Steve Bullock New Curate to Tetbury Benefice Joining us in June 2022
We look forward to welcoming Steve, with his wife Linda and two young adult daughters, Lydia and Rebecca, following his ordination as Deacon on Sunday 19th June at Gloucester Cathedral.
The family are moving to Tetbury from the family home in Gloucester on 6th June, to give Steve time to settle in before his ordination. They are delighted with the house secured for them by Gloucester Diocese, and look forward to meeting their neighbours in Brays Avenue.
After his ordination, we will all have a chance to all welcome Steve at the 10.30am Benefice Service at St Marys’ Tetbury on Sunday 26th June (his first Sunday with us) followed by lunch on the Vicarage lawn.
Steve has been studying part-time at Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham, while being employed at the University of Gloucester lecturing and overseeing a course in working with Children, young people and families. He is a nationally qualified youth worker by background, working with young people in various locations in the UK with Youth for Christ, in an Anglican church in Stoke-On-Trent, in Stockport with a local Christian charity associated with Scripture Union and with young people here in Gloucester when he served as youth officer with the Diocese.
In his spare time, Steve Says he enjoys running (very slowly), walking, reading, enjoy listening to a wide variety of music and sampling the wears of various eateries after which I need to run again!
This information is to help us prepare for Steve’s arrival, and to support him and his family as they begin this new journey of faith.
Benefice Welcome Service 10.30am Sunday 26th June St Marys’ Tetbury
What can we do to help support and train Steve Bullock, our new curate?
A curate is placed in a training parish for two reasons:
There is a minister suitable to be a Training Priest.
The group of parishes is healthy and able to provide a variety and range of opportunities for the curate.
Steve will be joining Poppy as his Training Incumbent, and also Pauline, our self-supporting Curate working 3 days in the parish, and who is now coming into her third year of curacy. And then, of course, there is our team of clergy with Permission to Officiate, and all those involved, lay and ordained, in ministry in our Benefice.
There are things that, as a congregation, you can do that will play a vitally important part in Steve’s training:
1 Support Steve in his learning
All curates bring a rich mix of life and professional experience to their curacy. The aim—in these three years—is to give Steve the range of experience that will “round out” his experience, to prepare him for full-time ministry leading a benefice or parish. This means that, much of the time, Steve will focus on areas of ministry that are new to him, rather than those (like youth work!) where he has a wealth of experience.
2 See the bigger picture
As a curate, Steve is on the Gloucester Diocese Curate Training Programme (officially called Initial Ministerial Development or IME), led by Canon Ian Bussell. Through the year, Steve will attend IME training sessions, often held on a Sunday. He will also be compiling a portfolio and written assignments, which are submitted as part of Diocese’s review process at the end of each year of the curacy. It is helpful to be aware of these other demands on Steve’s time, and chat to him about how things are going.
3 Tell him when he’s got it right.
Affirm and encourage Steve. Tell him why it worked and how it helped (be as clear and specific as you can). If you have more negative feedback, offer it to Poppy who can decide what best to do with it.
4. Try new ideas
Steve will come have lots of new ideas. Some may sound mad and are in fact brilliant. Some may sound really challenging, but will transform the life of the church. Some may just be bad ideas. We won’t know which are which, unless we try them!
5. Share your jobs and wisdom
Steve needs to do things. Please give him a chance to do stuff, even if that is normally your role. And share what you’ve learned from the ministries you are involved in.
6. Be generous with your time
And support Steve and Poppy as they establish their new roles.
7. Value mistakes
Mistakes are vital to learning. If Steve never makes a mistake he will never learn! Mistakes are important things, they should be valued.
8. Learn with Steve
Having someone in training is a chance for the whole church to reflect and learn from one another, from the things that we do together, and from the Spirit of God calling us out and on.
9. Share his journey
Deacons are called to “proclaim the gospel in word and deed, as agents of God’s purposes of love (Common Worship), focusing on preaching and leading worship, and loving pastoral care and service. This is the foundation for Steve to then, by God’s grace, be ordained priest in the summer of 2023.
Do this regularly. Pray for Steve, Linda, Lydia, Rebecca, and also for Poppy, and for one another. God has many gifts to give us and many lessons to teach us. Pray that we all might be open to receiving and learning.
Ten ‘Top Tips’ for supporting a Curate
1 Praying for Steve and his family.
2.Don’t expect Steve to know your name – introduce yourself each time you meet him!
3. Offer local information to Steve and his family – they are new to the benefice and to the area.
4.Invite Steve to pop in for a cuppa, but not just in the first couple of weeks!
5. Respect Steve’s day off – which is on Friday.
6.Take risks in ministry with Steve.
7. Be ready to learn yourself, as an individual and as part of the congregation.
8. Don’t compare Steve to anyone else.
9. Allow Steve to show you new things – he brings a whole host of riches to share.
10 Enjoy having Steve as our curate. As a full-time stipendiary curate, his time is relatively limited (3 to 4 years).