A NEW ANGLICAN SEMINARY
FOR THE FORMATION OF PRIESTS
IN THE DIOCESE OF MELBOURNE
OPENING FEBRUARY 2023
NOW SEEKING APPLICATIONS FOR ORDINANDS
Saint Agnes’ House is a new pathway for ordination with two key aims:
1. To invest in full-time residential formation for ordained ministry focused on the parish context, interweaving a common life of daily corporate and individual prayer, theological study and reflection (individually and as a household), and evangelism and mission.
2. To renew the spiritual and missional life of the church of Saint Agnes’ Glen Huntly through the prayer and energy contributed by the Saint Agnes’ House community within the broader mission of the whole parish.
It is a recovery of residential seminary formation in Australia, reimagined to serve the Church into the next generation.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of The Reverend Dr Peter Richards as the inaugural Warden of Saint Agnes' House. The Warden has oversight of community life and the formation of ordinands. The Warden is responsible for developing and facilitating the programme at Saint Agnes' House and also has immediate spiritual and liturgical oversight of Saint Agnes' Church, Glen Huntly.
Fr Peter comes to us with an extensive background in ministry both in Australia and South Africa. He grew up in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, and the UK initially working in the research sciences (Both medical and other) as a microscopist before being called into ministry in South Africa. His interests have centred on ethics in the medical field but more recently moving into Church governance structures and how they effect ministry practice at all levels of the Church. He is most excited to becoming the Warden of Saint Agnes' House so that he can mentor aspiring ordinands toward a more holistic understanding of their role in ministerial life. Whilst having extensive practical experience in parish life (both rural and urban) he is also an avid reader and has an intimate knowledge of the more recent theological ideas that he hopes will open the minds of prospective ordinands so that they can see beyond traditional assumptions of what it means to be in ministry and respond to God’s call on their lives in innovative and fruitful ways. You can read Fr Peter's blog by clicking here.
Men and women who are under 35 years old and are supported by their bishop as a candidate for ordination in any diocese of the Anglican Church of Australia, or a church in communion therewith, are eligible with their bishop's consent to undertake their formation for ministry at Saint Agnes' House. It is a full-time, intensive and immersive programme undertaken over three years centred around Common Prayer, Corporate Study, and Contextual Mission.
IIf you are not yet formally supported as a candidate for ordination, but feel you may be called to be a Priest or Deacon in the Church of God - please be in touch to learn more about Vocation and whether there might be opportunity for you to join in the life of the House to support your discernment.
The practical logistics of the house mean we are only able to accommodate 3 ordinands who would ordinarily be unmarried and without children. Total residential and programme fees are $8000 per year, with generous bursaries available.
It is envisaged that ordinands will be resident at Saint Agnes' House for three years as they undertake a full-time, intensive and immersive programme of formation for ministry.
The programme is structured around three interwoven cords:
The Daily Office, Eucharist, and Compline in both the House and adjacent Saint Agnes' Church provide the rhythmic heartbeat to the community's common life together
Ordinands follow a common academic curriculum offered through Trinity College Theological School and the University of Divinity but meet regularly to reason and reflect theologically with the House as a forum for inviting wider discussion and debate with others in plenary.
Ordinands are supported to develop a love and passion for parish and pastoral ministry, and prepared also for its realities, reaching out in witness where they are set in the context of a small suburban church. They also explore other contexts and the richness of the priestly life through experiential placements in a variety of ministry settings.
Are you being called to the life and work of a Deacon and Priest in the Church of God?
At Saint Agnes' House we are committed to fostering life-long vocations to the ordained ministry to serve the church faithfully and confidently for the next generation. The life and work of a Deacon and Priest is one of self-giving sacrifice but also extraordinary privilege, simply unlike any other 'job' or 'career'. If you would like to explore how to test a vocation, and hear more about the journey to ordination and beyond please be in touch below:
Be a pastor after the pattern of Christ the great Shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep.
Be a teacher taught by the Lord in wisdom and holiness.
Lead the people of God as a servant of Christ.
Love and serve the people with whom you work, caring alike for young and old, rich and poor, weak and strong.
Never forget how great a treasure is placed in your care: the Church that you must serve is Christ's spouse and body, purchased at the cost of his own life.
TASTE AND SEE
Saint Agnes' House is a residential community dedicated to the formation of ordinands - however it is not a closed community, and all are invited to experience its life and rhythm as well as attend a number of seminars and events which are open to anyone who is interested in vocation, theological education, ministry and mission and the future of the Church.
You can find details of upcoming events below.
Saint Agnes' House seeks to serve the Church of God in the Diocese of Melbourne and the Anglican Church of Australia in partnership.
The House is an initiative of the Anglican Parish of Saint John and Saint Agnes, East Malvern and Glen Huntly and has been accepted as a formal provider of ministry formation for the Diocese of Melbourne which has enabled this 3 year pilot programme through a substantial financial commitment.
We have a formal relationship with Trinity College Theological School who provide our ordinands with an academic degree in theology of the highest standard through the University of Divinity.
Saint Agnes' House is a very recent initiative and needs your support!
You can support us in three different ways:
ORA : PRAY
More than anything we ask for your prayers that God would sustain this new venture, call and equip an inspiring leader to be our Warden, raise up young people to offer themselves for the ordained ministry, and stir up the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Church to bring in a new era of zeal for the Gospel and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament - please pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen.
LABORA : WORK
There is much that you might be able to practically offer as we attempt to establish this new seminary. Please consider your various gifts and skills and how they might be offered to the Glory of God! All ideas are welcome and if you would like to discuss how you could be involved, please contact us by clicking the icon.
DONA : GIVE
The total cost of establishing and operating Saint Agnes' House over the first three years of its pilot is almost half a million dollars, the great majority of which is being met by the relatively small suburban parish of Saint John and Saint Agnes in East Malvern and Glen Huntly. You can support us by contributing financially, with the option to make a tax-deductible donation. To donate please click the icon.