Farewell to our leaving students
18 June 2012
‘Be great followers of Christ Jesus as Lord. That is how great leaders are made, and that is how the nation was won for Christ.' This was the message given by the Right Revd Paul Williams, Bishop of Kensington (below), at our Valedictory Service in St Mary's, Stoke Bishop on 2 June. We said our official goodbyes to 46 students, of whom 34 are being ordained in the Church of England and 12 are going on to lay ministry, including theological teaching overseas.
Preaching on Paul's Letter to the Colossians 2:6-7, the bishop said that Christians need to develop a plan for spiritual growth so that we can be ‘strengthened in the faith', and to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness.
Prizes were awarded for academic success and for contribution to the Trinity community, and each of the leaving students was given a book of his or her choice. At the end of June the majority of those who have been training for Church of England ministry will be ordained in cathedrals around the country, from Cumbria to Cornwall.
Thanks were expressed to the two faculty members who are leaving before the next academic year: Revd Bill MacDougall is retiring after seven years as Director of Pastoral Studies and later Co-ordinator of Part-time Training, and Revd Sonja Arnold, Tutor for Context-based and Pioneer Training, is retuning to parish ministry.
The following week the 23 students who have completed our part-time two-year Certificate in Theology course had their official service of farewell. Twelve of these will be ordained to their own churches as Ordained Local Ministers.