Bon voyage!

Cross-cultural engagement is a vital aspect of formation for ministry, and SEI is always delighted when candidates are able to take up opportunities for such travel. In February, two of the current cohort of students are doing just that.

Second year Mixed Mode ordinand Ross Stirling-Young (Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane) has been selected to be one of thirty participants at this year’s ‘Canterbury Course’, a conference for seminarians and clergy (in the early years of ordained ministry) from across the Anglican Communion. This is the twentieth year that such a gathering has occurred, intended to broaden the participants’ horizons through an exploration of the strength of Anglicanism across a diversity of cultures.

Participants will live in the International Study Centre at Canterbury, and join in the Cathedral community’s life, centred on daily worship. The fortnight’s programme planned for this varied international community will provide opportunities to explore aspects of each person’s journey with Christ, sharing insights into the different cultural contexts in which each ministers. Teachers and facilitators with a wide variety of experience of cultures will lead sessions, but the primary learning is through the participants encountering one another and engaging in theological exploration and exchange together.

As he left to travel south, Ross said: 

I applied for this scholarship as I really enjoy learning and working with others from across the Anglican Communion. Previously I’ve visited the Diocese of Calcutta, the Church of North India and the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (photo was taken beside the Sea of Galilee). Both experiences enabled me to connect with other seminarians/ordinands, learning the context in which they minister and taking the opportunity to make life-long friendships. I hope that the same can happen during my time at Canterbury and I look forward to representing the Scottish Episcopal Church, Scottish Episcopal Institute and my Diocese. After a very busy start to the new year, I look forward to immersing myself in Cathedral life and benefitting from the worship and study sessions on offer. Upon my return, I hope to share further details of the conference and encourage my fellow students to apply for 2024! 

Another second year ordinand will likewise be embarking shortly on a similarly formationally-broadening experience. Eilidh Proudfoot (Diocese of Edinburgh), currently a full-time student at New College, Edinburgh University, will be joining fellow New College students and Church of Scotland ministerial candidates on the Divinity School’s trip to Luther’s Germany in mid-February. The trip – which will be led by the Principal, the Revd Professor Alison Jack, assisted by the Vice-Principal, Professor Susan Hardman-Moore – will include visits to Erfurt and Leipzig, and opportunities to learn more about the church in Germany today. The five-day tour will end in Wittenberg where the itinerary includes Luther House and Melanchthon House, the Stadkirche and the Schlosskirche.

Eilidh says

I am really looking forward to visiting Germany and learning more about Luther and his work. I’m hoping this trip will help plug some of the gaps in my knowledge of the Reformation, which I only realised existed since studying began!

Warm thanks are given to the Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, St Luke’s Glenrothes and SEI’s St James Fund for the financial assistance that has made these experiences possible. We look forward to featuring the pilgrims’ tales and photographs here in due course.

Photos courtesy of the Revd Ildiko Varadi and Ross Stirling-Young