The Ministry Experience Scheme

Aged 18-30? Spend a year serving God in the Ministry Experience Scheme, including children, young people and families ministry opportunities

If you are 18-30 and want to discern more clearly the calling God has for you, then an MES year will give you the opportunity to discover your unique gifts and skills through Christian ministry and leadership experience. From this September, there are two distinct streams.

Stream 1 runs for a year and provides a broad ministry experience - you can discover that you like and what you are good at. Every person’s year will look different but will be formed around practical experience, such as kids and youth work; chaplaincy; social justice ministry; preaching; digital media; pastoral visiting or event organisation. 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.

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 the webform on these pages to make an enquiry to any scheme.

The new Stream 2 will specifically provide children, young people and families (CYPF) ministry opportunities, for those who are passionate about serving under 18s. Everyone on this stream will be able to access Aurora Training programme. Placements are more limited for this newer stream - please contact [email protected] directly if you are interested.

All placements are free with expenses and accommodation included.

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.


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.

Below you can listen to Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York presenting a short video message, to MES participants at the online National Gathering event in January 2022, about how important MES is to the wider vision of the Church of England. You can read more about the 10-year vision here.

How do I get involved?

The Ministry Experience Scheme is locally-led and every diocese will have their own distinctive flavour. You can enquire about any scheme that interests you using the form below, feel free to contact a few schemes if you so wish. Visit our scheme map page to find out more about each scheme. If you would require a visa to be part of a year out in the UK (or Europe), then please state this in your enquiry and select "None chosen" for the diocese. You will then receive information about which schemes may be still be able to accommodate you (not all can).

You can use this webform to make enquiries with several schemes if you so wish but please avoid simply contacting all schemes listed.

Your data will be held by the Archbishops' Council. Before sharing your data with any diocese your consent will be sought. Data will not be shared with third parties.

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How did you hear about the Ministry Experience Scheme?

"The Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord."

Jeremiah 1: 7-8

A person's sense that a specific role or course of action is being asked of them.


A general term for the work of the church in worship, mission and pastoral care.


A clergy person responsible for a parish and the cure of souls there.


Study exploring the meaning of God's word

Pastoral care

Supporting people in their different needs and circumstances


A person's sense that a specific role or course of action is being asked of them.