Each year, Rural Hope provides young people (18-30 years) with an opportunity to experience rural ministry in all its variety through a rural version of the Ministry Experience Scheme. Over the past year, Bethany Kinderman, has been spending time with the teams in Devizes and Wellsprings as she explores her call to ministry.
Bethany explains what she has been doing:
“The MES experience has been one of the best years of my life. I have been based between St James Devizes and the Wellsprings benefice, compromising of 5 village churches. Working within villages and the local market town has given me a wide scope of opportunities. I have been able to participate in in variety of different church traditions and understand the unique aspects of each worshipping community.
“I was also involved from the beginning with starting a new worshipping community, Quest, which through discussion and coffee, aims to provide a space for those wanting to explore Christianity. It’s relaxed atmosphere every Saturday evening has been a safe space to look at things such as what is Love, how do we understand the Bible, and topical issues such as how should Christians respond to current injustices. Being involved at every stage of the process, consultation meeting, planning meetings, launch and now six months running, learning this process and watching God’s work unfold has been inspiring and a great learning experience.
“Another large part of my scheme has been starting school chaplaincy in the local secondary school and one of the village primary schools. I do a lot of one-to-ones/mentoring with students, and I am also open during lunch times and breaks as a drop in for any student who may want to come and talk to me. It's not just about the students, I’m also there for the staff I support them in their role. It’s about being a visible presence of the church in the school, and it has been a privilege to show that the Church is there for them.
“Being involved with the everyday of ministry has been a great way for me to confirm my calling and think about the shape of my future ministry. Going to visits for life event services, PCC meetings, Home Communion and lots more. The work of a Vicar is endless and varied, each day is different which has been an enjoyable experience, to face new things every day. Helping with the festivals, Christmas concerts and missional activities at Easter has allowed me to gain insight into the annual Church events that occur too. St James and Wellsprings vicars and curates have given me such a wide scope of opportunities it wouldn’t be possible to speak to each one, but they have helped me grow in confidence, in understanding and in faith. I am excited beyond my MES to continue to be involved in such kingdom building work.”
The Revd Adrian Burholt, Assistant Curate of Wellsprings, writes:
“From the very first day, Bethany has been an absolute blessing to both St James church in Devizes and the rural multi parish benefice of Wellsprings. Not only did she throw herself wholeheartedly into her chaplaincy work at the local schools, help to set up a new outreach Church and get involved in leading and preaching at Sunday services, she also brought with her a huge amount of wisdom, something rarely seen in someone of her years. I am delighted that she is able to stay in the area working with St James, and hope that we will be able to carry on doing more of the fabulous kingdom building work together, across the wider Deanery.”