Added on 15/03/2005
Chaired by the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Revd KR Good, the Commission on Ministry continues to review issues regarding Christian ministry, both lay and ordained.
The Commission now feels that, arising out of the Summit, a number of topics need to be addressed. To this end it has established four working groups, each to focus on a specific core issue:
In-Service Training: The remit of this group is to interrogate the existing training programs for the clergy and suggest opportunities for post-ordination training. According to this group, continuing guidance in pastoral care is required after the initial three-year Theological College program. A process of exit interviews for those wishing to leave the ministry early would also be useful.
Training for Lay Ministry: This group will focus on the development of training for the laity, without ‘clericalising’ them. They have identified three areas which they feel need attention – Personal Growth & Development, Equipping for Local Ministry and Professional Training – and they plan to examine these carefully over the next few months.
The Diaconate: Chaired by the Very Revd SR White, this group will focus on the needs and functions of the diaconate. Dean White is due to attend an open conference on this topic later this year.
Auxiliary Ministry and Local Ordained Ministry: Members of the auxiliary ministry have a vast array of gifts to offer the church. This working group is tasked with reviewing the functions and uses of the auxilary ministry in relation to the needs of individual parishes and provinces. They will also examine the issue of local ordained ministry.
The Commission on Ministry plans to hold an overnight meeting in October to review the work of the sub-committees and to establish objectives for the future.