The Cleaver Ordination Candidates Fund

In the Notes for the Guidance of Candidates issued by the current Trustees, the Fund is described as ‘founded within the Catholic tradition of Anglicanism, and successful candidates will have shown that their own understanding and practice of the faith is also within that tradition. It is an academic Trust which aims principally to help those who show promise of enriching the Church in the sphere of theological scholarship.’

SUPPORT FOR ORDINANDS is its primary purpose, and it seems odd to the Trustees and to their Clerk that more applications from ordinands are not received. Information is sent out regularly to the approved Colleges and Courses, but still many ordinands write to the Clerk or telephone him for information, showing that all the information provided to the Colleges and Courses does not get presented to the students in readily accessible ways. For example, only a small proportion of ordinands apply for a book grant in each of their years of training, which they are perfectly entitled to do and which the Trustees would welcome. With the current maximum book grant set (by the Ministry Division of the Archbishops’ Council) at £366 per annum, quite a sizeable opportunity is being missed! If this article has caught your eye – spread the word!

Mrs Friederica Frances Swinburne died on 14th April 1916. By the terms of her will The Cleaver Ordination Candidates’ Fund was established with the object of providing assistance to those desirous of taking Holy Orders in the Church of England. Under the will twelve Trustees were appointed, clerical and lay, including the then Principals of Liddon House in London and of Pusey House Oxford; the then Secretary of the (English) Church Union; a King’s Counsel; a Member of the House of Commons; the Duke of Newcastle, and a Cowley Father. The maximum number of Trustees at any one time is twelve. Those currently on the staff of a Theological College are disqualified from being, becoming or remaining a Trustee. The responsibility of finding and appointing new Trustees was to rest with The Viscount Halifax during his lifetime; thereafter the Trustees were to act themselves to fill vacancies in their number.

The Fund had not long been in existence when the disestablishment of the Welsh Church in 1920 removed the dioceses of St David’s, Llandaff, Bangor and St Asaph from ‘the Church of England’ and therefore from the scope of the Fund’s activities. However, since then a series of schemes (under the authority of the Minister/Secretary of State for Education) have clarified and widened the field of the Fund’s work. The present position is that Anglicans throughout the world have legitimate access to the Fund, and that monies at any time not needed for the support of ordinands may be used in the support of those already ordained, primarily to help them in formal study towards a post-graduate qualification, but also to enable them to take sabbatical periods of serious study leave. Support for ordinands is achieved nearly always by the provision of specifically requested books, for which money is deposited with the bookshop at Faith House; and this part of the Fund’s work always has priority. In addition, a Studentship has recently been established to send a student to Uppsala for a semester. It is intended for ordinands, both to introduce them to the Theological Faculty of the University of Uppsala and to give them a taste of the life of a non-Anglican established Church. The Studentship is advertised from time to time, but now that you have heard about it you don’t have to wait for an advertisement to appear! Let us know immediately of your interest.

The present Trustees are Mrs Daphne Brotherton (Chair); Charles Brown, Esq. (Treasurer); Miss Shirley Dex; The Reverend Mark Everitt; The Reverend Canon Brian Findlay; The Venerable Kenneth Gibbons; Dr B J T Hanson, CBE; The Reverend Fr Crispin Harrison CR; Mrs Margaret Laird; The Reverend R N S Leece; D G Llewelyn Morgan, Esq.; The Reverend Sir Derek Pattinson.

The Clerk works from home. The present Clerk is the Reverend Dr Peter Lynn, The Vicarage, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex BN86NP (01273 858 227) palproof@hotmail.com and he would delighted to hear from you, to answer questions about the Fund, even perhaps to arrange to visit a College or Course as a promotion exercise.

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