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Autumn 2008

NEWS from Why Ridley Matters

Archbishop’s Aide Appointed as Next Principal at Ridley Hall As you are probably aware, in early June the Revd Canon Andrew R. Norman was appointed by the Ridley Council to be the thirteenth Principal of the College in succession to the Rt. Revd. Christopher Cocksworth, now Bishop of Coventry.

I have often been told that one of the prime requirements of a Vicarin-training is a sense of humour. Jeremy Begbie

During the autumn Canon Norman will be completing the work he has been doing since 2005 as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Principal Secretary for International, Ecumenical and Anglican Communion Affairs. He had been on the Archbishop’s staff for three years when he took on this new role. Andrew is preparing himself by starting to On a two-week visit to China, which included engage with the life of the College engagements at four theological colleges and the wider context of ministerial formation, but will take up the full reins of office at the beginning of the New Year. Meanwhile, Michael B. Thompson is Ridley’s Acting Principal. Andrew was ordained in the Diocese in Europe and began his ministry as Assistant Chaplain at St. Michael’s Church in Paris, following which he moved to Bristol to be on the staff of Christ Church, Clifton. Prior to ordination he was employed by De La Rue, one of the world’s leading suppliers of banknotes and other security products. Andrew holds degrees in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and Theology from Cambridge University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and an MPhil in Missiology from Birmingham University which he completed last year. He also holds a Certificate of Theology and Ministry from his time as a student at Ridley Hall and Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia, USA. During his undergraduate years at Oxford, he was on the executive of the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union (OICCU). The new Principal was heavily involved in the recent Lambeth Conference of bishops, serving on the Design Group. He has also been a member of the Covenant Design Group, and the Windsor Continuation Group. He has wide knowledge and experience of the Anglican Communion, and brings with him a rich understanding of the global church. Andrew Norman has been an Honorary Provincial Canon of Canterbury Cathedral since 2006. Andrew’s wife, Amanda, is a Reader in the Church of England and at present works as Director of Supporter Relations for the Methodist Relief and Development Fund. The Normans will be moving to Cambridge toward the end of the year with their two daughters, aged 6 and 8. Canon Norman comments, “As a former ordinand at Ridley Hall, I count it a great privilege to be returning as Principal. Ridley is evidently in good heart and I look forward to joining others in shaping its future development.” n

Many times in my 23 years at Ridley, I’ve been convinced we take ourselves too seriously. Some of you will remember the Principal who, when he felt the place had lost its sense of perspective, used to call in the Archdeacon and plan some College practical joke. It was a wise tactic, a healthy reminder that the Kingdom of God does not actually depend on this small community on the edge of Cambridge, the quality of its staff, the zeal of its ordinands, the success of its appeals. (cont’d inside)

Also in this issue: THANKFUL FOR 23 YEARS “Jeremy has helped all of us to raise our game” writes long-term colleague Richard Higginson

THINKING AHEAD Have you considered revisiting your will?

MILE-HIGH MISSION Student Jane Yeadon reports on the mission to Denver City

2009 MOULE LECTURE Jürgen Moltmann to deliver next year’s Moule Memorial Lecture

All the same, I have seen exceptional things emerge at Ridley over the last two or three decades that fill me with gratitude for having been here, things I believe really matter for the future of the Church in this country.

Thankful for 23 years

In a Church culture that is increasingly prone to cliques of the like-minded, Ridley matters because it believes that the Gospel is not first of all a message about an ecclesiastical party, but about God for the world – an urgent, irrepressible message centred on a crucified Messiah who has broken down the walls that divide us and Richard Higginson made it possible for us to live with the stranger, embrace the unlovely and unlovable. Over and over again I have seen this barrier-crossing love in action – in worship and prayer, in Federation lectures, in generosity to the needy and care for the sick.

It is difficult to imagine Ridley without Jeremy Begbie.

In an evangelical culture that sadly often sidelines vast areas of the Gospel (the goodness of the material world, the humanity of Jesus, the Church), Ridley matters because it refuses to rely on half-understood, half-remembered slogans from the past, but struggles to be true to the Bible’s breathtaking, creation-wide vision of the purposes of God in Christ, which are always broader, longer, higher and deeper than we can ever imagine. In a worship culture where many would have us believe we need to be either charismatic or liturgical, sacramental or homiletical, talkative or contemplative, HTB or BCP, Ridley matters because it tries to model a kind of worship that makes it obvious that most of our ‘either/ors’ have been invented by us, not the God of the Bible. In an academic culture that is increasingly squeezing out Christian theology in favour of pale and politically correct versions of Liberal Protestantism, Ridley matters because it offers at its heart a thorough immersion in Scripture and the Church’s trinitarian tradition, believing this brings the most thrilling intellectual engagement one can ever know in this life. No; of course Ridley is not the only place where these things are happening. But it is one such place, not least through the ministry of a remarkable series of Principals, heading up an equally remark“Ridley matters because it able series of staff teams. I doubt believes that the Gospel is an if I will ever find anywhere else urgent, irrepressible message the level of grace and kindness I centred on a crucified Messiah have had from my colleagues at who has broken down the walls Ridley. I will also greatly miss that divide us” the support staff, whose mixture of hard work and humour keeps the place buoyant in ways we all too easily take for granted. But perhaps above all I will be grateful for what I have learned from some 400 students I have seen pass through the red-brick archway on Ridley Hall Road: they are Ridley’s ‘letter of recommendation’ (2 Cor. 3:2), they are my inspiration, they have shown me why Ridley matters and – not least – why and when we need to laugh at ourselves. Deo gracias. Jeremy Begbie

For the last 23 years he has been a lynch-pin of the institution. His brisk, purposeful walk around the courtyard is a familiar, reassuring and endearing sight. His eloquence, wit and intellect have lit up lecture room, chapel and staff meetings unforgettably. Jeremy will be remembered as a superb teacher of doctrine. Many former students will testify that his lecture series, formerly Christian Theology B and now Biblical Theology, was the highlight of their Ridley course. He opens up the riches of Christian theology in an imaginative and insightful way that has launched many a productive teaching ministry. His teaching is theologically orthodox, but never dry; fluent, but not verbose; well illustrated, without being gimmicky; engaging, but always from a base of substantial input. His preaching is equally memorable. Jeremy is the master of the telling phrase, the dramatic pause, the clever dénouement. In addition, Jeremy is a very talented musician, whether composing, playing the piano or conducting. And it is his engagement with the arts, especially music, which has given his theology its original twist. He believes, passionately and persuasively, that music can deepen our understanding of God and God’s ways in the world. This is reflected in the impressive array of books that have streamed from his pen: Music in God’s Purposes, Voicing Creation’s Praise, Theology, Music and Time, and, most recently, Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music. Hence Jeremy’s world-wide popularity as a combiner of spoken and musical performance – all with the glory of God as his aim. We knew we couldn’t keep Jeremy for ever. Since 2000 Ridley has shared him with St Andrews University. His appointment to a professorial post at Duke Divinity School, USA has now prised him from our grasp. We can only be thankful that Jeremy graced this place for so long. By aspiring to and attaining such a standard of excellence he has helped all of us to raise our game – and been a caring, amusing and stimulating colleague along the way. Richard Higginson

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Mile-High Mission The plethora of tattoos and piercings displayed by the predominantly twenty-something congregation is the first clue that “Scum of the Earth” in Denver is not your average church. Inspired by 1 Corinthians 4:11-13, this church works with society’s marginalised from punks and skaters to the homeless – a self-styled home for the “left out and right brained”. Pioneer minister and Practical outreach – the bike-workshop at tutor Dave Male took Scum of the Earth five Ridleans to experience mission “Scum style” for a week in September. They also experienced two other unusual Denver ministries, “Where Grace Abounds” (whose tagline “100% Truth, 100% Grace” demonstrates their Christ-centred approach to sexual addiction) and “Urban Skye” (a “spiritually-curious” arts community). The team also met church planters, local pastors and Christian authors.


“Have you considered re-visiting your will?” We moved back to England from the USA last year. A couple of weeks after closing on our house just outside Cambridge our solicitor wrote asking us this pertinent question in light of all the changes taking place in our lives. Doing so is rising up our To Do list, and when we do so we will be making a bequest to Ridley Hall. We want to do this because we believe passionately that a healthy church needs the very best training possible for each new generation of Christian leaders. It is a real thrill being able to give to God’s work, especially making provision for ministry to continue long after we, as the Salvation Army put it, are promoted to glory. Not only are gifts made when we end this life among the largest most of us will ever make, but as corny as it sounds they keep on giving. We all know how important it is to keep our wills up to date for the good of our spouses, children and grandchildren. When you next do so would you consider creating an enduring legacy by making a bequest to Ridley Hall? Richard Kew Development Director

Each student returned inspired and energised for their continuing studies and future ministries. Mission in the ‘Mile High City’ has left us all with mile-high aspirations. Church of England, watch out! Jane Yeadon, Student

The Cast of The Kingdom Ridley Hall’s 2009 Lent Book Preorder on the Ridley website now

Find out more....

Jürgen Moltmann to deliver next Moule Lecture

For further details on some of what Ridley has to offer, return the form below to:

We are delighted to announce that Professor Jürgen Moltmann has agreed to deliver the next annual C. F. D. Moule Memorial Lecture.

The Development Office, Ridley Hall, Cambridge CB3 9HG (or use the enclosed envelope)

q q

I/We wish to send a gift for the support of Ridley’s ministry

Before his retirement, Moltmann was Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen, as well as distinguished visiting professor at Candler School of Theology, Atlanta, Georgia. His best known work is his Theology of Hope. The Moule Memorial Lecture will be held on June 10, 2009 and will coincide with the annual alumni/ae gathering of the College.

Please find enclosed a cheque (payable to ‘Ridley Hall’) for £ ____________


I/We qualify for Gift Aid – please Gift Aid this donation

Signed: _______________________ Date: ________________________

Please send me further information on the following:

q q q q

The Simeon Centre for Prayer and the Spiritual Life April 2009 ‘Resource & Refresh’ course for Readers and Licensed Lay Ministers Ordained Pioneer Ministry training at Ridley Hall Training for youth ministry at the Centre for Youth Ministry

Name: _____________________

___________________________ Address: ___________________

___________________________ ___________________________

The first annual ‘Moule Day’ (as it has become known) last June welcomed a large crowd to a marquee on the lawn in the Courtyard, the day climaxing with the first annual Moule Memorial Lecture, delivered by the Rt Revd Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham. n

A conference to explore new and old paths of prayer in our journey with Christ THE SIMEON CENTRE FOR PRAYER AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFE

For more information contact Rosemary Kew on or 01223 741080

___________________________ Your Email address (to receive regular emailings with news updates from Ridley):


Restoring Prayer

Telephone: _________________

September 3-6, 2009


News from Ridley - Autumn 2008  

Latest news and events from Ridley Hall, Cambridge

News from Ridley - Autumn 2008  

Latest news and events from Ridley Hall, Cambridge