The Application Process
Everyone wishing to train for Pastoral Assistant Ministry must have the support of their incumbent and PCC. The PCC will be responsible for paying the costs of the training.
The cost of training will be approx. £420, this fee is regularly reviewed
It is assumed that those put forward for training will be:
- Communicant members of the Church of England*
- Confident in an active and growing Christian faith
- Flexible and inclusive in their approach to others
- Sensitive to the problems presented to them
- People who are able to meet the pain and loss of others - it would not be suitable to put forward a candidate who has not had time to deal with their own pain or loss sufficiently.
- People who have the confidence of their incumbent and PCC to be able to work as part of the ministry team in the parish
* Applicants who are recognised members of churches from other denominations can be accepted for training by special request and if places are available. Priority is given to those applying from within the Diocese.
Applications for training are invited up to the end of October, for the course beginning the following January. Please note, this course is popular and is limited to a maximum of 20 places for each course, which fill quickly. Applicants who apply in the Autumn may be asked to wait for a further year before commencing the course in the event that the two courses are fully booked.
An application pack can be requested from Sue Lawrence, the Senior Tutor for Pastoral Assistant Foundation Training or Margaret Smith, the Administrative Secretary. This will be sent to incumbents and includes:
- a brochure with details about the course, its requirements and procedures
- an application form and a self-assessment form for the candidate to complete
- an assessment form and supporting statement for the incumbent to complete
- a drafted statement for the PCC to use in passing a resolution to support the candidate in their training
Once all the above have been received for the candidate, references are sought and a pre-course meeting with Sue Lawrence, the Senior Tutor is arranged, in order that any questions may be answered and to determine whether training as a Pastoral Assistant is appropriate and timely for the candidate.
In order that they may benefit fully from the training opportunity, students are expected to commit to attending all sessions as a priority and they encouraged to step back from other parish activities as necessary.
Incumbents are asked to attend the first session with their student and they, or a designated mentor, will be asked to meet regularly with them during training.
It is generally not advisable for a student to attend a course whilst there is a vacancy in the parish.