At the start of June, the Cathedral community took great delight in welcoming 29 international students who arrived for just over two weeks to take part in the Cathedral’s annual seminarians’ course. The annual conference programme is designed for ordinands and priests in the early years of ministry.
The programme focuses on the rich traditions of cultures and contexts of mission and ministry in the Anglican Communion. Guided by an international faculty, students are encouraged to share their own experiences of the Anglican Communion and reflect on these against the background of the life and worship of Canterbury Cathedral.
The educational programme, which is directed by Canon Librarian Christopher Irvine, has been championed by Bishops from across the globe. This year the Cathedral’s educational faculty welcomed students from Canada; England; Ghana; Hong Kong; India; Kenya; Korea; Malawi; Nigeria; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Tanzania; USA; and Zimbabwe.
29 Seminarians and newly ordained from across the Anglican Communion joined us for this year’s Canterbury Scholars’ programme on Thursday 5 June. For a variety of reasons, including visa refusals, four of those we had invited to Canterbury were unable to join us. Nevertheless, we had a good group from North America, a wide representation from Provinces in Africa, and others from as far away as South India, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and Hong Kong.
The group cohered well and stories were shared, we grew as a community of study and prayer thanks to the warm welcome and care shown to us by the staff of the International Study Centre and the wider Cathedral community. The Seminarians shared the Cathedral’s pattern of daily prayer, and contributed significantly to our Sunday worship. As well as a demanding programme of lectures, bible studies and smaller group discussion, we also had a Quiet Day, a day set aside for prayer and reflection, a pilgrimage day following in the steps of St. Augustine, and a day working with colleagues at the Anglican Communion Office in London on June 18. We were especially pleased that Archbishop Justin was able to give us some time on our first Sunday afternoon, and it has been good to welcome three of our 6 Preachers, Dr. Katherine Grieb, Dr. Michael Battle, and Archbishop Josiah Fearon to share the teaching of this intensive and hugely significant course for the future leaders of our world-wide Anglican Communion.
Canon Librarian Christopher Irvine