Thursday, 22 April 2010

Cliff College

Visiting Cliff College at any time of the year can be inspiring, but on a bright and sunny day it is easy to imagine what influenced the founders of the College to site it in the glorious Derbyshire Peak District. I was welcomed to Cliff College by the principal, Rev Dr Chris Blake and I spent the day talking with staff and students.

The college offers a wide range of courses, both residential and distance learning and caters for students with limited secondary school education right through to those studying for a PhD. They are also developing increasingly strong links with the Methodist Church in Nigeria. It was good to hear the stories of how some of the students came to Cliff, some who had come with parents to the annual Festival when they were younger, others who came from families with no connection with the Church at all. They all though realised how much they had grown and developed during their time at the college

After lunch with members of staff I sat briefly in a teaching session for those here for a week as part of their children and youth worker course. They were a mixture of lay employees and volunteers from churches across the country, sharing their experiences and learning together.

Before leaving I talked with members of the teaching staff about the emphasis they place on adult discipleship and how important it was for all church communities to take time to help people to learn and grow in faith. This is something I’m convinced we all need to take more seriously and the excellent work Cliff College and our other training centres and networks are doing can help and equip us in this vitally important task.

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