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Passing the Baton

Change is afoot at Cliff College

Steve to take over as Chris moves on

The Revd Dr Stephen Skuce is to be seconded from working in the Methodist Connexional Team to the role of Acting Principal of Cliff College in Derbyshire from 1st June 2016.

Stephen, currently Director of Scholarship, Research and Innovation for Methodist Church, said of his new secondment: “It is an honour to be stepping in as Acting Principal of Cliff College in this interim period while a new Principal is found.”

In previous roles at the College, Stephen has been Postgraduate Tutor, Director of Research and Academic Dean.

He added: “I’ve been privileged to serve at Cliff College in the past and I look forward to this new opportunity to help lead its development and ensure that the College continues to fulfil its mission.

The Revd Rachel Deigh, Chair of the Cliff College Committee, added: “I am delighted with the secondment of Stephen as the Acting Principal of Cliff College and look forward to welcoming him back to the College in this new role. I believe that he has the experience and expertise that is needed at this time as we move forward into God’s future for the College. We assure Stephen of our prayers during this time of transition and change for both him and the whole College community.”

Outgoing principal Chris Blake and his wife Joy are set to move to Farnborough, where he will be Superintendent in the Hants Surrey Border Circuit. He said, “Being Principal of the College has been a great experience, and seeing the lives of students changed as they grow to be more effective disciples of Jesus has been an amazing privilege for which we are both deeply thankful to God.”

More staff to arrive in autumn

Two new full time lecturers have been appointed to Cliff, starting in the autumn. Dr Sandra Brower will take on the responsibility of being the BA Th Programme Leader. Dr Aaron Edwards will take on the responsibility of being the MA Programme Leader from Dr Justin Thacker who will be moving to a part-time lecturing role.

Also, Deacon Lynne Tonge will be working from September to develop a Retreat and Spirituality Centre at the Calver site.

Pioneering Ministry Course Launched

A brand new course is being launched in the autumn at Cliff. The Certificate in Pioneer Ministry ‘is going to be a dynamic and significant contribution to reflective practice on Pioneering and Fresh Expression, drawing together key practitioners for encouragement, discussion and learning.’

There are two variations on this one week course. It will concentrate on ‘the pioneer and mission’ in the Vocation and Mission week, and on ‘the pioneer and Church’ in the Church and Practice week. They can be studied either separately or together.

Revd Ian Bell, Pioneer Ministries Coordinator (VentureFX & Methodist Pioneering Pathways) said, “I think they will be a vital contribution to the formal learning available to pioneers”.

The first week (Vocation and Mission) will be 14th-18th November; details from the college website.

Partnering with HOPE

The college are delighted to announce a new partnership with HOPE ( as they seek to develop a new Short Course Certificate in Community Engagement for the coming academic year, details of which will shortly be launched on the college website.

Roy Crowne from HOPE commented, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Cliff College to develop the course on both word and deed mission coming off all that we have learnt since HOPE 08, where we have models of best practise that we will bring to this course.”

Ian White, Short Course Programme Leader at Cliff said, “Partnering with HOPE enables the college to further root its biblical and theological teaching into practical mission and ministry opportunities across the UK. We are pleased to be working along this significant organisation as we seek to develop new dynamic training in the area of community engagement.”


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Derbyshire Church Magazine

Current Issue: 200, Mid July 2018


From Derbyshire Church, Issue 174
Chris Blake (left) and Stephen Skuce
Chris Blake (left) and Stephen Skuce

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Cliff College Logo

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Hope Logo