New Ministry Apprentice Scheme to launch in Northern Ireland

Group of pioneer leaders in Diocese of Down and Dromore

New Ministry Apprentice Scheme to launch in Northern Ireland

Published: 11 July 2022
A grant of £60,000 from Benefact Trust is supporting the Diocese of Down and Dromore’s new apprentice scheme, FORGE, which will enable young Christians to develop their skills and experience in church-based ministry.
The diocese will work in partnership with churches and church plants to place apprentices (in pairs) to learn new skills and gain practical experience through hands-on supervised ministry in host churches.
The aims of this new programme are to:
• Equip young Christians with skills and experience in church-based ministry.
• Support young Christians to grow in faith and explore a call to Christian ministry.
• Enable churches to extend the reach of their ministries.
• Assist the diocese to identify and raise up a new generation of ministry leaders.
The programme will be for young people between the ages of 18 and 25, and will help them to develop a strong and enduring faith through training and service in the church.
Apprentices will be fully involved in the life of their host church and are likely to be involved mainly in parish children’s and youth ministries. Where available, they will have the opportunity to participate in schools, outreach and compassion ministries. They will also contribute to diocese-wide ministry programmes such as Saturday Night Live and the Kilbroney Camps programme. 
There will be a strong focus on training in-house within the churches and by the diocese.

Andrew Bass, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support the new Diocesan Ministry Apprentice Scheme, which will help to develop young Christians, giving them the confidence and leadership skills they need to explore Christian Ministry. Not only is this a great opportunity for the apprentices, but their work over the next year will help many young people across the diocese through outreach and youth ministry.”
FORGE will start with an induction in October, and will include monthly training days, insight visits to Christian ministries, support to undertake accredited training in children’s or youth ministry, and an end of year celebration event.
This initiative supports each of the three priorities of Bishop David McClay’s 10-year vision for the diocese: discipleship (facilitating young adults to grow in faith), leadership (raising up new leaders), and apostleship (supporting churches in their outreach).
Applications to FORGE will open in July. To keep up to date with the application process, visit

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