Stepney Intern Scheme

Aged 18-30 and wondering about God’s plan for your life?

Up for living, serving and worshipping in East London for a year?

The Internship Programme

We are seeking four interns to start with us in September 2024.

You can watch some short videos of some of our interns and clergy about the intern scheme:

Stepney Area non residential Intern Scheme


The Stepney Area is part of the Diocese of London, which supports the Scheme.  It comprises the three city boroughs of Hackney Islington and Tower hamlets. It is diverse, vibrant and multi-cultural, with rich and poor living side-by-side.  It includes some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country, some of the most vibrant creative industries in Europe, and the business district of Canary Wharf.  There are many popular destinations and a number of street markets.  This challenging and changing urban mix makes Stepney an exciting place to explore what it means to be the church for the 21st century.

Who are we looking for as interns?
We are looking for energetic, enthusiastic individuals with a living faith in Jesus, and a desire to serve his church. It’s best if you are are flexible, able to take initiative, want to grow in your faith, work with others and keen to explore God’s call on your life in an urban inner-city context, among people from diverse backgrounds and a range of church traditions. We want folk who are seeking to serve God among some of London’s most vulnerable people.

This scheme will suit those who wish to explore vocation and ministry in the Anglican church. they will have commit to serve a local church, on either a full time or a part time basis.

It has been brilliant becoming part of St Luke’s. 

I’ve got involved in preaching and teaching, youth and children’s work, and other outreach into the local community. It has been most exciting getting to know and love the congregation, and to understand a little more about the church and what it’s called to do and be in that particular setting.

Hannah (Stepney Intern)

What do I do next if I am interested?
If you are interested, please visit the Diocesan intern web page here.

Vision for the Stepney Intern programme (MES)

The Stepney Intern Program is aligned with the national Ministry Experience Scheme (MES) but operating on a locally appointed model whereby interns are directly appointed by a placement church or chaplaincy*. The programme then offers five component parts to the Intern year (September – July) alongside the placement in a church or chaplaincy.*

*Church or chaplaincy placement

This will be the main arena of learning and exposure to mission and ministry. It needs to (with the programme elements) equate to at least a half time internship. Our experience suggests that full time interns get the most out of the year. If the intern is full time the placement would need to provide/find accommodation and to pay the volunteer intern an allowance on top of any accommodation costs, (we can advise on this.) Where an intern wishes to work part time to supplement their income, the placement should still make a financial gift to recognise the time they give to the placement. Where interns are spending 50% of the week committed to the placement and the programme then we can offset some of the costs to the placement provider as we are aligned to MES.

The Stepney Intern Programme offers:

  1. Monday morning spiritual and practical formation sessions as a whole group of London interns

  2. Tuesday evening theology sessions (either with St Mellitus College or another provider)

  3. An annual residential retreat

  4. Engagement with a number of London Diocese leadership events

  5. Reflective supervision with an ordained clergy leader, and an additional mentor for each intern

  6. The opportunity to engage with the vocation discernment process in the diocese , and if appropriate to help them explore the possibility of ordination.

The programme is designed to help (most often) young people find God’s is call and purpose for their life. It is particularly suit to those exploring ordained ministry in the church but is equally valuable to those who want to take a year out with God in a local church or chaplaincy to consider their future.

A key part of the programme will be the benefit and learning that comes from being in a cohort with other interns travelling together through a key year of learning and development.

The financial bit:

  • No Intern should end the program year worse off financially than they began it.
  • Placement leaders with the intern are to ensure interns have appropriate accommodation and living allowance whether full time or part time.
  • All expenses are to be met by the church including travel to the programme.

The programme expects placements to give their intern:

  • Exposure – to a wide range of ministry
  • Experience – taking responsibility within the life of the church or chaplaincy.
  • The chance to excel – by taking a lead in an area of work and ministry for which they are gifted
  • Ongoing reflective supervision sessions with the placement leader

Placements and interns on signing up are asked to commit 100% to the programme.

Throughout this document when we use the term ‘intern’ we are usually referring to a volunteer – these opportunities are not usually salaried or paid technically interns are participants in MES programmes.

This locally appointed programme does allow flexibility in the hours and methods of remuneration.

2024-25 plan for the Stepney Intern Programme (MES)

This is a Stepney Area run programme, please read the vision document. It is an intern programme for those churches and chaplaincies who locally appoint (in conjunction with the programme) an intern who whom they wish to benefit from the 5 key elements of this programme.

Participants and placements must both commit to all five elements of the scheme and will be asked to sign an agreement to the same end. The scheme runs from September – July and will begin this year on Sunday 10th September.

The Programme involves intern and placement church/chaplaincy being committed to:

1.    Formation

Monday mornings spiritual and practical formation sessions as a whole group of London interns.

2.    Theology Tuesday evenings theology sessions (either St Mellitus or another provider) 
3.    Retreat An annual residential retreat 
4.    Engagement

Engagement with a number of London Diocese leadership events

Engagement with the vocation discernment process in the diocese , and if appropriate to help them explore the possibility of ordination

5.    Supervision

Reflective supervision with an ordained clergy leader, and an additional mentor for each intern

 The placement church or chaplaincy is responsible for

  • Ensuring the intern has a DBS check before starting and participates in diocesan safeguarding training.
  • Ensuring accommodation is in place and appropriate.
  • Ensuring full time Interns get at least £400 allowance as volunteer intern.
  • Ensuring part time interns are clear whether this is the primary focus of their week or not*


  • Cost to intern – 100% commitment to the placement and the programme
  • Cost to placement – to be confirmed but costs for 2023-24 were £1400 to the program for the direct costs of the theology track and the retreat*
  • *Full time interns and half time interns where the internship is the primary focus of their week – may result in the placement cost being reduced to £110 as the programme may be eligible for a national MES grant.

Key Dates
Welcome session for interns and placement supervisors:

  • Formation term dates: TBC
  • Theology term dates: TBC
  • Area Events: TBC
  • Retreat: TBC