I said a few days ago that I would be starting to write up and document my journey to Priesthood. It’s a bit too late to retrace the last 3 and a half years or so of my calling (though you can find bits of it in the deepest darkest archives of my blog). However, I feel that this post about Provincial Selection (also known as BAP [Bishop’s Advisory Panel], or Provincial Discernment Board) will be useful to all those who are embarking on this journey, about to go to a panel or just curious. At least, I hope it will be!
*Please note that this particular post is tailored to the Church in Wales, though the general gist of a panel is the same, though content may vary slightly! – Do feel free to post questions in the comments section if you want!
OK, so let’s set the scene. You’ve
Once this general checklist is all ticked off (there may be more or less items for you – again, discuss in comments!), you will then begin the eager wait to have a meeting with your Bishop (and if your Bishop is any good, he/she will be very supportive of you and spend a little time during the meeting prepping you for the selection panel and praying with you, which mine did [thank the Lord])
And then, usually short notice, you will get this:
A letter from the Provincial Discernment Board Secretary!
This letter will basically give you general details of the board, what will happen, what to bring, where it is (in Wales, at least at the time of writing, almost always at the Gladstone Library in Hawarden, North Wales.) It’s a beautiful place, with a magnificent library, fantastic food, and good accommodation. Warning though: you probably won’t be able to sleep very well anyway, and the church clock goes all through the night. In the summer months, it gets quite hot in the building!
Right, now let’s skip forward a bit – the day has come! You’re off to the panel! *Emergency prayers are completely fine at this point. Know that God is with you!
Once you get to the location of the panel, and you’ve settled in, the Provincial Discernment Conference will officially begin. So now, I will give a brief summary of what happens:
Once you go home, the panel will meet to discuss the conference and make a decision (recommendation / recommendation with conditions / non recommendation). This will be made on the last day (though I’ll explain more about this in my next post). It is important to note that the Panel Secretary and any observers present at the conference will not have a vote on you, but will be allowed to contribute to the discussion.
Then, the waiting begins! Again, more on that in my next post.
I hope this gives you a general overview of what to expect during the Provincial Discernment Panel (or BAP, or whatever!). My next post will give you some general tips and advice on the conference. So do stay tuned! Please do use the comments section to ask questions, share stories and experiences, add your opinion etc.
Until next time…
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about
Hoping that some of you will share stories and experiences. And also ask questions / start discussion too!
Thank you for sharing this. Though it all seems rather daunting and overwhelming for someone who is still working on the very first step of not running away lol!
Haha – thank you so much for commenting! Yes, it may sound daunting etc, but that’s because you’re on a process, on a journey. Everything will fall into place. Be assured of my prayers!
Hey Dean. Thanks for the comment on my blog 🙂 I’m actually in the process of writing a book about the whole discernment process – would you be up for helping with my research my answering some questions? if so drop me an email to julesmiddleton (at) btinternet.com if that makes sense!
Jules or red (from Apples of Gold blog)
Sending you an email now! Thanks so much for commenting!
Unless things have changed in the last three years then a CofE BAP is a little different on point 7.
We had to do three things:
1) A presentation on a pre-prepared topic (something related to the selection criteria that we could choose), followed by a facilitated group discussion. We were also observed on how we participated in others discussions.
2) Writing a pastoral letter. We were given a complex pastoral situation which we then had to write a letter of response to. This was tricky – definitely take a laptop to a BAP so you can write, edit, rewrite as necessary.
3) My memory is stretching here, but I think we did the ‘Written Project’ element pre-BAP and submitted it. It was then discussed in interviews.
This could well have changed, but seems there are a few differences between CofE and CinW.
For your interest… http://www.oakhill.ac.uk/contact/admissions.html
Yes you’re right – these are different elements to the CiW process. Most written work is actually given to DDOs in Wales to discern whether to send to provincial. At least, that’s how it was done in my diocese!
The pastoral letter you had to do is replaced by a pastoral project discussion in Wales.
Interesting you mention Oak Hill – my uncle is Paul Woodbridge!
Ha. Small world.
Woody lives opposite us. Taught us 1 Corinthians and Galatians this term.
Amazing!! Tell him I say hello and will be in touch soon!
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