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Wesley House in the 1960s

The Rev Dr John Barrett

Ministerial Formation

Students 1960s 4.jpg

Robert Gribben writes...

This is a little antipodean glimpse.  On the left is the Rev. Robert Gallacher, a Methodist Minister from Victoria (Australia) who was on sabbatical leave in 1967-68.  Looking dubious is Dr John Ziesler, who the text correctly says arrived from New Zealand that term – and me..

Colin Honey and Robert were both from Australia

This decade well predates the later developed emphasis upon ministerial formation. The model of ministry students were given was mornings in the study, afternoon visiting and evening meetings, preaching on Sundays. Although the arrival of babies was great help in preparing students to take baptisms, the general understanding seemed to be that all one needed to develop pastoral and administrative skills, and participate in the Church’s ministry and mission, was ‘sanctified common-sense’.  There was no recognition of alternative forms of ministry, except Forces chaplaincy. This was still some time before the development of ‘Sector Ministry’ and moves into ‘secular’ professions as a fulfilment of one’s call to ministry were viewed with deep regret or confusion by church leaders.  There was, however, a strong sense of the discipline of the ministry, nurtured by study and prayer. Housemen emerged with a strong commitment to a ministry of word and sacraments, both in this country and overseas. For many this included a passion for theological exploration, which naturally led on to biblical scholarship and the teaching of theology.

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