Celebrating the Ministry Experience Scheme

“I know that this is where I’m supposed to be right now, I think the group of people that we’ve got on the scheme at the moment, as a group, it’s the right time for us, it’s definitely God’s timing that we’ve come together as a group.”

Steve Miles is one of six people who’ve joined the Bath and Wells Ministry Experience  Scheme (MES); a programme which aims to enable young people who are considering where God might be leading them; to ‘have a go’ at ministry whilst also learning about God, themselves and the Christian faith.

The Diocese of Bath and Wells offers the one year paid internship as part of the Ministry Experience Scheme to explore what it means to live out God’s story whilst discerning calling and possible vocation.

Nationally the Church of England Ministry Experience Scheme (CEMES) has been going for about 6 years. In this time about 80% of those involved have gone onto some form of Christian ministry. The Bath and Wells scheme has 6 participants; 4 based in Weston-super-Mare and 2 in different churches in Yeovil.

Vocations Team Leader, Revd Preb Sue Rose says, “We are delighted to have launched the Bath and Wells scheme and we welcome the six participants. One of the aims of our Vocations strategy is to encourage younger people into ministry- which can be tough in our demographic. So working with the Go team we have spent the last year negotiation with the national Ministry Experience Scheme to see if we could get our own scheme off the ground, with the practical and financial support of the wider church.”

“In the diocese we are building on the success of the intern scheme at St Paul’s, using some of the national funding to develop their training programme to meet the national standards and work towards its accreditation.”

Dickon Allen, is one of the new interns on the MES. “There’s something very enriching about those deep conversations that you have with someone else, but it also is a real sense of being held and supported along the way. The group as a whole have explored some very challenging subjects and we’ve really opened ourselves up and exposed many of the things we’ve struggled with and perhaps some of our frailties and weaknesses. To be sharing in that together, there’s something so powerful about that.”

Sue says, “Although this year is only just beginning for this group of participants, the Bath and Wells Ministry Experience Management group are already thinking ahead to the next year and where the group of participants might be based.”

Do get in touch with Sue Rose or Richard Kelley if you would like to have a conversation about the scheme.


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