Discover is a one year (September-July) residential opportunity to experience full-time Christian ministry for young people (aged 18-29). All places for 2019-20 are now taken, but Revd Neil Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org is happy to hear from those interested for future years. Information about similar schemes elsewhere in the Church of England can be found here
The 2018-19 cohort with Bishop Richard: Seamus, Shauna, Jonathan & William
Discover is a scheme to enable up to four young people each year to work full-time in ministry, living together in Hereford, based in parishes, and given appropriate support and finance. It is intended as a means for young people (18-29) to find support in their vocational journey with God.
At a school Careers Fair. Jo (standing) is now studying for ordination at Cranmer Hall, Rebecca writes for Open Doors
You may be wondering whether ministry is for you, or seeking to test a vocation, or have been advised that you would benefit from more parish experience before theological training. We know that we cannot dictate how your vocation develops, but hope to provide an opportunity and the right resources to help you as you listen to God and seek direction in your life.
Hereford is the most rural diocese in England, and participants will grow in understanding of our distinctive context, its challenges, opportunities, and joys. The BBC2 series A Vicar's Life, referred to elsewhere on this site, gives a good impression of ministry here!
Across the Church of England, there is recognition that we need to do more to support young people with a sense of calling to ministry. Parish placements (also called internships or parish assistants) are recognised as an important element in this.
Space to Recover
Participants are accommodated in a shared house in Hereford, where interns will live together and have their own space to relax away from parish life. The house is provided with utilities (including WiFi) covered and interns are paid a weekly allowance (c.£79.80 for 2018-19). There will be regular visits to provide support and to keep on top of any issues which may arise in the placements.
Tell me more
The central part of the year is the placement of each participant in a parish or benefice, under the supervision of experienced clergy. They will be authorised to assist with worship, including communion, and become fully involved in the life of these places as a member of the staff team.
The opportunities vary, but include baptism and wedding preparation, schools work, community organisations, ministry groups and nurture courses, and occupy about 75% of the working time. Each applicant will be carefully matched with the most appropriate benefice and clergy supervisor for them.
Miles with us in 2017. He is now training for ordination at Cuddesdon, and has had a haircut!
All participants will be enrolled within the teaching programme of the West of England Ministerial Training Course (WEMTC), based in Ludlow on Wednesday evenings, to provide for theological study.
The modules will be adaptable depending on experience, but will emphasize theological reflection on ministry practice. WEMTC will also model collaborative learning alongside ordinands and Reader trainees of varying age and background from the interns.
Interns will also meet as a group monthly to follow a study course reflecting on their own self-understanding and growth in faith through the year, so whatever follows, they can go forward more confident in where God is calling them.
Our hope is that many of those who join Discover will go on to train for ordained ministry with Hereford or other dioceses, and Neil and others will provide support on that journey. But wherever you end up feeling God is calling you, we believe that this offers a way to grow in faith and discipleship.
How do I apply?
Contact the Director of Discover, Revd Neil Patterson (also DDVO for Hereford, contact details below) who will be pleased to discuss further with you and send an application form. Please note also that owing to the burdensome nature of current immigration rules, we regret that we cannot consider applications from overseas unless you already have permission to be resident in the UK.
The Diocesan Office (Ludlow),
The Business Quarter,
The Eco Park,