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Cambridge Theological Federation praised

24 August 2012

by a staff reporter

INSPECTORS from the Church of England's Ministry Division have praised the Cambridge Theological Federation for its excellent work, saying it would be "tragic" if the significant challenges it faces over finance and governance undermined its success.

The federation is a grouping of 11 ecumenical institutions in Cambridge and the Eastern Region.

The strengths of the federation, the inspectors found, lie in its ecumenism, and the openness and trust that exist between the principals of all the institutions.

In their report, the inspectors said: "We have no doubt that the Federation has been a very positive development. . . However, there are several challenging issues. One of the most complicated is finding the right balance between what belongs to the central structures of the Federation and what belongs to the individual houses."

Their report makes a series of recommendations, including developing long-term business plans, and a clear policy of delegated financial authority.

Inspectors also reviewed the Lancashire and Cumbria Theological Partnership (LCTP), and praised its strong sense of community, students' commitment, and the expertise of teaching staff. They also made several recommendations, however, about improving governance and business planning.

The inspectors said that they found staff and students to be "in good heart", but they also, "not surprisingly, expressed a level of anxiety about the future", especially about future funding-levels for theological courses and colleges.

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