The curate, St John’s Church, Locks Heath on a new Christian internship programme
When I was thinking about becoming a vicar, it would have been great to be able to get a taster of what that might be like.
It’s really hard to know what leading a church will feel like when you’re younger.
Most of those leading services or organising church activities tend to be more experienced.
So I would have really loved to work as an intern at a church for a year, being given some responsibility and worked out if God was calling me to get ordained as a clergy person.
That’s one of the reasons why I’ve been involved in creating an intern scheme for four churches to the west of Fareham. We’re launching the Western Wards Internship scheme from September.
Six interns, aged 18-29, will be given the chance to spend a year working in churches in Locks Heath, Sarisbury Green, Hook-with- Warsash and Whiteley, to explore their own sense of calling.
It is being funded by the national Church of England, Portsmouth diocese and the four parishes.
There are many young people who are still searching for a sense of purpose or direction.
They may have faith, but are not quite sure if God is calling them to work full-time for a Christian organisation,
or to get ordained as a church minister.
Spending a year working in a parish, with experienced clergy who can mentor them and show them what Christian leadership looks like, will be really valuable.
The interns will live with church families who will kindly open up their homes, they’ll get plenty of chances to take part in parish ministry, and they’ll be challenged to develop their own faith, in prayer, reflection and study.
They’ll have regular sessions with their supervising vicar, a get-together with their fellow interns and the chance to study some theology as well.
They may also get the chance to experience other aspects of Christian life, including hospital chaplaincy, working with older people and life in a convent.
They’ll also be able to talk to members of our diocese’s vocations team, who can help them to explore their sense that God is calling them to full-time Christian work.
It’s really exciting and I can’t wait for the first set of interns to start.
For full details, see portsmouth.anglican.org/interns.
St John’s Church is in Church Road, Locks Heath. For more information go to stjohnslocksheath.org.uk.