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
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.