12 Jul 2019

Cranmer Hall ordinands explore Anglican ministry in Belgium

A group of ordinands from Cranmer Hall, Durham visited Belgium to explore European Anglican ministry as part of their studies.  

Participants in the visit were Lewis Eden, Georgina Elsey, Rosie Illingworth, Tim May, Julia Pratt and Michaila Roberts. 

Tim May and Julia Pratt share some of their experiences among us in the Diocese:

“As a group, we were warmly and enthusiastically welcomed to the Diocese in Europe by Jack McDonald.

We spent two fantastic weeks exploring what it means to be a minister in a context unlike what we would encounter in the UK. We travelled to many different cities while in Belgium.

For myself, however, my favourite to explore was Leuven, where I was able to visit the spectacular town hall and climb the University library’s bell tower. On the Sunday, myself and fellow student Lewis attended St John's Church in Ghent where we received a warm welcome by Stephen Murray and were invited to take part in the service.

We stayed at ETF Leuven (the Belgian State Protestant-Evangelical university), where we were welcomed by the current students and invited to spend time with them. Over the two weeks we spent living alongside the students, we made lasting friendships, although some rivalries were sparked over table football!

Overall, the Europe Mission Study Block (MSB) trip to Belgium was a chance to reflect on, pray into and explore more what ministry in the Diocese of Europe looks like and whether one day we might be called to serve within it.”

Tim May

 “I attended the MSB with minimal knowledge of the Diocese in Europe.  Spending time with members of some of the diocese’s churches in Belgium was, therefore, an immense learning experience for me.

I was excited to see the growing desire for discipleship and mission, and the links which churches are making with ecumenical partners.  It was inspirational to spend time with some church leaders who have an infectious passion for church growth.

What the diocese can perhaps teach other dioceses is the importance of establishing relationships with local government and other community leaders, so that any suspicion/ignorance is removed and churches are enabled, or even encouraged, to work within the community."

Julia Pratt

The Revd Canon Jack McDonald, programme co-ordinator commented:

"I am delighted to read such positive feedback from the students. 

I am pleased they enjoyed and were fascinated by the mix of experiences they had in Leuven, Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Tervuren, Ypres and Bruges, and were full of questions about Christian ministry and mission in Belgium, and in particular about what Anglican Christians are doing here. 

The Europe Mission Study Block is a significant building block of the ministerial training of these six young people and this visit enabled them to learn much about Anglican ministry in the Diocese.  

I thank ETF for their warm hospitality and teaching, and all those in the Diocese who helped to organise and assist with their programme."


Pictured:  Cranmer Hall ordinands in Bruges with The Revd Augustine Nwaekwe, Chaplain of Bruges & Ostend.