The First Four Years Resources Discussion for Curates & Incumbents

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The First Four Years


Discussion for Curates & Incumbents

Discussion headers for initial meetings between potential training incumbents and ordinands.

Unfortunately the DDO does not get a divine command as to where an ordinand should be placed. The focus is always the training needs of the ordinand and the best context to fulfil those. The DDO makes an initial suggestion based on conversations with the ordinand, their profile, the parish profile and the opportunities in the parish. However one of the most important factors is whether the incumbent and new curate will form a good working relationship and this cannot be predicted on paper. Therefore it is very important in the early meetings and negotiations that both incumbent and ordinand explore not only the practical details of a potential curacy, but also each other’s personalities and style.

The outcomes for the training period are set out in the ‘Hind Learning Outcomes’, which are attached. It’s worth having a look at these to see what headings the training is intended to address. You may not need the following suggestions at all, but they are offered as discussion starters to help you both discern if this is a good ‘fit’ or not.

General: partnership in ministry

Listen to one another’s stories – what is the story of your vocation & ministry

What excites you about ministry now?

What is your pattern of prayer – in what way do you share prayer with others?

Where do you resource yourself for ministry, or for life?

Which writers/teachers inspire you? What are you reading?

What vision is there for ministry & mission in this parish?

What does each of you think that you bring to the ministry partnership?

General: partnership in training

What expectations do you have of the training process?

What expectations do you have of each other?

What does the prospective incumbent recall from their experience of curacy? What would they do the same – and what might they do differently?

What has the prospective curate learned from their experience of training so far? About themselves? About ministry?

What does each of you bring to the training partnership?


What role or responsibility might the curate be given? What part will they play in the leadership team of the parish?

What is distinctive about this parish? This potential incumbent? This potential curate?

What particular training opportunities are there here?

In the Learning Outcomes, what stands out as especially important?

See further, John Witcombe (ed) The Curate’s Guide CHP 2005 chapter 3.

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