While stressful, conflict can also be used as a force for good that helps to create constructive social change.

Mediation and Restorative Practices Service

Most of us will experience conflict in different ways, times and aspects of our lives. For it to transform into a positive change, conflict must be approached with care and in many times, with guidance, often in the form of mediation.

How to access this service

If you would like to confidentially discuss whether our services are appropriate for your needs or find out how to access this service in your Area, please email Andrew Corsie at mediation@london.anglican.org with your contact details so an initial conversation can be arranged.

1. What we do

There are different ways to address conflict or disputes. Mediation is a structured process in which disagreements are addressed with the support of an independent third party. Restorative Practice (RP) is used when harm has been done between two or more people. These processes are voluntary, will be less adversarial and more flexible. They are creative ways to identify and put into action some form of understanding and agreement that all participants are able to accept.

They allow for accountability, but the purpose is not to decide if anyone is good or bad. Rather, they are used to explore how people have been affected by what has happened and work together towards repairing the harm.

2. What we believe about peacemaking

  • That it is crucial to God’s work of reconciliation in the world.
  • Salvation as described in the Bible involves reconciliation between God and people, between creation and people, and between and within ourselves. It is a personal and social, individual and corporate, transformative process.
  • And like Christ’s transformation of our lives, the transformation of conflict is not of our own doing, it is received as a gift from God.
  • God has a vision of shalom (peace, wholeness, justice) for the world. Scripture offers numerous references to God’s desire to establish shalom on earth. As God’s servants, we journey towards the shalom community, but do it recognising the realities of conflict today and its effects on human affairs.

3. Principles of Mediation and Restorative Practices

The service adheres to the following, well-recognised, principles of mediation and restorative practices, in whatever setting:

  • Confidentiality
  • Advocacy of good quality values and process
  • Non-judgemental
  • Non-advisory

Our Mediators and Restorative Practitioners are qualified, experienced and professional and will adhere to these fundamental principles at all times. Wherever possible, they will work in teams of two, preferably one clergy and one lay mediator. In complex cases, or where mediators/RPs are known to the parties in a different capacity, the independent position of the mediator will be protected. They are obliged to inform the steering committee of any potential conflict of interest where their independence may be questioned by parties or other stakeholders.

Alongside the above principles, mediators and RPs will bring their faith and beliefs to the mediation/RP process. The value of bringing faith and the fundamental power of seeking reconciliation cannot be underestimated to the mediation process, and will be a “value-add” to users of the service.

On occasion, where appropriate, we may use professional mediators who are not overtly Christian, but are content with working for the diocese having expressed acceptance of our peacemaking values. God the Holy Spirit is able to use all in the work of reconciliation.

4. Why offer this service?

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” – 2 Cor 13: 11

Conflict is inevitable – it is part of the “human condition” and is present in every single human relationship. How we deal with it within our churches and teams as church leaders can make the difference between finding a positive way forward or causing more damage and pain for those involved. We need not be frightened of conflict, but use it as an enabler for positive transformation.

The service’s vision is to use mediation to transform relationships – whether the result is the end of a particular relationship, or the positive development of the relationship – to enable parties to move forward reconciled. Reconciliation itself is always the goal, but comes in many forms.

The Mediation and Restorative Practices (RP) Service is here to help you navigate conflict and be an agent of reconciliation and peace.

5. How we can help

The service is available for any disputes within the Diocese and will provide a referral to other organisations/services if it is unable to meet the specific needs of a case.

The service intends to support all aspects of Diocesan life, from parishes to corporate departments, mediating disputes and conflict ranging from two party cases to team, departmental and parish conflict.

The service is established with a view to applying faith and Church principles throughout the Diocese.

It is able to provide mediation to disputes including:

  • Civil and commercial matters (subject to qualification of mediators)
  • Workplace conflict (within the Diocese and within parishes), including using restorative practices in staffing matters
  • Parish (within and between parishes) disputes
  • General interpersonal conflict
  • Cross-denominational mediation and facilitated conversation on matters of faith or policy
  • Training in understanding and responding to conflict
  • Conflict consultancy or coaching

The service will not provide family mediation where there are legal proceedings relating to divorce or custody.

How to access this service

If you would like to confidentially discuss whether our services are appropriate for your needs or find out how to access this service in your Area, please email Andrew Corsie at mediation@london.anglican.org with your contact details so an initial conversation can be arranged.

About the Revd Andrew Corsie

Area Director of Ministry, Mediation and Restorative Practices Lead

I have been involved in conflict mediation for over 35 years. I realised this would be an area of interest and commitment for me when, as a young youth club leader in urban west London, I placed myself in the way of a young man who was being attacked by four others. I placed myself in such a way that I took many of the blows that were aimed at the individual.

This became more formal for me when I began Social Work, working mainly in the Criminal Justice System. This form of mediation would later be called Restorative Justice, and in this I saw the potential for mediating between different parties, bringing healing and reconciliation.

Over the past 25 or more years, I have been focused more on church and community conflict. Since being ordained in 1993 I have worked with others within this diocese for the ministry of reconciliation to be promoted, particularly during times of conflict.

Over the last few years I have been working with others to organise this ministry, in order to promote not only the ministry of reconciliation between us as Christians, but also as part of our mission to this city and beyond. In more recent times, we have partnered with a charity in the Middle East working for reconciliation. We aim for this to be a real partnership where we learn from each other.

I believe this scheme contributes to the ministry of reconciliation the Diocese offers to London, which St Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians 5 when he says: “all this is from God, who reconciled us to himself and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”