Early Years in Ministry
Revd Gill Hulme
Although for a number of districts, Early Years only means under five years in ministry, in this District we have been extremely fortunate in that although Early Years is compulsory for those with under five years in ministry (after their probation has been completed), we have the gift of being able to attend up the tenth year in ministry. It continues to be a testimony to the way in which people feel supported by this group, that most ministers between five and ten years choose to continue to attend the Early Years meetings.
The pattern of meetings over the last few years has remained the same – an autumn retreat, usually in November, a teaching meeting at Methodist Church House in the spring, and usually an informal lunch in the summer, when a topic of interest is discussed. The members of the group feel that this provides a good balance of support, reflection, space, teaching and information.
Part of the raison d’être of the group is to give a level of support to those in the Early Years of Ministry once the formality of mentors and supervision has been concluded after Ordination. This is done by encouraging support networks, sharing and learning together, both formally and informally.