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Walking with Alpacas

by Michael Ford last modified 11 Jun, 2019 05:00 PM

At first glance it might not seem to be the most likely resource for learning and development in ministry.

But 'Walking with Alpacas' proved to be a day full of surprises and joy for those who went along as part of the Diocese's Continuing Ministerial Development programme.

The purpose of ongoing ministerial development is to continue the development of those who are licensed and commissioned to serve as ministers so that they in turn can continue to stimulate and enable the whole Church to participate more fully in God's mission.

Many events like this one are open to everyone from ordained ministers through to lay leaders, and are a chance to relax and share time with others in ministry in our Diocese.

Anne Norman, Lay Pastoral Assistant at St Mary's Church in Marlborough, who was part of the group said:

"What a privilege to take a break from daily routine and spend a day getting to know these delightful, gentle creatures at Downswood Stables, Great Cheverill. Mark, Jackie and Claire run equine therapy sessions at the stables and initially kept the alpacas as a hobby.

"They gave us a brief introduction to Alfie, Horatio, Leonard, Teddy and Whisky over coffee and cake then we all had the opportunity to lead our own alpaca round a woodland or garden walk. Alpacas are curious, shy creatures who don’t like rain so on this rainy morning some of them needed a little encouragement! They love to graze as they meander along so our walk proceeded at a leisurely pace.

"After lunch Clare showed us the different ways the alpaca fleece could be worked and her sister Jacky gave us a demonstration of spinning. We then spent a relaxing time absorbed in either wet felting or needle felting a tiny animal or a picture.

"Our creations may not have looked like the models but it was a very therapeutic activity. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know one of God’s creatures in such lovely countryside and to spend time chatting with clergy and lay people from other parts of our Diocese."

The Revd Canon Jane Charman, Diocesan Director of Ministry said:

"CMD is one of the ways in which we exercise good stewardship of the gifts that God has given us."

See what other courses and events are on offer

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