The College of the Resurrection, Mirfield – a theological college like no other, so the website suggests. I am just about to start my second year of three at the college, and having started at Level 2, I will do the final year of the BA in the coming year – complicated I know! So far my time at college, and as an Ordinand, has been so many things it would be difficult to quantify in such a short piece of my musings. However, thanks to the kindness of those who follow me on social media I have a few questions as starting points!
Why did I choose Mirfield? When I was going through the discernment process Mirfield was not top of my ‘Colleges I want to look at’ list, Cuddesdon was. I was told that the best way to choose a college was to look at places based on where other priests I admire had trained, and that would give me an idea of where might be good for me, based on the person I saw myself becoming in ordained life. I knew a number of excellent priests who I admired and respected hugely who had trained at Cuddesdon, so it was top of my list. However, coming away from the open day, I felt like it was not the place for me to be for this season. Mirfield was the last college on my list to visit. Fortunately, as I pulled into the car park at the college a smile made its way across my face, and it did not leave again until I had told everybody about how amazing this odd little college in West Yorkshire was about 4 days later. Mirfield won me over because it felt right, I knew from the moment I arrived that it was the place for me, and that feeling has still not dissipated one bit!
What is it like being at a combined Theological College/Monastery? Living, working, praying and playing alongside a monastery is one of Mirfield’s main selling points. The monastic life is woven throughout our own in every aspect of life in college, culminating in a state of being that goes by the name ‘Common Life’. This common life is all about learning as a community of Christians how to think, how to live, how to be… Attempting always to put others before ourselves, as difficult as that can be! It is one of the best, and one of the worst things about living at Mirfield in many ways, but I have no doubts that it is one of the most important aspects of our formation as future ministers in God’s church.
At college we have both morning and evening prayer, and mass every day as a community, joining the brothers for evensong, compline and midday office are optional, although a number of students attend both regularly as part of their prayer life. The brothers of the Community of the Resurrection offer both informal moral support, and more formal Spiritual Direction to us as students. I see it as a real privilege to step on the conveyor belt of prayer that goes on at the Community, and very comforting knowing that I am prayed for every single day that I am a student at the college. Walking alongside the brothers for three years and being welcomed into their lives is very humbling indeed.
Mirfield, a college like no other… The best bit is, that the tag line is absolutely true. It has its odd quirks, and its issues no doubt, but most importantly it is a wonderful place to accept God’s love into your life and allow God to form you into what you are supposed to be, whatever that is. I love Mirfield, and I can’t wait to get back and do another year. If you have any more questions, then don’t hesitate to ask me on Twitter: @JordanMcD2. I hope you enjoyed just a tiny snippet into my world, or should I say our world.
Jordan McDermott CoR
The full blog is available to read on A Blaze of Light website.