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/ 15 March 2013

St Mellitus College expands to the North West

Leading UK theological college, St Mellitus, has announced that the Revd Dr Jill Duff is to be the first Director of St Mellitus NW.

St Mellitus NW is the dynamic new partnership that will see the London based college partnering with the dioceses of Blackburn, Carlisle, Chester, Liverpool and Manchester in the North West.

This will be the first time that full-time ordination training is available in the North West in 44 years, since St Aidan’s College Birkenhead was closed in 1969.

St Mellitus NW, The St Aidan’s Centre, will be based at Liverpool Cathedral and will offer innovative training for missional leaders and full time ordination training from September 2013. The new leader of St Mellitus NW, the Revd Dr Jill Duff, has worked in parish, pioneer and training roles in Liverpool. Prior to ordination, she was a research scientist and manager in the oil industry.

The Revd Dr Jill Duff, the newly appointed director of St Mellitus NW, said:

"The tide is turning in our nation and there is a new openness towards God’s good news. My vision is to see missional leaders from all denominations and backgrounds sent out by St Mellitus NW to lead and plant churches which help transform communities and society."

From its base in Liverpool, St Mellitus NW will offer a mix of quality teaching delivered by local teachers, London staff, and North West-based practitioners.

For those training for Church of England ordination, half the learning will be on the job with a carefully chosen mentor.

The college will also welcome independent students from all Christian backgrounds who want to go deeper in their theology with a missional edge.

The Right Revd Robert Atwell, Bishop of Stockport and Chair of St Mellitus NW said:

"Jill Duff brings to this post huge experience as a research scientist and manager in the oil industry, combined with insights from pioneer ministry. These equip her uniquely for this exciting new role. There is so much potential here in the North-west and I look forward to working with her."

The Right Revd Richard Blackburn, Bishop of Warrington and Vice-Chair of St Mellitus NW commented:

"I am delighted that Jill has been appointed as Director. Jill’s skills, knowledge and will enable St Mellitus NW to become an excellent and much need centre for full time training in the North West."

Dean of Liverpool, the Very Revd Dr Pete Wilcox said:

"Jill’s appointment brings St Mellitus NW one step closer. The cathedral looks forward to working closely with Jill and her colleagues as we prepare to host the first group of full time ordinands in September."

The Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, Dean of St Mellitus added:

"St Mellitus North West is a very exciting development both for the College and we hope for the Church in the North West of England. Jill is the ideal person to head up this new venture and we are delighted that she is joining our staff to help this vision become a reality. We are looking forward very much to working in partnership with the Dioceses of the North West to enable this new route for missional leadership to emerge."

St Mellitus College, which was named after the first Bishop of London, was jointly founded by the Dioceses of Chelmsford and London in 2007 and now serves 110 ordinands and around 400 other students.

In November, St Mellitus opened its new London campus at St Jude’s Courtfield Gardens, allowing it to meet a rapidly rising number of applicants.

The success of St Mellitus reflects the trend of growing churches across London and the South East. For example, church membership in the Diocese of London has increased almost 13,500, up from 60,600 to 74,100, between 2003 and 2010.

For further information about St Mellitus College, please visit: www.stmellitus.org.

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The diocesan communications team provides support to the network of clergy, churches, parishes and other worshipping communities that comprises the Diocese of London, as well as to the staff teams of the London Diocesan Fund.

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