The Ministry Experience Scheme

Aged 18-30? Why not spend a year serving God in the Ministry Experience Scheme or Future Youth.

If you are aged 18 to 30 and want to discern more clearly the calling God has for you, then a Ministry Experience Scheme (MES) year will give you the opportunity to discover your unique gifts and skills through Christian ministry and leadership experience. 

For over 10 years, MES has provided a broad ministry experience for young adults - you can discover what you like and what you are good at. Each person’s year will look different but will be formed around practical experience, such as chaplaincy, social justice ministry, preaching and Sunday services, digital media, pastoral visiting, event organisation, evangelism and kids and youth work. As far as possible, a wide range of areas can be covered.

The year also includes theological study which can be tailored to you - it doesn't matter if you have no prior experience or already have a theology degree.

In 2023 the Future Youth (FY) strand of MES was launched. If you already know you are passionate about children's and/or youth work then this could be for you. Training is run nationally and is geared towards this important ministry area.

There are many schemes with different placements available across the UK and Europe. Please visit the scheme map page to see where you could go and what you could be doing; and you can use our webform on this page to make an enquiry to any scheme and find out more. Each scheme operates a little differently from each other and run their own application and interview procedures.

All MES and FY participants are able to attend the National MES Conference.

Both MES and FY is free to do with expenses and accommodation included.

Participants' stories

Read our participant's stories below of how the Ministry Experience Scheme helped them discern their vocation, and find stories, past and present, across the Church of England's social media channels by following #MESyear.

And if you would like to hear further stories from current MES participants, please sign up to the MES newsletter.


Explore further

A younger, more diverse church

"I hope and pray that you will be part of God's answer to this great challenge of trying to help the Church of England represent, and look like, and serve the great diversity of people in our nation; and to become a younger church."

Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York outlines how important MES is to the wider vision of the Church of England including to be a church that is younger and more diverse.