The Diocese of Leicester’s Bishop’s Council and Board of Finance have recently decided that due to changes to the Ministerial Experience Scheme, the Community of The Tree of Life will no longer house residents in the next academic year.
The Community will not recruit new members to replace current residents when they leave this summer but the very successful Ministry Experience Scheme and New Wine Discipleship Year will continue to flourish with different accommodation arrangements.
As usual at this time of year, the diocese is looking for young adults and placement churches from across all traditions of the diocese for the Ministry Experience Scheme 2023/2024.
Matt Long, Youth Engagement & Intergenerational Communities Enabler for the Diocese of Leicester, said:
“We are looking for young adults, aged 18-30, to spend a year serving God through the Ministry Experience Scheme in the Diocese of Leicester from September this year.
“The year gives young Christians an opportunity to grow as a disciple, explore calling, gain experience of Christian ministry and develop leadership skills. The scheme is free to participants, with accommodation, training and living expenses provided.
“We are also looking for placement churches to host Ministry Experience Participants. Placement churches provide a context for ministry, accommodation, and supervision. They will be asked to contribute financially towards ministry costs and training.”
For more information, please contact Matt Long, Youth Engagement & Intergenerational Communities Enabler, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Background regarding the Community House.
The Community of the Tree of Life has been housed in a former City Council office that was purchased and refurbished by the Diocesan Board of Finance in 2017. It was adapted with a view to the possibility that the use of the building may one day be changed, and so that it could either be sold or repurposed at little cost.
A full options appraisal will now be carried to decide the way forward for the building. In doing so we will be mindful of the overall financial position of the diocese whilst also upholding the vision and values of our Cathedral Gardens’ properties to be places of Christian hospitality, witness and service in the heart of the city, as well as generating income which supports worshipping communities across the diocese as a whole.
The review, which we hope to have completed by the early summer, will consider a range of possible future uses; from sale to a new owner to a change of use, including potentially for housing for people experiencing homelessness.
We are delighted that our work with young adults will continue to flourish and will be developed in new ways and will have the opportunity to engage a wider range of churches in the county as well as the city itself.
The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, said:
“We will celebrate the ending of one season and the beginning of a new one – around 56 young adults have been involved in the Community over the past four years and I think all of them would say that their lives have been significantly touched by God through this experience and we in the diocese certainly have been greatly blessed by them.
“It is clear from the opinions shared by members of our Bishop’s Council and others that the contribution made by those young adults to the prayer life of the diocese has been enriching and inspiring. We look forward to new arrangements for accommodation for our ongoing Ministry Experience Scheme and New Wine Discipleship Year participants. These will both continue to provide great opportunities for young adult Christians in Leicester and Leicestershire to develop their skills and to discern more about their own vocation whilst sharing their gifts and contributing so much to worshipping communities in our diocese.”