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New model for learning, training and development for discipleship and ministry unveiled in Cumbria

The Diocese of Carlisle has unveiled a new framework to secure long-term learning, training and discipleship development in Cumbria.

Cumbria Christian Learning (CCL) is a new charitable company formed by the diocese – the Church of England in Cumbria – and which succeeds the Lancashire and Cumbria Theological Partnership (LCTP).

The new organisation draws together and reimagines the learning and training opportunities which were available through LCTP and the diocese’s in-house Ministry and Training Department and Vocations Development and Ordination.

It has been created in order to support the ecumenical God for All strategy which looks to offer everyone in Cumbria the opportunity to explore more of God and God’s purpose for their lives.

Within that context mission communities are currently being created across the county, which will offer renewed growth in missional discipleship for all and which will be directly supported by CCL.

The Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Rev’d Robert Freeman, who has chaired the CCL working group, said: “Cumbria Christian Learning marks an important and exciting milestone for us as we look to support the God for All strategy in every way we can.

“As a diocese we have recently completed a series of ten county-wide God for All roadshows at which many questions have been asked about future provision of learning and training opportunities to enable us all to live out our missional potential.

“CCL provides a robust and sustainable new model for this. It represents flexibility too. Different people will be able to access different modules in order that they can reach their full potential and live out their live through and in Christ.”

The CCL model will see learning and training opportunities delivered locally in the county, and where possible these will be offered and delivered ecumenically. There will be Methodist and United Reformed Church representation on the CCL Council.

A ‘honeycomb’ structure of available learning modules will allow significant overlap and will be the foundation for the development of a wide variety of validated an non-validated programmes, pathways, courses and modules for the provision of Christian learning for discipleship, mission and evangelism, as well as ministerial education, formation and ongoing support for clergy, lay ministers, ordinands and candidates for lay ministries.

Meanwhile the position of Director of Cumbria Christian Learning has just been advertised, with an appointment looking to be made by the start of September.

Current proposals also allow for the equivalent of six other full time posts including support for administration and managing a Virtual Learning Environment.

The Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Rev’d Robert Freeman added: “CCL represents a new way of learning and training for all which is rooted in missional intent and evangelisation.

“As with all new structures there must be a time to allow new processes and procedures to bed in.

“However, there is a realisation and understanding that we must do things differently in order to look to grow disciples in the future. There will be fewer salaried clergy so we must provide as many opportunities as possible for the flourishing of lay and self-supporting ministry too.

“The work of CCL will directly support this missional intent and we would ask you to uphold its work and news of its formation in your prayers.”


Notes for editors

For more on the God for All strategy and further details about mission communities please visit


For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager on 07469 153658, 01228 815401 or at

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