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Posted 8.2.18

Oystermouth Train a Priest Fund

Oystermouth Train a Priest Fund

Most of our readers are probably unaware that our Parish has a 'Train a Priest Fund' which has given financial help to those in training for the ministry for over twenty five years.

The Fund was set up to mark the 850th anniversary of the earliest recorded reference to the Parish of Oystermouth, when the Norman Lord of Gower, Maurice de Londres, granted the Parish of 'Ostremuwe' to the Benedictine Priory at Ewenny in 1141. A copy of the charter is on display in the Lady Chapel.

To mark the anniversary the parish, under the enthusiastic support of the then Vicar, Canon Geoffrey Thomas, launched an appeal to raise money to form a trust to help those in training for the priesthood. The Parish hoped to raise in excess of £30,000 and to use the interest from the fund to help ordinands each year, many of whom had given up well paid careers and relocated their families to Theological College.

The target was soon reached and the TAP Fund was formally set up by the Swansea and Brecon Diocesan Trust, with help from our own Judge Stuart Batcup and managed by a group of trustees [which include the Vicar, Churchwardens and an administrator]. Since its launch it's estimated that in excess of £60,000 has been paid out in grants over the last twenty five or so years. Though we have paid out more than double the amount originally raised, thanks to the good work of the Diocesan Trust, the actual value of the TAP Fund has also grown to £55,000 in 2017 - not a bad return on our original investment.

When it comes to giving grants priority is always given to those training for the stipendiary ministry and who have left their previous employment to live off a modest Church in Wales bursary during the two or three years of their studies. It can often mean real hardship for some of our ordinands and their families.

Those who study for non stipendiary ministry and who stay in paid employment have been given smaller grants towards books and travel to and from college.

During 2017 we paid out a total of £2,750 to our diocesan ordinands and others. We gave money to the ordinand who came to us in June on placement from Trinity College Bristol. We have bought a laptop computer for another; helped towards travel costs for a youth ministry course and gave grants to our five diocesan ordinands in training at the moment.

All this has been made possible because of those who supported the TAP Appeal so generously back in the early 1990s.

We can always top up the fund - so any donations would be gratefully received and used to help those from our Diocese who offer themselves for ordained ministry in the Church.


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