Gemma, Sam and Dan, with the Group clergy and the Director of Ordinands, after the Michaelmas Eucharist.
 Gemma, Sam and Dan, with the Group clergy and the Director of Ordinands, after the Michaelmas Eucharist.

Gemma, Sam and Dan, with the Group clergy and the Director of Ordinands, after the Michaelmas Eucharist.

On the feast of St Michael and All Angels, three young people in their twenties were welcomed to the Group Ministry of the Annunciation, Sunderland, for a year’s ministerial experience. Gemma Fisher, from Southwell and Nottingham Diocese, Sam Lingwood, from West Yorkshire and the Dales, and Daniel Hawdon, from Durham Diocese, were all robed and took part in the Sung Eucharist of Michaelmas. The Revd Richard Collins, Durham Diocesan Director of Ordinands, preached.

Gemma, Sam and Dan are here as part of the Church of England Ministerial Experience Scheme, which offers young people between 18 and 29 a chance to spend a year living in community and ministering alongside the clergy, while exploring a possible vocation to ordained ministry.

Durham Diocesan CEMES project is based in the Annunciation Group (St Thomas’ with St Oswald’s, St Mary & St Peter’s and St Chad’s); three parishes in the estates of outer west Sunderland. The ministry assistants live together as a community in the vicarage at St Thomas, Pennywell, and minister across the three parishes, with Katherine Bagnall and Jeremy Chadd, the incumbents. They also do some academic work with the Lindisfarne Regional Training Partnership. They join in daily morning and evening prayer and a daily Eucharist, and have already been involved in many aspects of the ministry of the Church, from schools to community projects and care homes. After they leave next summer, new groups of three ministry assistants will start in 2016 and 2017.

It’s a really exciting project, for the participants and for the local clergy and congregations. ‘We’re all enjoying it, and we all end up learning together, and from each other’ said one.

Story Submitted By: The Revd Jeremy Chadd

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