Sunday, March 04, 2007


Well I'm back from the BAP. It was at Shallowford House in Staffordshire and lasted from Monday Evening until Wednesday teatime. The whole thing was really exhausting but enjoyable nontheless. Shallowford is a lovely old house in the country, left to Lichfield diocese in the 30's I think. Had we been there in the summer we could have enjoyed a game of croquet on th lawn..not SO attractive in February however!!! My room was quite big and the bed comfy which is always good. I took my laptop with me which was VERY useful and kept me occupied in between interviews.

There were 12 candidates in total (6 men and 6 women) and 6 advisors, plus a selection secretary. We were split into two groups, the yellows and the pinky-lilacs (no-one could decide what the exact colour was!!!) I was a yellow.

Pretty much as soon as we got there we had the Personal Inventory which was a 40 minute 'exam' which asked questions about how you would react in certain situations you may come across in ordained ministry. It was just like being back at school..."You've had 17 mins and should be moving on to the next section now!" Tea was fantastic...YUM! Worship was after tea and is best described as 'contemplative'.

On Tuesday we had worship at 7.30, followed by breakfast and then the Presentations and Discussions fot the rest of the morning which seemed to go pretty well. Then in the afternoon the interviews started!!!! My first one was Educational which was generally OK although one or two of the questions threw me a little, but I answered as best as I could. I then had to wait until Wednesday for the other two. In our free time we had to write a letter in response to a complex pastoral situation. My second interview was Vocational. I was pleased with it as I felt I answered everything and said everything I wanted to which was good. My last was Pastoral. This went ok but again there were a few questions which were unexpected. This interviewer kept asking me about being 'Middle Class' which I found a little perplexing... Still it was generally a positive experience so whatever the decision I feel I did my best in what was a very strange sitiuation (much harder than any job interview). Add in the fact that you were expected to mingle with advisors during mealtimes etc and the whole thing was quite a 'Big Brother'...The candidates were all very supportive of each other which was lovely and the Selection Panel Secretary was very helpful.

Now I just have to could be a fortnight, and waiting has never been my strong point. Still, I'm being kept busy. I gave the sermon in the all age service this morning and people were very encouraging afterwards. I'm back at work tomorrow and there's plenty of things coming up in the next few months whether I get through or not. The BIG plus point is that come what may I won't have to say IF I'm training or IF I become ordained etc. etc. The uncertainty really is the worst part of this process and it'll be a relief to know what's happening at last....


Michael Astley said...

I'm not going to do what I have done in the past and promise to pray for you, because sometimes days and weeks go by before I remember, but I promise to try to remember to keep you in my prayers.

I, too, wondered for a time about what I would do with selection conferences and things like that, and so I have some degree of understanding. At least now you know that all you can do has been done and you've come away with a result. Do you know yet where you'll be training? I notice you're fairly local. Mirfield?

If you have some time to decide, perhaps you could spend some time writing to the selectors, just with the line "Oh, and it was lilac!"

Crunch said...

Thank you, you're prayers are appreciated.

I will be training on the local course which until recently was the Northern Ordination Course but is now situated in Cheshire itself (Cjester mostly). I may get to visit Mirfield which would be very interesting for a female from a less high church tradition.

It was indeed more Lilac than Pink...and it definitely clashed with the yellow!

Michael Astley said...

NOC definitely has its good points, and yes, I had forgotten about its link with Mirfield. I love that place. I used to go there on retreat every December (it's best in the dead of winter), and think of training there, if, of course, the CofE would have me. I suppose that's just a lesson in building oversized barns instead of listening to God's plan for us, but there we go.

Good for you! I like aperson who can colour co-ordinate. :-)

I'm Saint Bertelin on Ship of Fools, by the way. I've just realised that I've started posting to your blog without telling you how I came here.