diocese on the programme in the current cohort. The programme involves residential training, action learning sets and day courses with Bishops (and others), among other elements. As part of the programme, I am part of a group undertaking national research into transition points for children in Church.
Finally, I am supervisor or mentor to a number of people in discernment or training for ministry, including three ordinands, someone going through the selection process for ordained ministry, and this term to a final year curate.
If you’d like to find out more about any of these areas of work, do ask. At least now you’ll know where might be if I’m not in Church! I welcome you prayers for these and all other aspects of my ministry.