Clergy ordained in the Church of England are required to complete, following ordination, 3 years of further training called IME 2. In our diocese this post ordination programme is run by our Director of Ministerial Development, the Revd Canon Ulla Monberg. Over the past couple of years, due to the pandemic, the teaching and courses have been held virtually, using Zoom. However, there is at least one important module for which Zoom has severe limitations: liturgical theory and practice.
So from 30 November to 3 December 17 of our curates in training posts gathered safely for the first face to face IME 2 sessions since the beginning of the pandemic. Canon Monberg chose as the venue Kardinal Schulte Haus in Cologne, well known to many in the diocese from other gatherings there such as Diocesan Synod. It has suitable space for safe gatherings, and excellent transportation links, a vital consideration since our curates come from Norway to Milan, and from Madrid to Moscow!
Unfortunately, one key resource person, the Revd Canon Peter Moger, had to cancel his attendance at the last minute due to COVID testing measures which were imposed suddenly in the UK. (Canon Moger lives on the Isle of Lewis and the logistics of testing and quarantine were going to limit other pastoral commitments). However, Peter was able to deliver several lectures by Zoom. I was able to rearrange a quick turn around from Spain (via London) to get to Cologne to lead some sessions but most importantly to do what is not possible by Zoom: some practical work on liturgical practice, style, and presidency at the eucharist.
The syllabus for this IME 2 session included the history of liturgy and its reform in the Church of England, resources for the seasons of the Church Year; the lectionaries; the rites of initiation and pastoral services; and liturgy and the law.