WOMEN in training for paid ministry at St Padarn’s Institute in Cardiff are now in the majority, outnumbering men by 18 to 8.
Three of the women are under 30 – good news for the age profile; three others are between 30 and 39 years old; six are between 40 and 49 years old; four are 50-59; and two are between 60 and 69 years old. Of the men training for paid ministry, two are between the ages of 30 and 39; a 40-49; four 50-59; and two 60-69.
Women are also more numerous than men among those who are being formed for the autonomous ministry, between the ages of 16 and 11. training, and mainly in the upper age groups. “We need to see how the Spirit moves people to engage in lay ministry [generally across the Province]“, he suggested.
Professor Duff’s report and introduction reflected on all that had been achieved in what had been recognized as the most difficult 12 months in St Padarn’s history. student of theology, Heather Temple-Williams (Llandaff), explained how difficult it had been. “Some of us feel vulnerable; some of us feel lonely. . . We wonder how can we continue to nurture each other when we have missed so many opportunities? »
Professor Duff acknowledged that “one of the things the pandemic has done is make people feel inadequate for the task, those who trained during the pandemic”.
Susan Fogarty (Bangor) praised the accelerated LLM program she had benefited from. Mentioned by Reverend Steven Bunting (Swansea & Brecon) of the Peter Stream – a course for those who feel a call to ordination but feel excluded for formation reasons – has prompted Professor Duff to wonder if such training programs in the past would have could have had the unintended consequence of making these candidates definitely second class: “always considered to be in the second box, with the aspiration that they would be good parish assistants rather than archdeacons”.
What was needed, he said, was “additional support to get into the same class, not the lower class. . . We need to support people further back [in the process]: people who lack confidence and would never enroll in a course. We should ensure this to produce confident people from this background.