Andy writes…

Dear Friends,

We have as one of our values at Ascension EMPOWERING VOCATION.  We are committed to helping people discover who Jesus has made them to be and empowering them to play their role in his rescue plan for creation.  I am convinced that when people live out their call to join God in blessing his world that it is deeply significant for the Kingdom of God.  He asks each of us to do this, but he asks each of us to do this in unique ways and in unique places.  The church is stronger, more beautiful and more whole when every member of the community is living out their particular call in serving Jesus. The task of mission and ministry is for all of us.

As one part of this, God seems to be using Ascension as a place where people can discern a call to leadership in his church and as a place where people can train for church leadership. It’s such a privilege that we get to be involved in this as a church community, I never want us to take it for granted.  I want to share with you some changes of those who are training at Ascension…

Lorna Allez begins her ordination training this month, until recently she has been working as an audiologist and begins full time training at St Mellitus College with Ascension as her placement church, she is on a three year course.

Lauren Cheshire and her family are moving to be part of our community as she begins ordination training too.  She is studying with St Mellitus College on a two year program.  Lauren has worked until recently as a youth worker and it’s a real blessing for her and her family to be joining us.

Abbie Cann is spending 11 months with us as part of the Ministry Experience Scheme [MES].  MES is a national Church of England gap year for young people to spend time exploring their calling, there tends to be well over 100 young people taking part in this each year.

Peter Goodall having spent the last two years training for ordination will be ordained in July next year.  His role will evolve and he will remain at Ascension for his Curacy. Ruth Hills who has been training as an evangelist in the Church Army has reached the end of her formal training, it’s been a four year process that began before her move to Ascension.  She was commissioned in July at the Church Army HQ in Sheffield, she remains in her role at Ascension but no longer has to write essays! Congratulations to Ruth on coming to the end of her formal training.

Both Will and Nicky have reached the point in their Curacy where the Bishop thinks they are ready to be Vicars.  This marks the end of five year’s training and is a significant achievement.  Nicky will remain in her current role, but will be able to take up increasing responsibility, for example the Diocese and St Mellitus College would like her to be training supervisor for both Lauren and Lorna.  Will begins the process of applying for his first post as Vicar.

I find it deeply hopeful for the future of the church in the UK that God is calling an increasing number of people into church leadership. It’s exciting that God is using us at Ascension to be part of it.  I thank God, I am excited for the future of the church in this country and I dare to ask God for more.  Will you join me in this prayer?