IT MAKES a much more
positive story than the "dwindling congregations" cliché so beloved
of secular journalists. The BBC Three Counties Radio station picked
up a report from the St Albans diocesan newspaper
that record numbers of people were offering themselves for
ordination, and decided to interview some of them.
Helen Legh (above,
right) who produces the Sunday-morning programme that covers
Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Buckinghamshire, enjoyed the
responses so much, I am told, that she ran interviews over six
successive weeks in April and May, and also interviewed the
diocesan director of ordinands, the Revd Sue Groom.
Three of those interviewed
included (left to right) Josh Young, at Ripon College,
Cuddesdon; Peter Crumpler, on the Easter Region Ministry Course;
and Alison Jackson, at St Mellitus College. "The topics ranged from
our thoughts on wearing clerical collars to the challenges facing
the church today," Mr Crumpler, the former director of
communications in Church House, Westminster, says.
"All of us are enjoying our academic training and wider
formation, and it was good to talk together about our vocations.
Who knows? Our interviews may prompt others to think about their
calling, whether to ordination or other forms of ministry, licensed