It took me a while to accept that God was nudging me towards ordination, but after finally admitting to myself and others that this was where I felt I was being led, it felt like no time at all (actually about 3years) before I found myself at Mirfield training to be a priest.
The training was intense, amazing, scary and life changing and culminated in one of the most memorable days of my life when I was finally ordained. But the training didn’t end the day I put on my collar. One of the great things about my time on YMC (Yorkshire Ministry Course) was the fact that I was surrounded by people from a variety of traditions and we shared and learned from each other the many ways of being and doing church. After ordination I began my curacy and a further three years of IME (Initial Ministerial Education), my ‘on the job’ training. As well as time to learn and reflect on key areas of ministry, IME builds on this shared experience of different traditions and introduces you to and gives you an opportunity to experience, share and try out some of the more practical things of being a priest like leading the Eucharist and the intricacies of negotiating a wedding party in a church that has immovable pews and grating that is ideal to catch your stiletto heel in as you walk down the aisle! After spending so much time with your fellow ordinands it can be easy to feel isolated once you are in a parish as you navigate your way through curacy with your Training Incumbent so IME, in particular the annual conference, was a great way of catching up and sharing experiences of what has gone well and learning from the trials and tribulations.
Finishing my IME feels like the training wheels have been taken off and I’m now supposed to know what I’m doing! but the more we learn, the more we realise there is to learn. However, my ordination training experience and IME has given me the foundation and tools to continue to grow in this amazing vocation to which I have been called.
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