With our students

I was glad to be able to meet our students from the Scottish Episcopal Institute in Saturday. It’s all very new. We’ve moved on from TISEC to a new training institute with its emphasis on formation.

Formation?

Well for me that means just about everything. It’s about how vocation is nurtured. It’s about the shaping of future clergy and Lay Readers in the spirituality on which they can draw as they face the demands of ministry. It’s about the skills which they need to offer pastoral care and leadership which is both authoritative and collegial. Ministry is a demanding calling and we owe it to those who make this commitment to give them the best training possible.

I went to talk about Mission and Evangelism with them – to learn as well as talk. I could have spent time on ‘what we do and how we do it’. But I reckon that that is for other people at other times. I think it’s important to help people to reflect on the nature of our church – its culture and context. Our future clergy need to understand that and to work with the grain of it if they are not to be disappointed and frustrated as they help our church to grow.

Ah well … more after tomorrow’s Chrism Mass

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