Liz Clut­ter­buck

The Church of England - - FEATURES -

’m just a few short months away from fin­ish­ing my three years study­ing at St Mel­li­tus Col­lege and I can hon­estly say that the time has flown! I chose to train for or­di­na­tion there be­cause of the in­no­va­tive full-time mixed-mode course it of­fered, where I could be in­volved in the day to day life of a par­ish while at the same time study­ing the­ol­ogy. Do­ing the prac­ti­cal and aca­demic in tan­dem has meant that they have com­ple­mented each other in a whole host of ways. Sit­u­a­tions at church have been valu­able case stud­ies to dis­cuss at col­lege; the­ol­ogy es­says have pro­voked ser­mons or small-group Bi­ble stud­ies; and most im­por­tantly, I’ve learnt the ba­sics of how to in­te­grate the­o­log­i­cal study into par­ish min­istry – a valu­able skill for the fu­ture.

The fu­ture is still some­thing of an un­known, but I am trust­ing that God has ex­cit­ing plans in store! I’m fas­ci­nated by how we make the gospel rel­e­vant in dif­fer­ent con­texts, es­pe­cially in com­mu­nity with oth­ers. I think com­mu­nity is re­ally the key to min­istry in big cities like Lon­don, where so many people live in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic and lonely lives – the church def­i­nitely has some­thing counter-cul­tural to of­fer there. For me, par­ish min­istry needs to be mis­sional, be­yond the doors of the church, and re­ally seek­ing to con­nect with people where they are – that’s what I hope to be able to do in the fu­ture. And ul­ti­mately, maybe I could be a fe­male bishop, who knows?! I’d at least like it to be an op­tion for my gen­der in the very near fu­ture…

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