From the Revd Martin Cox
Sir, - There is a tangential point to be considered alongside
the research regarding the education of bishops in the Church of
5 September). This tangential point relates to the initial
formation of bishops for ordained ministry.
Increasingly, the Church of England is supporting ordinands to
train for ordained ministry, both stipendiary and self-supporting,
through courses as well as through residential training. More than
ten years ago, I was privileged to train for ordained ministry via
Mixed Mode, which was referred to by the Ministry Division at the
time as "standard training delivered in a non-standard manner",
referring to the concurrent rather than consecutive model of
It had its challenges and weaknesses, as I am sure all
approaches to formation have, but these were outweighed in my
experience by the strengths.
I look forward to the day when a priest who, under the
providence of God, trained for ordained ministry other than through
a standard residential-course approach is preferred as a bishop.
Some may have been considered, but not preferred. Male - and, in
the future, female - priests from such a training background will
bring a different richness to the office and ministry of
When, under the providence of God, such preferments do occur,
this will signal, too, to the wider Church that other forms of
ministry formation have come of age. This will be a source of great
encouragement to the increasing number of priests who trained for
ordained ministry, as I did, in a non-standard way.
The Rectory, Rectory Close, Chorley PR7 1QW