Twelve priests have just completed a training course to take part in a new form of ministry in the Diocese in Europe. The course, from Monday 11 to Friday 15 September 2017 in St Columba's House, Woking is believed to be the first Interim Ministry Training course in the Church of England.

It was organised by the Canon Ulla Monberg, Director of Ministerial Development, and Archdeacon Geoff Johnston from the Diocese and delivered by the Revd Molly Smith who works with the Interim Ministry Network of the Episcopal Church in the USA.

Seven participants had been chosen from a large number of applicants who might in the future serve as Interim Ministers in the Diocese in Europe. They were joined by two priests from Chelmsford Diocese and one from Oxford Diocese.  They engaged enthusiastically with the progamme of talks and group and individual exercises.

"This is an exciting and pioneering project," said Archdeacon Geoff. "Interim Ministry is really taking off and it is great to know that the Diocese in Europe is the first in the Church of England to offer this kind of professional training programme. The fact that there are so many priests who are interested in developing their ministry in this way augurs well for the future."

In the Diocese in Europe the newly trained priests will work in local church situations in need of experienced leadership and guidance for specific situations, after a lengthy interregnum or periods of conflict and challenge. Their role is to prepare these churches to work with a more permanent priest in the future. Chaplaincies which feel that an Interim Minister could be appropriate for them are invited to contact their Archdeacons or Canon Monberg for more information.