The Rt Revd Michael Perham, Ripon College Cuddesdon 1974
Leadership of the diocese and care for its clergy and laity is my principal role, but I live a good deal of the time on the edge of the Church, trying to relate to the wider society around us and the regeneration of the city of Gloucester has been one of my major concerns. But a bishop is a bishop not only for his diocese but for the whole Church and I have been stimulated by some of my other tasks, as Chair of the Hospital Chaplaincies Council, of SPCK and of Ripon College Cuddesdon. I am doing some important work in relation to the unity of the Anglican Communion at a time of stress and, of course, there is a role also in being a member of the House of Lords.
The Revd Canon Mike Harrison, Ripon College Cuddesdon 1990
As a chaplain at Bradford University I helped to develop the Interfaith Soup Kitchen, which served meals to people who were homeless, drug addicts or from the red light district. It operated five days a week, with help from the university, and volunteers from the Peace Studies programmes and the Sikh, Hindu, Jewish and Christian communities.
The Rt Revd Michael Doe, Ripon Hall 1969
My training at Ripon Hall taught me that God is to be found as much in the world as in the church. That set me up for two housing estate ministries, one of them on the Blackbird Leys Estate on the Cowley side of Oxford, and more recently as the first Bishop of Swindon where the church, often working ecumenically, has to engage in a growing town and with a very secular culture. In my current work as General Secretary of the mission agency, USPG: Anglicans in World Mission, we are developing a post-colonial approach to supporting each other around the Anglican Communion as we engage in God's holistic mission in each place where he has called us to be the church.
The Revd Chris Moody, Cuddesdon College 1974
About 20 years ago when I was working in Lambeth, the council wanted to close a popular after school club operating in a local park. We used to go there with our young children, and so did many families from the estates. I believed cuts were arbitrary and unjust. As a local vicar, I could be less easily stalled, and I mobilised a mass lobby. Our persistence paid off and the club was saved. The priest is not just an official for the congregation, or a technician, but builds bridges between the church and the community.
The Revd Canon Ralph Godsall, Cuddesdon College 1973
I was Chaplain of Trinity College Cambridge from 1978-1983. It was a time when the conflict in Northern Ireland was particularly intense, and long before the more recent steps towards reconciliation. I set up a link between Queen’s University Belfast, Trinity, and the Corrymeela Community which promotes reconciliation. Every year 12 students (6 Roman Catholic and 6 Protestant) spent time together in both Northern Ireland and Cambridge promoting harmony and reconciliation. I used links I had through Trinity, to introduce them to church leaders and politicians in London. Over a five-year period, some 200 students took part and during the exchanges they themselves grew in their understanding and trust of each other.
The Revd Roly Bain, Ripon College Cuddesdon 1976
Being a holy fool is about preaching the gospel in new ways so that people may then find a new approach. The clown costume is like a dog collar (although my costume does have a dog collar in it as well): clowning and ministry grant you a greater intimacy and gives you access to everybody in every situation - traditionally, a jester can tell someone the truth, and be allowed to get away with it. I consider my role is to make connections. Then the audience, whoever they are, can all understand what you are doing on different levels.
The Revd Charles Sherlock, Ripon College Cuddesdon 1975
I have spent many of the years since I left Cuddesdon in Ethiopia and in Scotland. I am in Ethiopia at the moment, where I have worked in a number of humanitarian projects over the years...a children's charity, a hospital treating women injured in childbirth, a pottery and weaving training scheme for the rehabilitation of women caught up in prostitution. Now I am running a farm to grow peas and beans and strawberries. But the greatest occasions for gratitude are opportunities to open the Scriptures, and break the bread, and encounter the Word and words of God in moments of unexpected blessing.
The Revd Becky Mathew, Ripon College Cuddesdon 2003
After completing my curacy I took up an invitation from the Bishop of Colombo in Sri Lanka to minister to a parish on the outskirts of the city and later as the first female chaplain at one of Colombo’s most well known boys' school. During my time in the parish I was able to support and continue a church link with a Detention centre located next door within the compound of a large police station. At one time, a boatload of 91 men seeking refugee status were brought into the centre. They had been heading for Malaysia from Bangladesh and Burma but the boat engines had failed and they had been adrift for just over 2 weeks. Because of the relationship between the local church and the centre, we were able to provide doctors and medication, eating utensils, washing items, clothing and rebuild the toilet block and renew the drainage system. There have been many challenging moments during my ministry in Sri Lanka, there are very few women in priestly leadership in the Anglican community and it has been a privilege to serve as a role model for women considering their vocations and callings.
The Revd David Knight, Ripon College Cuddesdon 1982
As Chaplain at St Richard’s Hospice in Worcestershire, part of my job is to liaise with the community in general and make connections with key groups and people. No-one is better qualified than someone with parish experience to do a job like that. We made a connection with a local primary school which had a competition to design and paint boxes containing spiritual care materials intended for each of the hospice bedrooms. The school, Stanley Rd. School, was selected because it is the best integrated multi-faith school in Worcestershire. We wanted to emphasise openness and accessibility to all. The boxes contain a variety of items ranging from religious texts and holding crosses to aromatherapy materials, DVDs and CDs to help people relax.
The Ven. Richard Atkinson, Ripon College Cuddesdon 1984
As team vicar in a tough inner city parish in Sheffield, I learnt what a key role clergy have in pulling people together in tough times. Our civic service for the Millennium brought together Christians and Muslims, believers and non believers, rich and poor, in a way that no other organisation could achieve. Now in Leicester, it was very telling that when a local New Deal for Communities scheme was threatened with suspension after 2 years, the Board asked me to take over as Director. My experience as a community based parish priest paid off - I was able to broker relationships between the different political parties and this year the project came to a successful conclusion. It is significant that all the good examples of reconciliation cited in a recent report by the Carnegie Commission are faith based.