For two weeks this month (June 2016) six ordinands from Cranmer Hall Durham (Ben Brady, Jenni Foreman, Chris Lee, Jess McLaren, Caitlin Thomson and Nathan Thorpe) have been on placement in the archdeaconry of North West Europe. The mission study bloc was set up by Dr Richard Briggs, tutor at Cranmer who led the Bible studies at last year's diocesan synod in Cologne, and Jack McDonald, our canon theologian based in Leuven.
The ordinands stayed at ETF Leuven, hosted by some of Jack's parishioners, and experienced a placement which combined academic lectures at ETF (including from Dr Léon van Ommen from St Paul's Tervuren) with observing aspects of the life of the archdeaconry - a whole day spent in Amsterdam with Alan Strange and Rik Florentinus; a full day of Sunday services in which the group was split between Holy Trinity Brussels, St Paul's Tervuren, St Elisabeth's Gent and St Martha and St Mary Leuven; a day in Brussels hosted by Paul Vrolijk, David Fieldsend and Jeremy Heuslein in which they saw the work of Holy Trinity, of the Chapelle de la Résurrection and of the European Parliament; a full day in Oostende and Brugge hosted by Augustine Nwaekwe (see photo), and a debriefing session with Jane McBride, one of our diocese's ordinands. Jack noted at the debriefing session that all six looked exhausted but happy, and at least one now is contemplating ministry in our diocese. Richard and Jack's aim is to continue this mission study bloc next year.