Press Release – January 2022
Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology
‘Sustainable Future Plan’
In view of the important role that MBIT currently plays, and can play, in carrying out its core mission, the Institute’s Board of Trustees together with the Council at their meeting on 30 November 2021 unanimously agreed to open up to supporters, and potential supporters, their ambition to develop the MBIT Sustainable Future Plan.
The Institute’s core mission is to resource Catholic women theologically and provide intellectual and spiritual enrichment to all those within and outside the Catholic tradition. The Institute carries out this mission through three strands: teaching, pastoral outreach and research. In recent years, the Institute has increased the number of flexible courses, study days, workshops, seminars, conferences and retreats to promote the study of theology, ethics, philosophy, pastoral practice, spirituality and theological reflection. It has increased the practical-pastoral support to teachers, hospital and prison chaplains and volunteers. It is currently developing pastoral supervision to parishes both at local and national levels. The Institute provides an intellectual home to over thirty non-stipendiary research associates and fellows. It receives grants for research and outreach projects. In December 2021, the Institute launched its Centre for Ecclesial Ethics.
The educational offer, pastoral outreach and research work have increased substantially. For example, the number of MA students has increased by approximately 250% in the past five years, while the number of staff employed has only increased by 0.5 post (since 2008). But in spite of this, the income from teaching, research and student accommodation does not cover the Institute’s costs.
The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing institutions such as MBIT to rethink their operational models. The Institute is committed to use this challenge as an opportunity. It has already adapted well to the blended model of delivering its portfolio. While in-person activities and physical space are crucial to fostering community spirit, the size of the current site and the cost of its maintenance are no longer affordable and in the long run might prevent the Institute from delivering its mission.
In order to continue providing a high-quality theological education and ethical resourcing for individuals and groups, the Institute aims to strengthen its operation with a sustainable business model supporting the Institute’s charitable objectives. The options under consideration include the review of the use of the site at Grange Road. New partnerships, re-location, partial or whole lease or sale are currently being explored to ensure that the site’s potential is best used to further MBIT’s ambition through its core mission. We also encourage new donors to join our current supporters so that MBIT can extend its reach and impact .Therefore, in the spirit of Catholic Social Teaching and aligned with Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’, we are inviting anyone who cares about the Institute’s mission and has offers and suggestions on how to secure its sustainable future, including donors or potential donors, to get in touch with us by emailing our Senior Administrator, Margaret Sallis (email@example.com) by 10 February 2022.
It seems very fitting to undertake this serious and potentially radical project as we prepare for the celebration of the Institute’s 30 Anniversary in 2023.
MBIT’s 30th Anniversary Hopes and Aspirations
- A leader in Ecclesial Ethics/Pastoral Supervision — through MBIT’s Centre for Ecclesial Ethics, developing expertise, fostering research, offering training and consultancy
- Strong profile in practical theology
- A centre of excellence for postgraduate (MA in Contemporary Ethics, Spirituality, Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy and Contemporary Faith and Belief) and research (MPhil/PhD, ProfDoc) teaching
- Firm presence on the international map of women/lay-led Catholic educational leadership
- A vibrant research community
- A hub for parish education
- A hub for CPDs, spiritual formation and a place of prayer
- A vibrant place for exchange with art, culture and social justice initiatives
- An attractive place for sabbaticals and research study leave
- A provider of theological resourcing for organisations
Dr Claire H G Daunton
Chair of the Trustees
20 January 2022