|The Revd Mary Styles (All Saints Rome) and the Revd Maurice Ryan (St Mary's Didim)|
“Breaking Open the Word of God – Preaching in Today’s Church” was the title of a recent residential session of our diocesan post-ordination training programme (or IME 4-7 as is the official title) for clergy recently ordained and recently received into the communion of the Church of England. This particular session was held from 16 - 19 November at George Bell House in Chichester and focussed on the art of preaching and provided an opportunity to deepen knowledge of the principles of homiletics and to develop further preaching skills.
In the course of the four days the programme dealt with different aspects of preaching. I gave a lecture on the principles of Anglican homiletics today, entitled “Godly, wholesome and necessary for these times". Deacon Frances Hiller led a session on “Preaching and Personality”. Canon William Gulliford led the curates in an exploration of “Rhetoric – The History of Public Speaking”. There were also sessions on the proper use of breath, movement and voice in the form of “Practical Exercises” taught by actors Jules Melvin and Patricia Routledge. The participants had an opportunity to work in pairs preparing and delivering sermons.
The curates also experienced the riches of Cathedral worship through participating in the daily offices at Chichester Cathedral.
These semi-annual residential sessions of Post Ordination Training also give our newly ordained an opportunity to share their early experiences of ministry and to have individual meetings with the Director of Training, Canon Ulla Monberg, to discuss their ongoing formation and ministry in the churches where they serve.