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Clergy Support & Development Glossary

The following support processes are normally accessible by agreement with the Area Bishop, Archdeacon or Director of Training and Development.


A dynamic, intentional voluntary relationship of trust in which one person (the mentor) enables another (the mentee) to maximise the grace of God within their lives, and develop their potential in the service of God’s kingdom purposes.

Mentoring is seen as an integral part of the Diocese of London Induction Programme. The relationship will normally last for between 12 – 18 months and is understood to be in confidence between the two parties. More information on the induction programme can be found on the diocesan web site clergy resources portal.

Mentoring is considered to be a positive support to hardworking clergy in a complex ministerial context. It may therefore also be appropriate (and by agreement with the Area Director of Training or Development) for clergy experiencing periods of change in their ministry to be offered a mentor.

A Mentor:

  • Will be an experienced priest who has been specifically trained for this role. S/He will not normally be a serving Area Dean.
  • Will be allocated to all new incumbents and those new to the Diocese of London
  • Will also be available by agreement to be used to stand alongside and offer support for any clergy in periods of difficulty or significant change.

Ministerial Development Review (MDR)

A long established process providing clergy with the framework for regular review and development of their ministry facilitated by a consultant independent of their ministry context.

MDR Consultants

They are appointed by the Area Bishop to undertake the specific task of annual MDR interviews for clergy and lay ministers.

MDR consultants will:

  • Be committed Christians, clergy or lay, familiar with the role and responsibilities of clergy predominantly in a parish setting.
  • will have proven capability to provide an empathetic and non-directive environment by offering the ability to:
  • listen effectively to others
  • summarise and feed back the information they receive
  • set realistic working goals, and help clergy to deepen their reflection on their ministry.
  • offer encouragement and challenge
  • structure and manage the meeting while allowing the minister the time and space to raise and consider the topics of importance to them, i.e. to set the agenda
  • offer experience and insights to support the discussion as appropriate
  • demonstrate clear understanding of confidentiality
  • Will attend an initial training session and additional training from time to time to ensure they can offer consultancy at each stage of the Process (i.e. each stage of the 3 year cycle including Extended Ministerial Review).
  • Will attend a review meeting of all Consultants, normally annually with the Area Bishop.
  • Will commit to the time commitment of the process in terms of numbers of reviewees and time for meetings and agree that there will be no on-going relationship outside of MDR.


Facilitating an individual through the process of achieving a specific development of competence and capacity in relation to their professional role.

Coaching is:

  • A specialist field of support and development offered by those who have been trained in this field, often with links to the diocese and offered free to clergy
  • Occasionally and where a particular expertise is required provided by paid professional organisations and consultants.
  • Will often (but not always) be associated with a particular training need raised by a minister or identified through the Ministerial Development Review process.
  • Will be time bound to help through a particular issue (or combination of issues), perhaps when encountering the issues in a particular setting.

Examples of coaching needs might include:

  • Leadership skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Interview and CV writing techniques
  • Strategic planning
  • Management and organisation
  • Personal time management

Although these areas could be covered by courses, ministers may wish for personal coaching to help them


  • Are experienced clergy with expertise in a specific field and who
  • Will have completed training in coaching skills: the diocese runs a programme ‘Transforming conversations’ which satisfies Part 1 of coaching accreditation or
  • Are skilled and paid professional consultants and coaches (clergy or laity) who are accessible via the ADTD
  • Will work with an individual on a time-limited basis on a specific and agreed area.


An agreed process whereby the parties involved in a situation of conflict agree to work together to resolve/plan the way forward involving peace-making strategies

Mediation is a specialist field of support and will normally be offered at no financial cost. In certain circumstances it may be appropriate to employ external professional mediators who may charge for their services.


  • Will be trained in the diocese through a recognised training course. BridgeBuilders are the main training provider for London offering a foundation 1 week Transforming church conflict programme as well as other more advanced courses http://www.bbministries.org.uk/
  • Will be committed to peacemaking using recognised mediation process and techniques.

Work and ministry consultancy

Work and Ministry Consultancy is a partnership offering continuing support, encouragement, and challenge to clergy. It is offered by consultants with considerable leadership and management experience in their own working life. Work and Ministry Consultancy is a natural progression from (though separate to) Ministerial Development Review. It is clear and distinct from both Mentoring and Spiritual Direction.

Work and Ministry consultancy involves:

  • Exploring the current situation
  • Listening to concerns
  • Thinking strategically about issues and priorities
  • Goal setting, with identifiable, clear, realistic and achievable targets
  • Giving clear and constructive feedback
  • Reviewing progress

Work and Ministry Consultants:

will be committed Christians with experience of local church life. They have proven experience in positions of responsibility in church, industry, commerce, public service or the voluntary sector.

Work and Ministry consultants experience and expertise will include:

  • Considerable recent experience in managing staff teams, with demonstrable knowledge, understanding and expertise in this area
  • An understanding (and preferably experience) of working with volunteers
  • Knowledge and experience of how groups and organisations work
  • Experience in summarising, strategic planning and implementation
  • A demonstrable capacity to active and effective listening
  • An ability to encourage and to challenge
  • Experience in conflict resolution
  • A clear understanding of confidentiality

Clergy will be encouraged to offer out-of-pocket expenses to Consultants from Parish Funds, where appropriate.

Individual supervision

Individual supervision is a natural progression from Mentoring for those who wish to undertake this.

Ministers would arrange to meet with a Supervisor on a regular basis (perhaps quarterly) to discuss general issues arising out of ministry and to receive active listening and, where appropriate, advice.

Team consultancy

All Ministry Teams are recommended to have a Consultant who will walk with them to offer:

  • Support
  • Challenge
  • Advice
  • Training
  • Review

Team Consultants are likely to be drawn from experienced clergy and laity within the Area (often, though not always, from one of the above groups).

Each Ministry Team will agree a contract with their Team Consultant, generally meeting at least once or twice a year, though this may be more frequent as a group begins or at critical times in the life of a Team.

Mission Action Planning (MAP) facilitation

The idea of having MAP Facilitators builds on the excellent work undertaken in the Resourcing Mission and Ministry visits. MAP Facilitators will be Deanery-based teams offering reflection and questioning skills to parishes renewing and revising their Mission Action Plans (or equivalent).

Counselling and therapy

Counselling is a process in which the counsellor helps a person in distress understand the causes for their problems and guides them through the process of learning to make good life decisions (usually focused around behaviour patterns and/or life events).

Counselling and Therapy will only be offered on a professional basis for those who have a proven need.

Counselling and Therapy use a psycho-therapeutic model. Counsellors and therapists will have received significant training in their field and will be accredited by a reputable professional body.

In broad and general terms:

  • Counselling will be on a relatively short-term basis to address a particular critical incident or issue that has arisen or been revealed in a person’s life
  • Therapy will be on a more long-term basis and will tend to address a person’s whole-life situation and background

These statements are aimed at being broad generalisations rather than specific definitions, and there is much blurring between the two roles.

Referral for Counselling or Therapy will tend to be through Bishop or Archdeacon, but may also take place through Director of Training and Development, Area Dean or other as appropriate. Confidentiality about referral will be respected (i.e. only those whom the counsellee wants to know about the counselling will know that it is taking place).

Pastoral care

Offering help and care to others in a church or the wider community. Pastoral care in this sense can be applied to listening, supporting, encouraging and befriending.

Like all Christians, clergy will need pastoral care from time to time. They can expect to receive such care from their Bishop, Archdeacon and Area Dean (who may refer them for Counselling or Therapy, as appropriate). They will also, of course, receive care from friends, family, colleagues and others.

Spiritual direction

Offers accountability, direction, insights for commitments and decisions affecting the development of the spiritual life.

It is expected that every member of the clergy will have a Spiritual Director, Soul Friend, or equivalent. This might be described as journeying with a “soul friend” who is possessed by the Spirit, a person of experience, learning, and discernment.

This relationship is confidential, and there is no expectation that the identity of the Spiritual Director would be known by anyone else. The Area Adviser in Spirituality or the Director of the London Centre for Spirituality will be happy to facilitate the process of finding someone.


It is also expected that all clergy will have an Annual Retreat. (Again, this will normally be a legitimate claim on expenses of office).

FOUND UNDER : Clergy, Training
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