We have had ministry trainees at St Mary's for ten years and they have always been a hugely valued part of our church family. We have a passion to see our ministry trainees grow in their knowledge and love of God, and to develop the gifts He has given them for His glory. We are particularly keen to help those who are discerning whether full time Christian ministry would be appropriate for them. Ideally a trainee will be with us for two years.
Tim Adams was with us at St Mary's from September 2014 to August 2016. Here are some of his reflections:
"St Mary's has been a wonderful place for me to be a ministry trainee. I've been hugely welcomed by the church family here. I've grown lots in my love, knowledge and understanding of Christ, and I already have a far greater understanding of what it's like to do full time ministry. Two things I've particularly valued are:
- St Mary's has a large number of different areas of ministry to get involved in, which means that I've learnt loads about ministry in different environments
- St Mary's cares for their ministry trainees through one to ones, an adopted family, personal study time, and ministry training course. I have grown hugely through all these things, and have been very thankful for the support I've received from the whole church family.
"If you're thinking about full time ministry in the future and you want to work hard to glorify God in a church where there is loads of different things going on and lots of different people to get to know then St Mary's is a great place for you to come and serve."
Nuts and bolts
Our ministry trainee scheme is a three-legged stool, with three vital elements:
- Spiritual care and development
- Ministry experience
- Practical service
Each area is equally weighted in both significance and time given. Here are some of the elements of each:
1. Spiritual care and development
- An adopted Maidenhead family. Being in a church with lots of families can be daunting if a ministry trainee has been used to a more studenty church. But it's a great opportunity to learn so much! So a family is asked to 'adopt' a trainee for their time here. They provide a point of care and pastoral support outside of the staff team.
- Weekly 121 meetings. Each week the ministry trainee will meet for 121s with one of the ministry team. This is a time of general discipleship, as well as some particular training on being in full time Christian ministry.
- Formation conference. Ministry trainees are encouraged to attend a three day conference for ministry trainees and apprentices, run by Living Leadership in September.
- South Central Ministry Training Course (SCMTC). This excellent course which runs in term time in Oxford, provides an ministry trainee's main input for Biblical and doctrinal teaching.
- Programme of study. To supplement the SCMTC, ministry trainees will have around 5 hours each week set aside for personal study. Every 4 or 5 weeks, they will meet with one of the ministry staff to present a review on a particular book, or topic (with various books/articles consulted). These will be both theological and practical.
2. Ministry experience
The weekly bread and butter involvement will be with the youth and children's work:
- X and Shift Focus youth groups: Being a fully involved member of the leadership team and giving talks each term
- Pathfinders (11-14s group on a Sunday): Leading or co-leading
- Youth small-group: involvement in co-leading one of the groups to gain experience of leading Bible-studies, and doing personal work
- Weekends away: Involvement in the planning and running of the Focus and Pathfinder weekends away
- Summer camp: we encourage our ministry trainees to be involved in a summer camp whilst they are with us
- Assemblies: Help our children's worker plan and lead assemblies
- 7-up after school club for 7-11s: being a fully involved member of the team, and giving a talk at least twice a term. Involvement as a leader on a week away with the 9-11 year olds
- Family Focus: Leading a Family Focus (a 5 minute children's talk in the Sunday service) once a term or so
- Holiday Club: Involvement in the planning and leadership team for our annual holiday club for 4-10 year olds
- Preaching: Depending on gifts and opportunities, a chance to preach at the 8am service
- Leading: An opportunity to lead at the 6:30pm congregation at least once a term
- Praying: Opportunity to lead prayers at the Sunday services
Whilst these form the backbone of the ministry trainee's ministry, there is opportunity to be involved in many other areas such as:
- Leading at Christianity Explored
- Being involved with town-centre evangelism
- Ministry to the elderly
- Our discipleship course
- Reading the Bible 121 with a younger Christian
3. Practical service
We have a full time site manager who will direct the ministry trainee in this. It will involved a combination of setting up/setting down, and any practical tasks around the church site that need doing.
- Accommodation within walking distance of the church is provided free of charge
- Bills and expenses are paid for
- A monthly grant of £380 is provided
- The start date is the last week in August
For summer 2019, we are looking for up to two full-time ministry trainees to join our team. They will work directly under the Curate as their line manager. To apply, please send the following:
- A copy of your CV
- Your spiritual biography (how you became a Christian)
- The reason why you are applying for the post and what you hope to get out of it
- Contact details of two referees
Applications or enquiries should be sent to the church office.