A substantial induction programme is in place for all incumbents, priests-in-charge, and others taking up their first role of responsibility in London Diocese. This includes:
- New Incumbents Residential. A five day residential which explores diocesan culture, clergy support, vision and strategy planning, UBT, and other topics.
- Fixed meetings in the first year with the Area Bishop, Archdeacon and Area Director of Ministry
- Induction half day meeting with Senior Leadership Team at Diocesan House
- Expected attendance at Safeguarding, Interfaith and Engaging with Difference day courses
Ministerial Development Review
London Diocese has a tried and tested MDR scheme which has been running for over 20 years. It has been refreshed and reviewed on a number of occasions. The scheme includes Extended Ministerial Review, a web-based tool based on incumbency core competencies, which offers organised feedback to clergy.
Importantly, the London scheme ensures ownership of the process stays with reviewees with clergy choosing their lay or clergy consultant from a list of trained consultants. MDR is supported by triennial Episcopal Review. The foundation, aim, objectives and processes are available here.
Two significant programmes are in place to assist clergy at points of transition (below), and a list of further information and additional resources is available online here on the Diocese’s website.
Your Next Move. A one day workshop to assist clergy in exploring the next steps in ministry. Although the day is well used by third year curates, it is open to any clergy and usually has a number of experienced clergy taking part. Further one-to-one coaching is available to those who wish to increase their confidence and skills levels in seeking new posts.
Preparing for Retirement. This three day residential is available to all licensed clergy over 58 years (and spouses) to help them consider a wide range of aspects of retirement. The residential considers physical, spiritual and psychological wellbeing in preparing for, and into retirement, as well as practical issues such as finance and housing. The residential always has a recently retired member of the clergy and a doctor as members of the core staff, and is attended by representatives of the Pensions Department and Ecclesiastical Financial Services. Clergy may sign up for the residential at any point after the age of 58 (ten years from the official retirement age) but may return for a ‘second go’ closer to retirement if this is helpful.
Directors of Ordinands are being increasingly encouraged to help candidates and ordinands consider the costs of ministry and to assist them in considering how best to prepare themselves for ministry. Towards Ordained Ministry now includes a session on the practical implications of training and ministry, such as finance, housing and location as well as working patterns.
Post Ordination Training
A great deal of emphasis in POT is given to wellbeing and encouraging good working / ministry practices. Regular time off, appropriate prayer time and having a good balance of time away from ministry for family, friends and self, are consistent themes. Training Incumbents are also encouraged to consider these issues for themselves and for their curates at the Training Incumbents Residential, where clear guidelines are spelt out to training incumbents, including modelling, boundaries and wellbeing. New deacons attend a four day residential to assist them in making a good transition into ministerial role.
Bishops, archdeacons, area directors of ministry, area deans, deans of BAME affairs and deans of women’s ministry all offer significant support, encouragement and intervention to clergy. This includes time spent with individuals and groups, referrals made and financial and other resources dedicated. Further, clergy chapters, clusters, networks and individuals offer on-going support and encouragement.
Less Formal and Informal Networks
There are also a wide range of formal, less formal and informal networks in operation across the diocese (and beyond), which act as support and encouragement for clergy. These include church-tradition networks, cell groups and organisations such as Sion College.
Clergy Retirement Officers
This area of support is a work in progress as the Diocese develops appropriate care and support for retired clergy (both active and inactive / less active). A list of current resources, including pensions and housing information, is available online here.
Support for SSMs and MSEs
Clergy training, support and development is available for all licensed and beneficed clergy, including Self Supporting Ministers and Ministers in Secular Employment who hold a licence in the Diocese. More information about the different types of ministry is available online here.