Ministry Experience Scheme
If you are aged 18-30 why not spend a year serving God through the Ministry Experience Scheme.
The Diocese of Norwich offers a Ministry Experience Scheme (MES) based in parish churches rooted in different contexts in the Diocese. These parish placements fulfill the requirements of the Church of England Ministry Experience Scheme.
MES will enable you to give a year to God, and provides time, space and support for you to reflect on the call of God in your life, and experience life rooted in a parish church. Depending on your interests, you will have opportunities to explore mission and ministry, learn in a supportive and encouraging environment, learn new skills, and develop projects in the parishes.
Alongside shadowing those working in parishes, the MES will offer the opportunity to do placements in specific contexts that may be of interest; for example, seaside parish ministry, or placements at the Cathedral, or with voluntary agencies. We will also offer vocational support, and provide skills-based training in leadership and theology to support you as you listen to the voice of God.
You can find details of the Schemes on offer this year at:
Read Ash’s story of how the Ministry Experience Scheme helped her discern her vocation:
“When I first found out about the Ministry Experience Scheme, I assumed it was a year leading towards ordination so I initially thought it wouldn’t be for me. God made it clear, however, that this was one of the paths in my journey. I, therefore, joined the Norwich scheme without any expectations, I was just looking forward to any experience I received.
“A highlight I had was witnessing the incredible roles women have in all aspects of the Church. As a young woman it has certainly been empowering to see everyone working together in the name of God; and having been surrounded by this inspiration every day I feel as though God is calling me towards things that I thought I’d never be good at. The year gave me the confidence to be able to seek bigger ways in which I can share God’s Good News.
“I’d always thought I had all personality types well processed in my head but living with others, and seeing them when vulnerable, has given me insight into the complexity of every person and living in a community. I’m thankful that through all the tension, awkwardness and discomfort, my world has expanded.
“I really enjoyed every theological module I went to; there have been many questions answered. My faith has deepened, and I’m eager to keep learning and getting to know Christ more.
“I can certainly say that I have enjoyed every bit of ministry I’ve been fortunate enough to experience, and I’m certain that I will always want to be a part of a Church community in any way, shape or form. Despite some difficult moments, the year has opened my mind and given me a clearer sense of God’s call. I met God every day on MES and every day my faith grew stronger.”
Ash Hobbs, Norwich MES participant, 2018-19
Could your parish or benefice offer a Ministry Experience Scheme?
If you are a parish (or group of parishes) interested in offering a MES to two or more participants please contact Fiona Haworth, our Ministry Experience Scheme Coordinator for an early conversation. She can give you more details of the requirements for a scheme, and advise you how to apply for a grant to assist with some of the expenses.