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New Staff Appointment: Director of Contextual Training

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of the Revd Jennifer Totney to be our new Director of Contextual Training with effect from September 2021.

An alumna of Westcott House, Jennifer was ordained in 2006. She is Team Vicar of the Vale of Pewsey Churches in the Diocese of Salisbury where she has served for nine years and, until 2019, was the LLM Training Officer for the diocese.

Born in Devon, Jennifer lived in the US, Singapore and the Netherlands as a child, returning to the UK to read English at Durham University, where she subsequently completed an MA on liturgy in the poetry of George Herbert. She worked as a volunteer coordinator before beginning her theological formation at Westcott House which included the University of Cambridge Theology Tripos. Jennifer served her curacy in the White Horse Team in the Diocese of Salisbury and has been involved in contextual theological education at parish, deanery and diocesan levels throughout her ministry including training LLMs and being a tutor at Sarum College.

Revd Jennifer Totney

Speaking on her appointment, Jennifer said: ‘I am excited to return to the place that provided such a valuable formation in ministry for me. I believe the open, exploring and prayerful ethos of Westcott is key in forming ministers to respond with resilience, creativity and wisdom to the changing context of church and society at this time. It is vital that students not only encounter a wide range of contexts in their training but most importantly develop the skills to reflect theologically on these. Contextual training enables students to make connections and integrate the full pattern of their training. I am looking forward to working with the community at Westcott, to build on the strong foundation of contextual training, ensuring it serves and enriches formation for ministry’.

The Principal of Westcott House, the Revd Dr Helen Dawes said: ‘We are delighted that Jennifer will be joining Westcott House this September. Enabling our students to understand and respond prayerfully and effectively to the different contexts they encounter is at the heart of our work. We know that the habits of reflective practice, discernment and prayer established at Westcott will be critical to all our students’ future flourishing in the ministries to which they have been called. Jennifer brings enormous enthusiasm for contextual training for ministry, coupled with depth of experience as a parish priest and in theological education. We are delighted Jennifer will be joining our community and look forward to working with her at Westcott House as we serve the church by resourcing its ministers’.

The appointment is subject to DBS clearance.