Exploring a Rural Future

by Michael Ford last modified 12 Mar, 2019 03:50 PM

The Diocese is on the look out again for four 18 to 30 year old 'Explorers' who would like to experience rural ministry.

For the third year running the Diocese is offering 4 people the chance to explore their vocation in rural benefices as part of the Diocese's successful Pray Serve Grow Ministry Experience Scheme.

Welcoming the vocation scheme which has been designed to identify, enthuse and equip rural leaders of the future, the Bishop of Sherborne, the Rt Revd Karen Gorham said:
"Dorset and Wiltshire offer some great places for a year-long rural placement, giving experience of community life as well as church.

"There is a chance to regularly network with others across the Diocese, to experience the learning environment of Sarum College, to share in the ministry of experienced ordained and lay ministers, all with support from the senior team in the Diocese.

"It’s a great opportunity and context for any young person exploring their sense of God’s calling and vocation."

The Scheme, part funded by the Rural Hope Programme is open to young adults (18-30) who wonder if God might be calling them to ordained ministry, providing ministry experience in local churches, guidance from mentors, and theological training from Sarum College and other partners.

This year’s placements start 16 September 2019 and run to July 2020.

As well as a national advertising campaign and information on our own Vocations website, those in our parishes are asked to be on the look-out for young people who might be considering vocation, or to start up a conversation with anyone in the age range they think might be an ideal candidate for exploring ministry through a rural placements.

The scheme, which links into the national Ministry Experience Scheme (MES), welcomes participants from a wide spectrum of traditions and styles and each 'Explorer' will be supported by a personal Mentor, a Placement Supervisor and a Theological Mentor.

Those in Rural Benefices will live in lodgings with church members in the Benefice or in a shared house or flat.

The MES scheme also offers three placements in Poole for those interested in a more urban placement. Accommodation here will be with the Community in Canford Heath, Poole, with a House Companion and a simple rule of life.

The placement package includes food and accommodation for the duration of the placement, plus spending money and working expenses.

While the rural placements are funded by the Rural Hope Programme, the urban placements receive funding jointly from the Diocesan Board of Finance and the parishes who are invited to make a contribution of £3000 per participant.

More information and an application form are available at Salisbury Calling.

Read an approving assessment from Chelmsford Diocese here.

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