Adapting full-time training for modern life (Jan 2024)

To make full-time training more accessible to students from a wider variety of personal circumstances, we have recently revised our daily schedule to be largely contained within a '9 to 5' day. Tuesday evening is the exception so that teaching can be shared with part-time students giving an opportunity to collaborate, learn and socialise with a broader cohort. This extended day also helps with the process of setting realistic expectations and patterns to balance working and personal life for the irregular hours of curacy and parochial ministry.

Formal teaching takes place on Monday to Wednesday, allowing plenty of time out of the classroom to engage in hands-on learning with community placements on Thursday or Friday, and a church placement on Sunday. Context-based (full-time non-residential) students join in with teaching Monday to Wednesday and then spend the rest of the week in a context, usually somewhere within their own diocese, although we can also arrange these in settings close to the College. Monday teaching begins mid-morning to allow for those travelling from further away.

Daily prayer, morning and evening, remains the metronome of our community life. Especially with the interests of students with families in mind, Morning Prayer is now at 9am and teaching is finished by early afternoon to allow for school drop-off and pick-up. Mid-term breaks are scheduled to coincide with school half-terms to give flexibility for child-care, as well as giving those with support networks and families elsewhere to make visits in the middle of the term. This timetable also helps those who wish to commute from home on a daily basis.

For solo students living on site, and of course open to all, there is a 7.30am Eucharist and 9.30pm Compline most days. Wednesday evenings are set aside for social events in the Common Room ranging from quiz nights, films, wine tasting, music and singing, and sports fixtures from tiddlywinks to football, enriching the life of our close-knit and active community.

We welcome visits from prospective students at any stage in the discernment process. In addition to attending an Open Day, we encourage visits during term-time, which could include an overnight stay, to spend time in the community and experience worship and teaching. Mindful that our summer term ends in June each year, we urge that potential students be encouraged to arrange visits before this time, even if this is in advance of their Stage 2 Panel, although later visits can also always be accommodated. 

All admissions enquiries can be made to: [email protected] or 01865 874404. 

Our Periodic External Review (PER) report will be published imminently. We are much looking forward to celebrating the highly positive observations and judgements the reviewers have shared with us, and also the learning points and encouragements the report highlights. This will the focus of our next bulletin to you.