News, Views and Ideas
Western Region SSM Advisers Group Meeting in September
It is clear that support for and representation of SSMs varies considerably across dioceses, even though all those attending held an office in their diocese. Much debate and brainstorming took place on the way in which SSMs can best serve the Kingdom and their diocese, with the very diverse gifts, experiences and contacts which they bring to the Church. There continues to be considerable concern about national and local policy regarding MSEs. The evidence is that this body is not thought of strategically, and there are not enough candidates coming forward. There is encouraging support for a second SSM Conference (see below). Various topics for discussion were suggested, including: Pathway IME Phase 1 & 2 to have a different form; exploration of opportunities for a strategic use and deployment of SSMs; formulation of a theology for MSEs; and the creation of a national network of SSM Advisers.
SSM Advisers National Conference
The Conference organised by the Western Region SSM Advicers group (that’s us, folks!) took place last year at Shallowford,. Although there was not a huge attendance, a great deal of interest has been subsequently expressed across all dioceses. A second Conference is being planned for early in 2019. We hope this will be a one-day event in Oxford and that other SSMs as well as Advisers will want to attend. More details will be available after the next meeting early in December.
What’s SSM All About Anyway?
John Lees, who is SSM Adviser for Exeter Diocese, has published Self-Supporting Ministry: A Practical Guide (SPCK, 2018). If you've already got a copy, don't forget to loan it out to spread the word!