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Curate training (IME Phase 2 )

Curate training events that are currently scheduled are shown on the right of this page. There is also a link to various downloadable documents also on the right, including the complete list of training events.

The Curate Training Programme

The Curate Training Programme in Peterborough Diocese emphasises the relational aspect of ministry, and the importance of developing and fostering personal and spiritual qualities which will underpin ministry. The hope is that such a foundation can enable curates to develop the healthy working and pastoral relationships, and patterns of prayer, which allow their vocations to flourish as fully as possible. Learning takes place through group training days and opportunities for theological reflection with peers in smaller groups.

Curate Training continues to reflect the basic structure which was put in place a few years ago, combining parish experience, supervision, training days, portfolios, and a rigorous review process. This structure has enabled curates and TIs alike to have a clear understanding of what is required at each stage of the process.

There is, however, a change of emphasis in curate training, which is beginning this year, and will continue to take shape over the next couple of years. The intention is that curate training will continue to be structured around parish and training days, supervision, and annual reviews, but will also have built into it the flexibility for those on a ‘non-standard’ curate pathway to flex their training to suit their ministry and context. This will begin in 2018, as the content of portfolios can be made flexible to reflect different contexts and emphases in curacy, and from summer 2019, curate training will begin to focus on different themes according to year. The Curate Training Handbook (Parts 1 and 2) provide further information.

The Diocesan Curate Training Officer is Revd Dr Carys Walsh. She is supported in her work by a team of clergy in the diocese who act as Portfolio Assessors and facilitators for the theological reflection groups at the Wisdom in Ministry residentials which take place twice every year. Additionally, a number of Assistant Curate Training Officers (ACTO), helping with the work of curate reviews and reports.

The Curate Training Handbook

Our programme is set out in the Curate Training Handbook:

We have placed a heavy emphasis on the relational aspect of curacies on the basis that if we foster an environment in which curates can have the best chance of developing and maintaining healthy relationships across the board, their ministry has a higher chance of being successful and fulfilled.

To aid this and help clarify expectations we require each curate and their training incumbent to produce a detailed Working and Learning Agreement early in the curacy. Based on the Formation Criteria for Ordained Ministry (IME phase 2) which cover all areas of ministry and set targets and standards which curates are expected to achieve before the end of their curacy, our programme is designed around four broad areas:

Being – faith, vocation and spirituality

Knowing – quality of mind and theological learning

Doing – ministerial and legal tasks

Relating – personality, character and relationships

Whilst assessing their ability to “do” the job required of them, we are also trying to measure and provide evidence for other areas concerned with knowing, being and relating. This is done through a variety of means including:

    • The curates own work: attendance at training events, willingness to engage and be challenged, commitment to developing the group dynamic, their portfolio and written work
    • Reviews: an opportunity for open and honest discussion which should recognise strengths as well as identify areas for development
    • Various written reports including those by the Training Incumbent and lay people in the parish

By means of the above we try to assess how each curate is progressing. See the key assessment dates at a glance.

At final assessment they are hopefully signed off, having successfully completed the curacy, ready to move to a post of greater responsibility or an assistant priest post. Areas for ongoing growth and development are earmarked and followed up through CMD and MDR.

Although our scheme is not based on accredited qualifications, we run a rigorous programme which SSMs, stipendiaries and pioneer curates participate in alongside one other.  There are some choices available to SSMs, especially those in other employment who are likely to remain as assistant priests rather than becoming incumbents.