The first full time ordination training course in the NW has welcomed to a full cohort of students to Liverpool Cathedral. 44 years ago St Aidan’s College in Birkenhead closed, leaving the North West without a full-time ordination course - until now
The courses in theology and missional leadership provide ordination training but are also drawing students from many other churches. All our students – 20 in this first cohort - are actively engaged in Christian ministry and leadership throughout the course, and are drawn from as far distant as Blackpool and Bradford.
Following in the footsteps of St Aidan, formation of Christ-like character is paramount. So on Mondays, the main teaching day held in Liverpool Cathedral, worship sets the context for the teaching. Teaching quality is of a nationally high standard. There is a strong tutorial team including the Dean of Liverpool, Pete Wilcox (Lecturer in Old Testament & Theology), Michael Leyden (Tutor in Theology), and Jeremy Duff (Lecturer in New Testament). All the teaching staff, including the Director, Jill Duff – have doctorates from leading universities, experience of church leadership and continue to be involved in Christian ministry & leadership in their own contexts while teaching on the course. The afternoon programme, Leadership for Healthy Churches, includes an array of practioners across the traditions of the Church of England and other churches from around the North West region.
As part of St Mellitus College, one in six of our morning theology lectures is streamed live from London, and the ordinands join with the wider cohort of St Mellitus ordinands on residentials across the year from churches around the country.
St Mellitus North West is a partnership between St Mellitus College and the North West dioceses of Blackburn, Carlisle, Chester, Liverpool and Manchester.
Rev Dr Jill Duff Director of St Mellitus NW said: “I am excited to have our first pioneering cohort with us at St Mellitus North West. Working with them makes me hopeful for the church in the North. Praying for them encourages me that the tide really is turning.”
The Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, (pictured) Dean of St Mellitus College said: “This is a significant partnership between the church in the south east and the north west, in which both partners have a great deal to learn. We are delighted to be working together in this new venture and see it as a sign of hope for the whole church and for both regions.”
Canon John Bowers, Chair of the St Aidan’s Trustees said:” “Lighten our darkness” in our evening prayer covers many situations. Light in the form of full-time training for holy orders has returned to the reawakening North West in the form of St Mellitus NW: the St Aidan’s Centre in Liverpool.
The beautiful St Aidan’s College Birkenhead, huge in itself and huge with its outreach served the church for over 130 years until 1969, and now the void is being filled. We old boys of St Aidan’s, the Association and Trustees are thrilled and delighted with the new college to train Christian leaders for a changing world but in the tradition that our Lord is the same yesterday, today and always and following the footsteps of St Aidan in devotion, learning and gentleness.”