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Ministry course was not dumbed down

06 June 2014


From Canon Bryan G. E. Pettifer

Sir, - In the addendum to the Revd Jim Cotter's obituary (Recollections, Gazette, 30 May), the Revd Andrew Hunt states that the radical St Albans MTS course was "swiftly dumbed down" after Jim's departure. This statement is a complete and utter travesty of what actually happened.

The scheme of training was the creation of a team of full-time Principal and four half-time Course Directors, of which Jim was one. I followed Canon Bob Langley as Principal in 1985. During the 1985-86 academic year, the course supported Jim through a long period on sabbatical leave while he was setting up his Cairns Network.

Jim's three half-time colleagues continued on the course for several years. After Jim left, the radical nature of the course was maintained and, in subsequent curriculum development, enhanced. The number of inspiring visiting speakers was increased.

The course did change dramatically when it was merged with the Oxford Course, but that was not until c.1994.

Jim was a much valued member of the team, and made a distinctive contribution, not only to the course he directed. The Scheme was not created by Jim alone. To make the charge that the Scheme went downhill after he left is complete nonsense.

23 Curlew Drive
SN14 6YG

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