St Paul uses the image of the body, many different parts working together for the good of the whole and this is central to All Saints’ approach to how we live, work and worship together. Although dispersed over a very wide area, this Course is also a community. The dispersed nature mean it is a different type of community to a local church, but an important set of values lies behind what we are and what we do, how we care for one another and how we worship together.
A key part of our life together as a course is prayer and worship – click here for some more information on our life together as a worshipping community.
The experience of training is neither a private matter nor a truly individual one. The ministry for which you are training is one within the body of the whole church. Working as a licensed or ordained minister is not a solo exercise is working as part of a Christian community. All Saints students are training alongside around 250 others across six diocese, with staff and students alike on a lifelong journey of discovery and growth as we allow God to shape and form us.
Training for ministry is about getting a right balance between these different aspects of being part of a learning and worshipping community. To make this work for yourself and for everybody requires a number of things such as honesty, realism, a certain amount of openness, a willingness to share and participate, to contribute and to receive.
We aim to foster attitudes of openness and inclusivity, of friendship and trust, throughout the life of our dispersed community, but particularly at those points and places where it gathers together. There are a number of these points and places and each has a different feel, a different purpose. There are local weeknight sessions, study days and residential weekends. There are occasional whole course events. There are diocesan groupings that meet from time to time and also specific groups such as student liaison group. In all of these we seek to live out what it means to be a Christian community.
All Saints trains people from a wide variety of types of churches and communities, training for different ministries – and we seek to work creatively with the tensions as well as the joys that that brings. We will not all be the same – but the experience of students on All Saints is that in the difference, variety and discussion, friendships are formed and lasting relationships grow.
“One thing that reader training and ministry has taught me is that you meet some amazing people and friends. I will value and regard the people I have met with high value”.James, licensed Reader