Introductory Notes for IME Phase 2

IME Phase 2 consists of:

  • A curacy placement
  • Supervision 
  • Research
  • Central programme of training and support
  • A summative assessment

The curacy placement for those who are stipendiary is for up to three years.  The training curacy for those who are self-supporting can be longer but any extension would need to be agreed with the Suffragan Bishop, the Supervising Minister and the IME Officer.

Curacies are supervised. Normally supervision is provided within the parish context by the incumbent (but not in all cases). The Supervising Minister has a key role in working with the curate to support him/her during the early days of ordained ministry. The purpose of supervision is to support the curate’s commitment to your:

  • Sharing in the mission of the gospel through the local parish and deanery,
  • Prayerful discernment of your own and other people’s gifts, strengths and weaknesses,
  • Growing in self-awareness as individuals and as Christian ministers,
  • Appreciation, and ability to work with Christians of other traditions and people of different views for "mutual flourishing"
  • Supporting your ongoing study and research
  • Reflection on feedback
  • Development of skills, attitudes and understanding for ministry

Ongoing research and learning

Curates are expected to develop routines to support their ongoing learning. The recommendation for full-time curates is that the equivalent of one day per week be used for research, study and training. This includes time for IME training events but excludes time needed for preparing resources or sermons for parish use. Those who are self-supporting should discuss their study needs with their supervising minister and negotiate what the study time should be. This would then need to be included in the Working Agreement.

Study pathways

  • BA Theology (Durham) is offered for those who have been ordained with an FdA or equivalent
  • PG Dip in Practical Theology (Chester) is offered for those who have a 2:1 degree in Theology or related discipline

Those who choose not be on a university pathway will be expected to submit a written assignment each year. Second and third year assignments are submitted to Suffragans via the IME Officer.  The assignments are:

  • Year 1 — Mission and Evangelism in Context
  • Year 2 — Case Study (Pastoral)
  • Year 3 — Case Study (Leadership)

The central programme of training and support consists of:

  • Training days – anyone not able to attend these days needs to be excused by the IME Officer.  (There's up to 6 training days per year.)
  • Reading Group – attendance is a requirement. These groups are led by members of Bishop’s Staff and study a book chosen by Bishop Peter (in consultation with others). There are 3 meetings per year 
  • Research Forum (Kaleidoscope) – this is a new feature of the IME programme and will give curates opportunity to share findings from their own research with others. (3 meetings per year)
  • Common Room – these meetings are “voluntary” with agendas arranged by those attending (3 meetings per year)
  • Retreat – a 30 hour annual retreat at Foxhill – again voluntary because of limited accommodation

Assessment of Curacy

  • Curates are responsible for their own learning and development – their supervising ministers are there to support them
  • Any issues or concerns relating to the Criteria for Formation that curates or supervising ministers have, should be raised with the IME Officer
  • The Criteria for Formation are fundamentally aspirational: they are goals to work and develop towards rather than criteria that can be "fully met".  They should be used as a tool for ministerial development
  • Supervising ministers will report either to the Diocesan Bishop or Suffragan Bishop.  Reports are based on the Formation Criteria and need to be agreed with curates.  Second and third year reports are submitted to the IME Officer.  Deacon reports are sent to Bishop's House
  • Curates meet with one of the Bishops for an end of year interview
  • Assessment takes account of annual reports from supervising ministers, advice from the IME Officer and evidence provided by curates and others
  • No curate can take up a post of responsibility unless they have notice from their bishop that their curacy has been successfully completed

Working Agreements

  • Together with the Statement of Particulars and Role Descriptors, Working Agreements provide a basis for the working relationship within the placement
  • Working Agreements are best negotiated in the first two months after ordination.  Curates should submit their Working Agreement to the IME Officer by 15 September
  • Working Agreements need to include a reference to confidentiality such as "assistant clergy in training posts should make it clear that information given to them will normally be shared with their incumbent"
  • Working Agreements need to include arrangements for the reimbursement of expenses (please refer to The Church of England's Guidelines for the Reimbursement of Parochial Expenses)



David Herbert
10 March 2017

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