ON the evening of Wednesday 10th July, 10 mature students received Certificates from the Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell at the end of the two-year Course in Christian Studies which has been running at St Stephen’s Church, initially under tutors Rev Sharon Guest and Rev Ernie Guest and subsequently Rev John Fry and Rev Carol Newnham.
The presentation evening at Chelmsford Cathedral saw certificates awarded to Kim Allen, Ian Beckett and Marilyn Pearce from St Stephen’s Church; Millie Borges, Vicky Fafalios and Dawn Whelan from St Mary’s and St Hugh’s Church, Tonty Taylor and Lin Tsang from St Paul’s and St Mary’s Little Parndon Church, Ruth Ishemunyoro from Church Langley Church, and Rebecca Nunn, Peter Gray, and Raymond McKerron from churches in the surrounding villages.
Since the Course in Christian Studies began in 1987, over 2500 lay people from Essex and East London have experienced excitement of discovery and learning together: bringing their own varied stories and experiences and sharing them, finding new truth in themselves and in each other through lively discussion about Bible content and the huge riches of Christian tradition. Through constructive reflection the Course does not shirk the hard questions posed by the Church’s history or by believing in God and seeking peace and justice in today’s contemporary world.
Rev Ernie Guest, who was the Vicar at St Stephen’s until December last year, said “Over the last five years I have seen twenty people complete the Course in Christian Studies and flourish into women and men better equipped to serve the purposes of God”.
The two-year Course in Christian Studies begins again in Harlow in September 2019 at St Mary-at-Latton Church Hall, The Gowers, CM20 2JP and there will be a taster evening there next Thursday 18th June at 7:30pm. Rev Lynn Hurry will gladly provide any more information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Course in Christian Studies is Spiritually Enriched: it does not set out to convert or evangelise, but is concerned with the whole life of prayer, activity and relationships – not just with the mind. For those who desire it, the Course also provides a foundation for further education or training: for other local courses; degrees or diplomas or training for specific ministry in the Church including Pastoral Assistants, Lay Evangelists, Licensed Lay Ministers or Ordained Priests.
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