10 December 2014 was a very special day for the St Chads Volunteer Programme. A gap year scheme, it operates between Lichfield and our link dioceses of West Malaysia, Matlosane (South Africa), Qu'Appelle (Canada) and Mecklenberg (Germany) giving young people up to the age of 35 a chance to live, work and experience life in another church and culture.
At a special Evensong in Lichfield Cathedral, three volunteers were blessed and commissioned by the Dean, Very Revd Adrian Dorber.
Coordinator of the programme and Lichfield Diocese's Director of World Mission, Revd Philip Swan said:
"This is probably the first time that we have been able to mark the three stages in the life of a St Chads Volunteer in the same service; Miriam Samuel, newly arrived from West Malaysia was welcomed for her placement at Aldridge Parish Church; Wai Theng was thanked for her year at Shrewsbury Abbey and finally Millie Swan was commissioned as she prepares to leave for Qu'Appelle Diocese. We are very keen to find more people in the 18-35 age range to take part in this transformational 'Gap Year' programme."
We caught up with them just before the service and asked them about their experience and expectations:
More information about the programme can be found here.