CMD in Norwich for deacons and priests in the early years after ordination - stipendiary, non-stipendiary and locally focussed alike - has three strands, running in parallel:
The relationship between a newly ordained ministry and his or her incumbent is at the heart of training at this stage of ministry. To help in shaping this relationship, we ask every new deacon and his or her incumbent to work out together a Working Agreement, using a format provided by the Diocese. This agreement is reviewed at least once a year, and each year a visit is made to discuss it by the Director of CMD or his or her representative. Further support is provided during the first few months after the Ordination of Deacons, in the shape of two meetings for all new deacons and their incumbents, to explore the nature of the relationship and some particular issues relating to it.
During the first three years from ordination as a deacon, everyone is a member of a Tutorial Group, working with a tutor to explore the reality of ordained ministry, share experience and reflect on its meaning. Most of these groups are organised by years and remain the same for the whole three year period. They meet about once every two months and, depending on the particular tutor and group, may use resources such as books and other publications to assist in their task.
Following General Synod's acceptance of Formation for Ministry within a Learning Church ("The Hind Report"), we like the rest of the Church of England are working towards greater integration between training before and after ordination, and towards more links and collaboration with our neighbouring dioceses. This will inevitably lead to important changes, but we intend that our basic priorities of Supporting the training relationship, Reflecting on experience and Providing resources for varied ministry in a changing Church will remain as guiding principles, whatever practical shape they take.
A programme of events is organised, in which those in the first three years are expected to take part and to which those in the fourth year are invited. Some of these focus on particular stages and transitions in ministry, while others consider more general themes on a rolling, three-year cycle. Examples of the former are sessions on Being a deacon, Presiding at the Eucharist and Transition to new responsibility. In recent years, the more general programme has included Work with children and young people, Preaching in the post-modern context, Leadership and collaboration, Discovering a workable spirituality, The Anglican ethos, What's happening in the world? and Pastoral ministry with sick people. From time to time, training events are also organised under the Bishop's aegis for all clergy in the Diocese, focussing on significant theological themes with major speakers.
Published on: 12/05/2011