After their ordination as deacons and as priests, curates continue their formation: developing and honing their skills; reflecting on their practice and growing into their role as ordained ministers. This training happens as a partnership between the Mission Communities in which the curates are placed and our tutors. This is the second phase of the Initial Ministerial Education programme (or ‘IME2’)
Revd Dr Allison Fenton is the IME2 officer who facilitates and co-ordinates this training. She is available to answer any questions you might have or to provide further details.
We hope that curacy will be a time of formation and transformation for curate and training minister, and provide:
- A safe supportive stable space
- A responsive, reflective, and respectful space
- A teaching, training and transforming space*
In Cumbria, our curates are usually placed in Mission Communities, and although one person is responsible for their supervision, they draw wisdom from across the community. This ecumenical, collaborative environment offers a great richness of learning and variety of experience. We draw on the expertise and innovation found in our mainly rural diocese to enrich the curacy experience, offering placements appropriately to extend curates’ learning. Our aim is that the training curates receive will equip them to be reflective, resilient and creative leaders in Mission Communities.
Whilst curates wish to be fully involved in, and contribute to, the life, worship and ministry of the congregations and communities in which they are placed, in practice there is always be a tension, which must be managed in a spirit of collaboration and mutual service, between the curate’s need for training and the ministry requirements of the Mission Community. The balance may change over time, but it is important to keep the end goal of curacy in view throughout, and appropriate time made available for the curate’s training needs to be met.
There are two main aims of the IME2 programme:
- to fulfil the Church of England’s requirements for the successful completion of a curacy, (more information can be found here) [https://www.churchofengland.org/more/diocesan-resources/ministry/after-ordination ]
- to develop the good habits of ongoing and practical theological reflection on ministerial practice and experience.
Curates attend one weekend residential in October of each year which incorporates the first study day. There are five other study days, two each term. There are two threads which this programme will follow: ‘hard skills’ and ‘formation’ days. These are delivered in a three year cycle. The value of IME2 lies not only in the formal training input but also in the opportunity to reflect together, to share experiences and to find friendship and support in their peer group. Good communication can help to ensure that the experience of the Mission Community and the IME2 programme effectively complement each other.
First Thread: Aspects of Formation (based on Church of England national formation criteria published in 2014) – on a 3 year cycle.
- Personality and Character
- Vocation and Ministry (within the Church of England)
- Leadership, Collaboration and Responsibility
- Christian Life: Faith and Tradition
- Pioneer Ministry
Second Thread: Hard Skills
- Setting up Pastoral Teams and Working with Volunteers
- Developing Projects (including working with partners and grant applications)
- Time Management, Media and Communications
- Parish Systems (PCCS, AGMs, Faculty, Church-yards, Fees)
- Holy Communion (Presiding, All-Age, Communion-by-extension)
Action Reflection Groups
Groups of 5 or 6 curates meet locally with an experienced group leader for 4 sessions each term. These sessions take place fortnightly over a two month period:
- October – November,
- February – March,
- May- June.
Curates are allocated a group broadly based on geographical location and dates are published in advance. Members of these action-reflection groups share their experience of practical ministry and reflect on it together in the light of their reading and study. Each meeting consists of one or two group members presenting a case-study based on an experience or event in his/her present ministry context.
Modules at levels 5 and 6 are offered to those curates who wish to top up the studying they did with Common Awards during IME1 in order to gain a BA (hons) through the Common Awards programme at Durham University. This is not an integral part of the programme so is optional and will be agreed with the training minister and IME2 officer at the start of the curacy.
*Wendy Edwards, (2012), ‘Exploring Curate Supervision’ MA Dissertation p.68