The Bishops have established a multi-disciplinary implementation team led by the Rt Rev Philip North, together with the Rt Rev Beverley Mason and the Rt Rev Emma Ineson.
Bishop Philip said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to develop a new outstanding theological college in the North West to serve the Church in the region and beyond.”
The new independent college will offer part-time and full-time formational, vocational training for lay and ordained leaders of the Church and become the sole regional theological educational partner for the North West dioceses.
Bishop Emma noted: “The team recognise that change can be unsettling but we are committed to building on the strengths of three current providers, and the six dioceses they serve, so that the new college can be both an outstanding centre of excellence in theological education, and be better able to respond to the rapidly changing needs of the Church across the region.”
As part of responding to the needs of the region, the new college will seek to provide pathways for groups that have previously found it difficult to access training. The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker, explained “there are many people who are called by God, but who currently find it hard to access the training they need. My episcopal colleagues and I are determined that this new college will enable people from diverse backgrounds to pursue ministry in the Church of England.”