Friday, 20 November 2009

A breathing space

This morning I received a letter from our Diocesan Bishop informing me that for the present no new appointments are being made for clergy to have their biennial review of their ministry with a Bishop or Archdeacon as the system is changing from "Episcopal Review" to "Ministerial Development Review".

Our Bishop writes: I do hope that the changeover can be achieved as smoothly as possible. Not least because Episcopal Review was taken up universally.

This is not quite the case. Clergy didn't have an option of refusing a review, or at least I was never told that we did. The letter would arrive telling me that my Review had been booked for such and such a date, and I was expected to be there.

If I'm honest about it, I learnt very swiftly to keep quiet in these interviews about what I see as my weaknesses, as they are pounced on and written into the report that goes into my file. I'm afraid if the church wishes to use management techniques such as this to replace the informal chats over coffee or tea when the archdeacon or bishop drops round (HA!), then I can't be blamed for playing the game along with them.

And when the letter comes with my next Review date, I shall dutifully go along.


  1. SR, I don't blame you one iota. Play the game.

    During the one and only term I served on the vestry of my church, we were put through the grinder of a strategic planning program from a modified business model. I hated every Saturday that I gave up to those dreadful meetings. After an hour or two, my brain shut down, and I was simply warming a chair.

    Churches are not businesses, and I see no reason to introduce business management techniques into the picture. Jesus would have laughed.