CEMES Southampton

Exploring Your Vocation

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We are looking to recruit up to eight young adults (aged 18-30) who are excited about the possibility of exploring their calling and vocation through a year volunteering as Leadership Assistants with a diverse group of churches in Southampton and the surrounding area.

This year will give you practical experience in parish ministry, church leadership, community engagement, pioneer mission and fresh expressions of church – while also offering you the opportunity to receive weekly teaching in Christian theology and missional leadership through St Mellitus College.

We welcome applications from all, however we are aware that women and people of ethnic minorities are currently under-represented in the Church of England, so we particularly encourage applications from these groups. We also particularly encourage applications from people interested in exploring pioneer ministry (see below for more information).

Our scheme is based in Southampton Deanery, overseen by the Diocese of Winchester, sponsored by the national ‘Church of England Ministry Experience Scheme’ – and is completely FREE to join!

Applications are now closed for the main Cemes programme starting in September 2017.

However, we can still accept applications for the Pioneer stream throughout the summer – please email for further details.

If you are interested in applying to start in September 2018, please watch this space for updates or email us to be added to our mailing list.

Is God Calling You?

  • Are you keen to discover more about God’s call on your life?
  • Are you excited about developing your gifts and skills?
  • Do you want to share your faith with others?
  • Are you willing to serve the church in a parish or pioneer context?
  • Are you interested in exploring the possibility of ordination?
  • Do you want to learn more about your part in the mission of Jesus?
  • Are you aged 18-30?
  • Are you available to live in Southampton from September 2017 to July 2018?

Leadership Assistants will be based in a placement parish or pioneer context in/around Southampton, living within the community and working alongside the local leadership team. Our placement options vary each year, but to give you a flavour of our opportunities, some of our recent Leadership Assistants have been based in the following parishes:

As part of a wider training cohort, you will also gather weekly for study, reflection and prayer together with the other Leadership Assistants, and have opportunities to work together on bigger/ecumenical projects across the city. You will also have opportunities to explore your vocation and the possibility of ordination through regular meetings with the Diocesan Director of Ordinands and the diocesan Young Vocations Champion.

Pioneer Ministry

Beginning in 2017, we are are launching a focused Pioneer stream within our wider CEMES programme. If you are interested in exploring pioneer ministry, fresh expressions of church, and mission on the edge, we would love to hear from you. Pioneer Leadership Assistants will be supervised by Ordained Pioneer Ministers, and based either with a particular pioneering project (eg, Monty’s Community Hub) or with a parish which is exploring fresh expressions of church. You will have all the same opportunities as our other participants, with a few extra ideas which are still in development.

The Southampton area is a great place to explore pioneer ministry, as it is home to several pioneer ministers and many pioneering projects. Some of our core team are pioneer ministers, and all of us (along with all of our placement contexts) support the development of pioneering mission and fresh expressions of church. CEMES Southampton is committed to helping all our participants explore pioneer ministry!

Theology Training

As a Leadership Assistant, you will have one day a week dedicated for study, prayer and reflection. This will include spending time in personal prayer and reflection, meeting and eating with the other Leadership Assistants in your cohort, exploring your development and discipleship with your Personal Development Coordinator, and engaging with an exciting course of training in theology and missional leadership streamed from St Mellitus College in London.

St Mellitus College is one of the most exciting and innovative centres of theological study and training for missional leadership in the UK, having emerged from a partnership between Holy Trinity Brompton and the North Thames Ministerial Training Course in 2007. Reflecting its broad roots, St Mellitus emphasises the importance of having a ‘generous orthodoxy’ and working with all kinds of Christians and denominations, so that together we can see the Holy Spirit’s transforming power at work in the church and the world.

We will be streaming weekly lectures from the ‘Theology, Mission & Ministry’ degree course – delivered by a range of world-class scholars, first-rate practitioners and visiting professors. This exciting course will help you to explore your faith more deeply, challenge you to think about how the church needs to adapt to a fast-changing world, prepare you for a variety of church ministries, and equip you with the skills needed to pioneer new churches.

The core modules will include ‘Foundations for Theology and Reflective Practice’ and ‘Introduction to the Bible’. Further details of the curriculum are available from: http://www.stmellitus.ac.uk

Teaching will take place on Tuesday evenings from 7pm, during term time.

All teaching sessions will begin with a short time of prayer and worship, and will be led by members of the CEMES team with support from parish/diocesan staff. The evening course will also be open to people beyond the CEMES scheme (including others exploring ordained or lay ministry), which will enable us to explore and reflect on the issues raised among a wider group of people of diverse ages and backgrounds.

What Can We Offer You?

  • Free accommodation (usually with a host family in your placement)
  • A monthly allowance (plus all ministry-related expenses)
  • The opportunity to study the exciting Level One ‘Theology, Ministry & Mission’ course, streamed from St Mellitus College in London http://www.stmellitus.org/course/ba-hons
  • Regular supervision and support from your Placement Supervisor (usually a vicar or pioneer minister in your context) and the CEMES team.
  • Regular opportunities to meet the Diocesan Director of Ordinands and the diocesan Young Vocations Champion, to help you explore the possibility of ordination.
  • The chance to experience life and ministry in the Church of England, equipping you for your future life and ministry wherever you find yourself.
  • We are always working to develop further opportunities. Some of these are still to be confirmed, but we hope to be able to offer you: a creative arts retreat, a weekend stay at friary, joining the HTB Leadership Conference, and a week-long pilgrimage with the Bishop of Southampton to the Taizé Community in France.

Interested? Get in Touch

If want to know more about CEMES we would love to hear from you:

CEMES Scheme Administrator
023 8055 9074

Application Form

In relation to application please note the following:

  • Due to the nature of the scheme, there is a genuine occupational requirement for each participant to be a Christian.
  • There is no formal closing date for applications. Instead, when we’ve received your completed form and references, you’ll be invited for an informal interview in Southampton. Once all the places are filled, we won’t be able to accept any more applications, and a notice will be placed on this page.
  • As a general rule, we are unable to pay travel expenses for those wanting to attend an interview. However we do have a discretionary fund, which enables us to offer assistance if the travel costs would otherwise present a legitimate obstacle to your attendance. Please let us know if this is the case.