Training and development: IME2

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Information for Curates

Everything Curates need, including an overview of IME2 is provided via the Curates’ Handbook. All submission of work and assessments takes places via Moodle.

Curates in the Diocese of London will have a Moodle account created for them and details sent via email shortly after Petertide (or upon starting their role in the diocese). If you have not received any access details about your Moodle account yet and you are on the Diocese of London’s IME2 programme, please get in touch with your Area Director of IME2 as soon as possible.

This page serves primarily as a resource for current and potential Training Incumbents with all information, deadlines and templates required to do the role contained on this page. Information about IME2, how training takes place and the responsibilities of Curates and Training Incumbents can be found below.

Foreword from Director of Ministry

A huge thank you for taking on this extremely important and rewarding role in the diocese. Whether this is the first time you have acted as a training incumbent (TI) or you’re an old hand, you will know how seriously the London College of Bishops take this ministry and the care entrusted to you. The IME2 team are here to offer help, advice and support in this process, please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance.

Every blessing,

The Revd Canon Miles Baker
Diocesan Director of Ministry

Miles Baker

IME2 Training Incumbents' Handbook

Downloadable documents will be available at Petertide 2023!

Download the IME2 Training Incumbents’ Handbook

A downloadable copy of everything you can find below.

Other downloadable files and templates

All necessary files including assessments and templates for reviews.

Contact details

Area Directors IME2 (ADI)


The Revd Cara Lovell (ADM)



The Revd Andrew Williams

Two Cities and Stepney

The Revd Liz Clutterbuck (Stepney)


The Revd Canon Arani Sen (Two Cities)



The Revd Stu Plumb

Diocesan Ministry Team IME2 Contacts

The Revd Rachel Greaves-Brown
Diocesan IME2 Advisor


Levi Phillips
Creative Lead / Moodle


Stellah Mubayiwa
Ministry Administrator

The role of the context in training

Please read this handbook prior to the arrival of your curate. These guidelines are based on the guidance from the London Diocese’s College of Bishops and the national church.

Why your context has been selected to help train a curate:

  1. You are up to date with Common Fund payments
  2. You have a working Mission Action Plan (or equivalent)
  3. You are committed to the Diocese of London’s 2030 vision
  4. You are committed to children and youth ministry
  5. You promote lay and ordained ministry with a focus on whole-life discipleship
  6. You are encouraging diversity in ministry and leadership
  7. You demonstrate a high level of engagement with the diocese, area and deanery
  8. You can offer a wide range of ministerial opportunities.

What is expected of the context?

Curacy is a time of further training and formation. The curate will require space for supervision, mentoring and support. The parish/BMO/pioneer congregation and context share with the incumbent in the privilege of helping the curate during this time of formation.

You are asked to:

  • Offer a suitably wide range of ministerial opportunities
  • Enable the transition to ordained ministry and develop competence
  • Provide time for the curate to attend all aspects of their IME2 (remembering that planned group training sessions take priority)
  • Meet all ministerial expenses, including an annual retreat
  • Assist the curate with decorating their housing (if required)

The role of Training Incumbents (TI)

Your relationship with your curate is central to their training. The bishop is entrusting you with the training and support of their new curate. The TI supports, encourages, trains and assesses curates for their future ministry. This role is central to the ongoing mission and ministry of the church. The formation framework for curacy is based on a three-year period, beginning at Petertide.

Person Specification

When selecting TIs, your bishop will use these guidelines from the National Church Good Practice: [1]

A training incumbent:

  1. Has their own consistent pattern of personal prayer, study of scripture, theological reflection and reading, with a secure but not rigid faith and spirituality that can be shared with a colleague who will not necessarily have the same views or traditions.
  2. Evidences a mature degree of self-awareness and understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses in ministry, including integration of learning and personality styles through demonstrating good working relations with fellow clergy (including deanery and wider church), lay leaders, and local community leaders.
  3. Models good practice in personal well-being and their ministry, with good accountability and support structures (such as participation in a cell group, prayer triplet, spiritual direction).
  4. Models strategic, missional, reflective, theological thinking in parish leadership that takes people with them in implementing change.
  5. Has a commitment to and participation in their own life-long learning and continuing ministerial development, including Ministerial Development Review (MDR).
  6. Is a good listener and enabler, demonstrated through collaborative working in vision setting and evidences nurturing and supervising lay ministries in the parish through a passionate commitment to developing lay and ordained ministers of the gospel, and for the mission of Christ’s Church.
  7. Is experienced and settled in their parish/BMO/pioneer context and will be committed to staying in the context for at least the diaconal year of the curate, and expects to be there for the majority of the training period.
  8. Has a genuine willingness to train a curate, as distinct from merely wanting an assistant.
  9. Will devote time to regular training and supervision sessions with the curate, distinct from staff meetings and informal contact, enabling the curate to reflect on practice and theology and will develop a pattern of staff meetings, supervision meetings, prayer and worship which is mutually convenient for the TI and the curate.
  10. Will value a curate’s experience in terms of previous employment and responsibilities.
  11. Will give good opportunity to the curate to develop their teaching, training and equipping skills through the parish/BMO/pioneer context in the ministry of leading services, the celebration of the occasional offices, teaching, education for discipleship and evangelism.
  12. Is prepared for a curate to develop in ways different from themselves in regard to the style and deployment of special gifts of ministry emerging in their formation.
  13. Can work in a collegial rather than a hierarchical or dictatorial style, maintaining a healthy professional, spiritual and social relationship with the curate, sharing both the joys and sorrows of ministry while at the same time establishing and respecting clear boundaries.


[1] Ministry Division: Formation in Curacy: Guidance on Good Practice, (2019), 1. Formation in Curacy.pdf (

The curacy timeline

Yr Date Process With whom Where
0 May 1st draft of Role Description & Training Agreement TI & ordinand Area
June Statement of Particulars issued Area bishop’s office Area
June/July Final Interview Area bishop Ordinands’ Retreat
1 Petertide Ordination to the Diaconate Diocesan ordinands Diocesan
By 30 Sept Role Description & Training Agreement TI & curate. Submitted to Area Director IME2 (ADI) via Moodle Area
By 30 Sept Training Plan agreed TI & curate. Submitted to ADI via Moodle Area
Dec/Jan Six-Month Review ADI Area
By Palm Sun Pre-Priesting Report (Yr 1 report for Distinctive Deacons) TI & ADI Area
April Pre-Priesting Interview (Yr 1 interview Distinctive Deacons) Area bishop Area
  June Pre-Priesting Retreat Details supplied by Area Bishop’s Office Area
2 Petertide Ordination to the Priesthood Area Area
 July-Sept Review & Revise if required Role Description & Training Agreement. TI & curate. Submitted to ADI via Moodle Area
By 30 Sept Complete Training Plan review of year 1 & plan agreed areas of focus for year 2 Submitted to ADI via Moodle Area
Jan/Feb 18-Month Review ADI with TI & curate Area
3 July-Sept Review & Revise if required Role Description & Training Agreement TI & curate. Submitted to ADI via Moodle Area
By 30 Sept Complete Training Plan review of year 1 & plan agreed areas of focus for year 2 TI & Curate. Submitted to ADI via Moodle Area
Jan Free to apply for next post Curate with agreement of your bishop Area
By end Jan Complete Self-Assessment Curate Moodle
By end Feb Complete all outstanding reflections Curate Moodle
By Palm Sun Complete Review of year 3 Training Plan TI & Curate. Submitted to ADI via Moodle
By Palm Sun End of Curacy Assessment Report (with list of reflections completed / incomplete) TI & ADI sent to your bishop Area
Post-Easter Free to Leave TI, ADI & Bishop must agree
30 June End of Stipendiary Curacy

Group Programme Overview Years 1-3

“All in”: All curates, all years All Diocese in Year groups In Areas – Yr 1 only In Areas – Yr2 only In Areas – Yr3 only
Deacon’s Law Online (Yr 1)

Recognising Vocation in others: ordained & lay vocations. Online (Yr1)

Intro to Area team
Deacons’ Residential (Yr1)

Your next move (Yr3) CMD

Interfaith with Reflections on priesting

2023: MHFA

2024: Diocesan Vision

2025: PCC tonight

Line Management (Yr3) Way of Life Team Dynamics incl, prepare for chaplaincy info
Conflict Training (Yr3) Leading with Style Pastoral Listening skills/empathy training

2024: Intercultural church

2025: Inter-generational Talks.

2026: Project Management (CC)

LDF intro (Yr1)

School placement meeting (Yr2)

6-month review 18-month Review

Final Assessment


Anti-Racism Training (Yr1) Preaching Leading Well Funding the Mission

St Paul’s (yr1)

Charing meetings/APCMs (Yr3) CMD

Using your Buildings for Mission (Yr3)

Funerals, baptisms and weddings & pastoral care as a Deacon Organising for Ministry
Leavers Law- online (Yr3) Preparing for Priesting Healthy Rhythms


NB: There may be variance in Area timetables for when topics in each year are delivered.

What is expected from your curate: Qualities

Priest Christ Church World Self
Love for God

The curate…

Is reliant on God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and lives out an infectious, life-transforming faith Is rooted in Scripture, the worship of the Church and the living traditions of faith Whole-heartedly, generously and attractively engages with God’s world Is prayerful and studies the Bible
Call to ministry

The curate…

Responds to the call of Christ to be a disciple Understands the distinctive nature of ordained priestly ministry Is committed to being a public and representative person Articulates an inner sense of call grounded in priestly service

Love for people

The curate…

Welcomes Christ in others, listens, values and respects; cares for those in poverty and the marginalised Builds relationships which are collaborative and enabling Shows God’s compassion for the world Has empathy and is aware of how others receive them


The curate…

Is inquisitive, curious and open to new and lifelong learning Shows leadership that enables thriving and healthy churches, handles conflict, and can lead in mission Is robust and courageous and prepared to take risks Is a mature and integrated person of stability and integrity


The curate…

Embraces the different and enables others to be witnesses and servants Shows the capacity to exercise sacramental, liturgical and an effective and enabling teaching ministry Shares faith in Christ and can accompany others in their faith Has resilience and stamina


The curate has Potential to…

Grow in faith and be open to navigating the future in the company of Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit Manage change, and see the big picture See where God is working in the world and respond with missionary imagination

Is adaptable and agile



The curate…

Follows Christ in every part of their life Leads maturely which promotes safe and harmonious Christian communities Lives out their life as a representative of God’s people Has a high degree of self-awareness

Your curate’s IME2 Programme

IME2 aims to:

  • Nurture ministerial formation and develop professional integrity, building on the academic and formational work of IME1.
  • Provide opportunities for ministry, learning and reflection to equip the curate for ordained ministry.
  • Provide opportunities for peer support, encouragement and pastoral care.
  • Promote the Diocese 2030 Vision and satisfactory completion of curacy under the Church of England’s Formation Framework IME2 for Ordained Distinctive Diaconal and Priestly Ministry.

How does IME2 Training Take Place?

  1. Context: Most of the curate’s training is done in the parish/BMO/pioneer context with the TI supervising. They will also undertake three contextual placements in year 2.
  2. Group: There are regular sessions of Diocesan and Area IME2 training throughout the year. Group training is compulsory.
  3. Self-Led: To integrate the group and context learning, the curate will complete modules and submit reflections using Moodle (online learning platform).


Skills Training

A good model based on Peyton’s four-step approach for skills-based training is as follows:

Applying this model to training a curate in how to conduct a new liturgical or pastoral responsibility (where ‘I’=TI, ‘you’ = curate) A shortened model where occasional offices are infrequent.
1 I do / you watch 


I do / you watch and do something (like a bible reading or prayers at a funeral)
2 I do / you help


I do / you watch and help substantively (like attend the funeral visit and do a bible reading / lead prayers)

You do / I help


You do / I help and do something (curate may lead funeral visit and services – but TI might preach or lead prayers)
4 You do / I watch You do / I watch and then create space for reflection after [1]


This model allows the curate to:

  1. observe the trainer (TI/lay member) giving space for questions at an appropriate time.
  2. take on an element of the new liturgical/pastoral responsibility whilst the trainer is present and holding the rest of the liturgical/pastoral responsibility, giving space for questions at an appropriate time.
  3. as appropriate take on the new liturgical/pastoral responsibility whilst the trainer is present, making space for feedback at an appropriate time.
  4. Conduct the new liturgical/pastoral responsibility without the trainer present, but arranging time for discussing how the service/activity went in the next supervision session.



Good Supervision is foundational to a thriving curacy (and distinct from staff meetings and diary planning). Please use the Supervision Good Practice for a Supervisor document as a guide. It is inevitable that concerns will arise over a host of issues, large or small. TI and curate should agree to share and raise concerns as soon as they arise, rather than leaving them to grow into major problems. A conversation about how this communication is best received can be useful.

Supervision sessions should be fixed in the diary on a regular basis. A weekly session is recommended in your curate’s diaconate year (for curates who are part-time it may be fortnightly, or in some cases even monthly). The list of set supervision topics for discussion is found on the TI webpage for each year and relates to the curates’ group and self-led programme of training. There is flexibility in when set topics should be discussed and plenty of opportunities for supervision topics to be determined by TI and curate.

Giving Feedback

The effective giving of feedback and offering constructive criticism is important in any working relationship, but essential in a training relationship. If feedback is given badly, or not given at all, then the relationship will not be an effective context for learning. In addition, resentment and misunderstanding may develop preventing good communication and eroding trust. Please refer to the ‘Giving Feedback’ section found in the Supervision Good Practice for a Supervisor document.


The bishop expects that all curates in order to confirm their satisfactory completion of curacy will be committed to inhabiting the seven qualities outlined on page 6 and expanded on in Formation Framework IME2 for Ordained Distinctive Diaconal and Priestly Ministry. This Framework including further details of the components that make up the evidence for assessment and the documents to be completed are located on the TI webpage and listed below:

  • IME2 Annual Training Plan Yr1-3 – In addition to regular supervision sessions, there should be a plan made between TI and curate at the beginning of each year for any areas of training specific to the curates needs e.g. taking a funeral, which is then reviewed at the end of the year to feed into the training plan for the subsequent year. The Evidence of Qualities Assessment Checklist document is a useful tool in determining areas of training and experience for the year ahead.
  • Pre-Priesting Report – Your area bishops office will contact you to provide you with this report template for you to complete and return to them.
  • 6 Month Review – Your ADI will contact you around the six months mark in your curate’s first year to arrange a time to speak with you about your curate’s progress and how the curacy is going. They will arrange separately to speak with your curate. To aid you in your preparation for this conversation, a template of this document can be found on the TI webpage. Your ADI will compile the report.
  • 18 Month Review – Your ADI will contact you and your curate around the eighteen month mark in your curates second year to arrange a time to speak with you together about your curates progress and any training needs to focus on for their final year. To aid you in your preparation for this conversation, a template of this document can be found on the TI webpage. The Area IME2 Director will compile this report.
  • End of Curacy Assessment – You will be required to complete this report in January of the third year a template of this document can be found on the TI webpage.

[1] With thanks to one of our TIs, Revd Graham Hunter for this adapted model.


This programme of training takes precedence over parochial commitments. TIs should ensure that curates are able to attend. Working with other London curates, the curate will participate in a group programme of IME2 Diocesan and Area training. If the curate is a Self Supporting Minister (SSM) whose work prevents them from joining their area group, they can attend a more convenient group in another area, after discussion with their ADI.

The curate will need reflection time after a group session. Please make allowances for this. If the curate is unable to attend a session, they will contact their ADI/tutor and send apologies for diocesan training to: Curates should also inform their TI if they are unable to attend an IME2 group session.

Self-led: Moodle

Your curate will access information on training dates, deadlines, guidance and interaction with other curates, via the digital learning platform, Moodle. Their reflections should also be submitted on Moodle. TI’s will not have access to Moodle, but all relevant information relating to your role and to the curates’ programme of IME2 will be available to you on the TI webpage.

What to expect in each year

In year one, the focus is on the curate adjusting to…

  • Life as a deacon in the Diocese of London within the Church of England
  • Their context and building good relationships both within your parish/BMO/pioneer congregation and within the wider community
  • New relationships with clergy chapter and deanery colleagues
  • Developing a way of life, that will sustain them in ministry.

Highlights of the first year include…

  • Deacon’s Residential – 3 day residential in September with all London Diocese deacons and their IME2 Diocese and Area Team (a SSM/Caleb stream equivalent on two evenings and a Saturday)
  • Meeting key senior Diocesan staff at a London Diocese induction afternoon
  • Priesting Retreat – 3 days away in June with their Area diaconate cohort, followed by ordinations to the Priesthood hosted in episcopal areas.


In year two, as a newly ordained Priest the curate will…

  • Establish their Priestly Ministry
  • Start to explore their next ministry beyond curacy
  • Engage with three external placements
  • Continue in diocesan and area group sessions.
  • Continue developing their way of life pattern.

Highlights of year two include…

  • Chaplaincy placement
  • 4-day church school placement
  • A placement in a church of a different denomination or tradition, for up to 3 Sundays.


In year three the focus of the curate is on…

  • Gaining practical skills for their future ministry
  • Being supported to find their next role
  • Completing their curacy requirements.

Highlights of year three include…

  • CMD: Your Next Move training course
  • CMD: Chairing Meetings/APCMs training course.

Expectations of you as a TI

Prior to your curate’s ordination to the diaconate…

  1. Communicate to your church wardens, PCC, congregation and parish/BMO/pioneer congregation and community that the curate is in a training post and as such is not ‘an extra pair of hands’, rather significant time will need to be given to train, supervise and support the curate.
  2. Give priority to attending training and meetings provided for TIs.
  3. Arrange a parish/BMO/pioneer context visit.
  4. Make sure the curate’s accommodation is in good condition and ready for them to move in ideally one month before their ordination.
  5. Draft together their Role Description and Training Agreement before ordination.
  6. Communicate clearly and sensitively to your curate, any inevitable decisions over rotas/dates that have/need to be made prior to their ordination, that will impact their diary.
  7. Clear and timely arrangements, especially during the first year, must be made for the support of the curate when the TI is away from the parish for holidays and conferences.

Parish/BMO/pioneer context visit

Before the curacy begins, the ordinand should be invited to visit at least for a whole Sunday. The visit should include:

  • the opportunity to see the church at worship
  • informal meetings with lay people (who can answer questions about schools, medical and community facilities, etc)
  • an interview between the Incumbent and ordinand alone – neither the spouse of the curate nor that of the Incumbent should take part in the interview
  • It is also desirable that an opportunity should be provided for a private discussion between the ordinand and their predecessor if there is one in post
  • a visit to the curacy accommodation

If the ordinand is married, it is good if their spouse can accompany them for the parish visit and arrangements should be made for them to see as much as possible of the life of the church. Any expectations there may be of the role of spouses of clergy should be made clear during the parish visit.

Moving in

When the agreement has been made for the curacy to go ahead, arrangements need to be made for welcoming the curate and their family in the parish/BMO/pioneer context. Particular attention is to be given to the ordinand’s spouse and/or family during the ordination retreat (when they may feel especially vulnerable) and to social and welcoming arrangements on the ordination day itself.

Receiving a new deacon

Curates are likely to arrive feeling tired after a pressured time at the end of IME1 as well as being excited about the opportunities and challenges ahead. They may have faced demands of moving home and upheaval to family and support networks and for SSM the challenge of preparing to transition to additional ministerial requirements. The ordination service itself and the following reception into the new community along with celebrating with family and friends can be as emotionally overwhelming and exhausting. Space should be given following the ordination, recognising that a curate may not have seen their family/support network prior to their ordination or had any time to rest and/or unpack depending on when the curate was able to move into their accommodation.

In the first month with the curate…

  1. Remind your church wardens, PCC, congregation and parish/BMO/pioneer congregation and community that the curate is in a training post and as such is not ‘an extra pair of hands’, rather significant time will need to be given to train, supervise and support the curate.
  2. Discuss when your curate will take their holiday dates. It is expected that a curate who is newly ordained at Petertide will take a summer holiday.
  3. Complete with your curate their Role Description and Training Agreement, found on the TI webpage. Your curate will need to submit this via Moodle by 30th September.
  4. Complete with your curate their Annual Training Plan, found on the TI webpage. Your curate will need to submit this via Moodle by 30th September.
  5. Make sure your curate has all the policies, particularly safeguarding, GDPR and other relevant documents, including the context’s Mission Action Plan (or equivalent) and time is given to study them and for questions to be asked about them.
  6. Explain how the parish registers are kept and how other parish information is recorded.
  7. Make sure your curate is on the clergy chapter and deanery mailing list and is aware of the regular clergy chapter and deanery synod meeting dates/times and of any local ecumenical mailing lists/regular meetings.
  8. Make sure your curate meets with key people/staff in the congregation/local context, including the church wardens and any leaders in the wider community.
  9. Where there is a parish office, staffed by a PA or administrator, communicate clearly to the curate what their relationship to this person should be and any administrative support they can expect.
  10. Make sure your curate has a set of keys to the church building and explain what they are all for, including a tour of the context premises – cupboards, safe and other well-kept secrets! Including a Health & Safety briefing (first aid boxes, accident book) and a fire briefing for the premises (alarms, emergency exits, safe gathering place).
  11. Take your curate on a tour of the parish/BMO/pioneer context to familiarise the new curate with its geography, visiting residential, commercial, industrial and retail areas. Such a tour will offer the opportunity to raise and discuss important issues relating to the parish/BMO/pioneer context and enable the curate to complete the required reflection on their context. Discuss the purpose of ministry in your parish/BMO/pioneer context and how you see your role in relation to the congregation and community.
  12. Visits to any local community institutions in the context should also be arranged (this may be particularly useful in the case of schools before the summer break).

Throughout the curacy…

  • Pray regularly with your curate
  • Ensure the well-being of your curate, establishing and respecting clear boundaries and be flexible in accommodating any specific needs of your curate
  • Hold regular supervision sessions with your curate
  • Exercise appropriate vulnerability: a non-defensive and non-anxious presence, secure in your giftings and ministry to seek to encourage and enable the giftings of your curate
  • Ensure your curate gives priority to attendance at their IME2 group training and completes their IME2 self-led reflections.
  • Complete all reports required by the diocese
  • Give priority to attending training and meetings provided for training incumbents

In the first year with the Curate

  • Participate in your curate’s 6-month review by undertaking an interview with the ADI.

In the second year with the Curate

  • Complete the annual review with your curate and amend as required their Role Description and Training Agreement.
  • Complete with your curate their Annual Training Plan.
  • Participate in your curate’s 18-month review with a shared conversation between you, your curate and the ADI.

In the third year with the Curate

  • Complete the annual review with your curate and amend as required their Role Description and Training Agreement.
  • Complete with your curate their Annual Training Plan.

Complete the Final Curacy Assessment report.


What should I do if my relationship with my curate breaks down?

Honesty in a working relationship is vital and must be developed over time. If your relationship with your curate becomes strained or you have a concern, it is important to speak with them first. Your ADI will be happy to assist you further if required.  If serious issues or difficulties persist, then the following process typically takes place:

  1. Contact your ADI and/or Area Director of Ministry (ADM).
  2. They will meet with you and your curate separately or together as required.
  3. If things cannot be resolved following this meeting, your ADI and ADM will speak to your bishop to determine next steps.

Can I leave my post while I am training a curate?

TIs commit to staying in the parish/BMO/pioneer context for at least the first year of a curacy, and it is to be hoped, for most of it. TIs are not normally permitted study/sabbatical leave during the first two years of receiving a curate in training.

If, due to unforeseen circumstances, you are absent for any prolonged period of time or leave your post please inform your ADI, who will arrange continuing supervision of your curate in your absence. Responsibility for the church and the congregation rests with the Church Wardens and Area Dean during a vacancy, not with the curate.

The curates IME2 training remains a priority and they should not be given duties that get in the way of attending IME2 Group training or completing reflections.

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