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Thursday, 18 December 2014

10 useful links (no. 2) prayer, Lent 2015, soundbox, church leadership, xmas resources, euro stats, @c_of_e talent pool report

prayer spaces in schools website - with stories, suggestions and guidance

christmas prayer spaces, by Sharon Ross Ensor & Anna Davis found via Steve Kersys

do 40 acts together for 2015 lent - provides you with online and printable resources to guide you through a generous Lent as a community, and for 2015 there is a new student resource

a minimalist, beautiful and fun soundbox - go to the site and press different letter keys for different sounds - found via reddit user 7ang33k

Senior Church Leadership A Resource for Reflection - found via Thinking Anglicans 

more than a manger - Christian Aid downloadable resource explores how Jesus’ miraculous birth challenged people’s expectations

european statistics - and the help page - found via @EU_Eurostat

milton jones (uk 1 liner comedian) on christmas - I rather like this

CofE's talent pool report - go here to see my summary

All I Want For Christmas Is You - Christmas Charity Single - Mariah Carey - Out of the Blue - found via @His_Grace

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

13 key points from the @c_of_e 's Green Report (with page no. refs) on #Talent Management -

A quick reminder of how the report was 1st revealed

The 12/12/14 Church Times reported on what it described as an "unpublished" CofE report on "talent management".  

The article quoted a spokeperson as saying 

"Details will be published next month" 

(although given the structure of the article's paragraph this might be referring to either the report or the implementation plan). 

I blogged about what the article said & included links to others posts on 13/12/14.   My impression from tweets from people on my 2800 strong CofE twitter list is that a lot of the initial reaction to the Report was not positive.

It's possible that the Church Times article revealed the report's contents earlier than CofE HQ intended. That might explain why  - despite signing the report off -  Justin Welby has now (16/12)  issued a response.  Plus on the CofE website there is now (16/12) A Note from the Bishop of Ely on “The Green Report”

The Archbishops have been silent in public on it even though they challenged the review

" to be sufficiently radical and imaginative in response to new contexts" (p3) 

AND the report recommended that 

"It is important for the Archbishops to lead the communication to the broader Church regarding why changes are required at this point in time"

I read the report yesterday - as thanks to Thinking Anglicans I found a copy of it on their website. The full title is "Talent Management for Future Leaders and Leadership Development for Bishops and Deans:A New Approach".  Lots of people refer to it as the Green report (after Lord Green who chaired the Steering Committee).

So here goes with the summary .....


1) The intention - to develop clergy of exceptional leadership potential

2) Investment needed - of £2.1m 2014/16 plus £0.8m p.a. in 2017 & thereafter

3) Theology and context - some headlines of the thinking:

- "We intend to form clergy who integrate and demonstrate strategic and spiritual gifts";

- "Without the visible resilience of the body corporate, the Church, the name of Jesus dies on the nation’s lips";

- "Generous and visible servants of Jesus" and "radical and ambitious as holy people";   

- "We are advocating the embrace of credible risk as an integral part of our adventure in Christ"

4) A new Talent Development Programme - "Talent Pool" aimed at up to 150 people 

5) Leadership Characteristics of Bishops & Deans - described under headings like: Common Good; Re-shaping Ministry; and Leading Growth

6) Mandatory Induction Process for diocesan & suffragan bishops - replacing a voluntary one

7) New induction programme for deansreplacing the current ad hoc arrangements

8) 36 diocesan bishops to complete a modular development programme - in 2015/16

9) Mini MBA programme in 2015/16 for 60 individuals - targeted primarily at deans

10) New Contributing to the Common Good Programme - in 2015/16 for 54 individuals (bishops or deans)

11) Suffragan bishops role - may have implications for future programmes design

12) Standardised MDR process - for senior clergy across the Church with more objectivity, transparency and detail

13 ) Alignment of criteria for ordination, development of priests in their 1st years of ministry and talent identification


1) The intention - is to develop clergy of exceptional leadership potential to make a significant impact in every area of the Church’s endeavour AND to be more open to the emergence of leaders from a wider variety of backgrounds and range of skills than is currently predictable (p5)

2) Investment required for the new approach - £2.1m 2014/16 plus £0.8m p.a. in 2017 & thereafter (p3)

3) Theological exploration of principles and context - is set on pages 4-9 of the report.  I have picked out a couple of themes to give a sense of some of the issues covered.

Spiritual and Strategic

"We intend to form clergy who integrate and demonstrate strategic and spiritual gifts" (p6)

"Being spiritual and strategic go together in witness and action ...... organisational flourishing is as necessary a springboard as active mission. Without the visible resilience of the body corporate, the Church, the name of Jesus dies on the nation’s lips". (p7)

Generous and visible servants of Jesus, radical and ambitious as holy people

"The Church’s ordained leaders are called to be generous and visible servants of Jesus Christ who enable abundant living in individuals, Church and community by making Christ known.  They are called to be radical and ambitious as holy people who are single-minded in their desire to ensure that their leadership serves the building of the kingdom of God (p7)

Embracing credible risk as an integral part of our adventure in Christ.

"We are advocating the embrace of credible risk as an integral part of our adventure in Christ. We are proposing a radical step change in our development of leaders who can shape and articulate a compelling vision and who are skilled and robust enough to create spaces of safe uncertainty in which the Kingdom grows. (p7)

"The Faith and Order Commission’s document on leadership speaks of ‘faithful improvisation’ as a key characteristic of Christian leadership. This is exactly what this plan promotes." (p5)

Professional clergy - sociological realities and transcendent values and principles

 'Profession' in a clergy context is both a group of people who operate according to conventions and practices developed by the group; and on the other, a group that professes a set of transcendent values and principles which derive from a theology of vocation (p5)

4) A new Talent Development Programme  - aimed at up to 150 people who have demonstrated exceptional performance AND potential over a sustained period of time to undertake key strategic leadership roles for Gospel, Kingdom and Church impact in the future. (p16). Average duration of membership will be 5 years. After the start up around 30 individuals a year will become alumni as they leave the pool (p17). P20 &21 have more detail on what happens in each of the 5 years.

Identifying Candidates for the talent pool  - is done as part of an annual review held by each diocesan bishop (p18). In doing so they consider the types of potential indicators in the lower half of the diagram below (also see p29, 30 & 31).  

The annual review meeting will categorise high potential individuals in terms of: a) Early Promise - 'ones to watch'; b) Exceptional Potential; c) Ready Now for Episcopal Ministry.

Applying to be in the talent pool - once candidates are identified and agree to apply, then their diocesan bishop completes a nomination statement including a detailed, evidence based report (p18).  The candidate also completes a form including a self-appraisal of strengths and development needs, their perspective on the fit with talent programme, references and recent MDR (p19)

Selecting which candidates should be invited to a discernment panel - the Development and Appointments Group (DAG) considers the documentation to ensure nominations are of consistent calibre across the dioceses.  DAC filter out nominations where the documentation provided does not demonstrate sustained evidence of exceptional potential. DAG will ensure decisions at this stage are moderated across its’ membership.(p19) and agrees to progress a candidate to the Discernment Panel.

Discernment Panel - Candidates attend for 1 day with a series of assessments, and interviews to evaluate their suitability.  Assessors at the panel will be appointed by the Archbishops, and include a mix of lay and ordained individuals drawn from across the diversity of the Church of England. (p19).  Assessors will advise the Archbishops, via DAG, which individuals should be offered a place on the programme and provide a written feedback report for all individuals who participate in a selection panel, highlighting key strengths and development areas. (p20)

After the Talent Pool - Over time an alumni network (overseen by DAG) will develop as individuals complete the programme.  This will be supported by resource from the senior appointments and development teams and there will be invitations to relevant meetings and specific development events designed for the network. (p21)

5) Leadership Characteristics - Bishops & Deans  (p10)

6) Mandatory Induction Process for diocesan and suffragan bishops - So a change from the current voluntary individual focussed approach to a mandatory process "that examines key organisational and mission areas in depth, both locally and nationally."  Within a year of appointment all bishops and deans will attend a guided spiritual retreat. (p15)

7) New induction programme for deans - replacing the current ad hoc arrangements.  This also includes a recommendation that newly appointed suffragan bishops and deans should be allocated a mentor  (p15). 

8) 36 diocesan bishops to complete a modular development programme in 2015/16 (p10) - covering 3 modules as described in the diagram above (and further in p12 & 13).  "Initially, diocesan bishops will be the priority participants on the first leadership programme. The expectation is that suffragan bishops and deans will be drawn into full participation in the whole programme". (p6).

9) Mini MBA programme in 2015/16 for 60 individuals targeted primarily at deans (p11) - but also open to bishops and possibly archdeacons – egs of content include: finance; building high performance teams; a field trip to a see how a non-Church heritage sites is run (p13)

10) New Contributing to the Common Good Programme in 2015/16 for 54 individuals (bishops or deans) (p11) - egs of content includes: advanced communications skills training, including the digital media; Case Studies on successful partnering with secular bodies (p13)

11) Suffragan bishops role and the programmes set out in the Green report  - the leadership lens of the Green report project has underlined the complexity of the suffragan role.  A Dioceses Commission symposium in October 2014, developed in conjunction with FAOC and DAG, may stimulate further work in this area which will have implications for future programme design.(p24).   

12) Standardised MDR process for senior clergy across the Church with more objectivity, transparency and detail - performance management should provide the foundation for talent management and leadership development activity. (p23)  "Currently there is some difference in focus between Lambeth and Bishopthorpe and future work will be required to establish a common vision for the scheme and to ensure that a re-designed Archbishops’ MDR Scheme is aligned with the new leadership characteristics" (p25)

13) Alignment of criteria for ordination, development of priests in their 1st years of ministry and talent identification - there is an obvious overlap between the criteria for each of these.  They are not yet fully aligned and more work will be required between the Wash House and Ministry Division. (p23)

Other's posts/resources on this subject - in date order

Paul Handley in the Church Times - the original article  (12/12)

The report itself (sated September 2104) - on the Thinking Anglicans website (12/12 - and on the CofE site 16/12)

Senior Church Leadership A Resource for Reflection - found via Thinking Anglicans (date unknown  - but the Green report refers to it)

artsy honker - cofe throwing money at the wrong problem (12/12)

rachell mann - these are not the leaders you are looking for (12/12)

martyn percy - are these the leaders that we really want? (12/12)

richard murphy - Should the Church of England really be taking a lead from Lord Stephen Green? (13/12)

me - why can't they publish it before January? (13/12)

michael sadgrove - The Next Generation of Church Leaders: thoughts on the Green Report (14/12)

andrew lightbrown - An open letter to Lord Green et al (14/12)

archdruid eilleen - infecting the church with mangerialism (15/12)

archbishop cranmer - cofe to spend £2m on new approach to leadership (15/12)

ian paul - should bishops come from a 'talent pool' ?' (15/12)

ruth gledhill - Can business training solve CofE's 'toxic' leadership problem? (15/12)

victhevicar - C of E to groom talent for top jobs: Leading Growth (16/12)

justin welby - a response (16/12)

bishop of ely - a note  (16/12)

pete wilcox - a reflection from a member of the group (16/12)

Sunday, 14 December 2014

the @OurCofE this week asked for @C_of_e typos in services – here’s a summary

ht @PeterWilcox 1564 via @paulbayes & see below for original tweet

The recent Guest tweeter at @OurCofE was @paulargooder - speaker and writer on the New Testament; Theologian in Residence for the Bible Society; co-author of Love Life Live Advent.

As she explained in a tweet - "Nudged by the excellent @FictionFox to enjoy my final 2 days of tweeting for @OurCofE" Paula requested people's favourite church typos.

I've pasted those I could find into a summary below and will add others as and when I can find them

  Allow me to start the bidding on best Church typos - on our wedding service my husband nearly put 'Deep his wisdom, padding thought'

 Read your Bible, pray every day, if you want to throw.'

 "Because there is none other that fightest against us but only Thou O God"

 Pres 2 Deacon "The Lord be in your heart and on your hips that you may worthily proclaim...

   wedding order of service had 'be still for the golly of the Lord'

 "there are varieties of gits but the same Spirit"

last line of "old rugged cross" - "and exchange it some day for a clown" at a funeral. Black biro used to fix

A colleague tells me of a dictated Order of Service: 'We commit these ashes to the elephants'

  I have pages of note from theological lecture on mission die. (Missio dei)

 MPrayer: say "...may the light of your presence, O God, set our farts on fire with love for you" once and you're lost.

 and of course there is Gladly, my cross-eyed bear

  2001 communion service: We prayed for those who are working among the poo.

 in deeper Reverend Sprays (last line, first verse of Dear Lord & Father of Mankind)

   'it easier for a camel to go through the knee of an idol'.

  My mother as a child imagined a large fruit in Heaven 'thine be the kingdom, the pear and the glory...'

 I've seen somewhere (can't think where) 'His first avowed intent to be a penguin'

 at my confirmation we sang "God in three parsons, blessed Trinity"

 Father, Son and Hoky Spirit (autocorrected to Hokey).

 I'm very much enjoying these C of E typos. Let me offer you 'The redeeming wok of God'.

 the three parsons of the Trinity

therevsteve There was once a reading from "Philistines" on the notice sheet when I was a curate...
 The Apostles' Greed

FictionFox  @FictionFox Someone's just told me this one: 'The meeting will be gin with prayer.

 'Jesus Chris is waiting' hurry up Jesus!

 · The groom now takes the bride's hind in his...

 · Liverpool core group rather enjoyed this (h/t ) >> ”

  And there was a friend's wedding where we sang Thine be the Glory and declared 'death hath lost its string'!

 b2dac 'Our Father, who art in heaven, Harold is thy name

OurCofE 'On earth as it is in devon'

FictionFox accidental church spoonerisms also great fun. 'They shall mount up on ings like weagles.'

revgpp Once a funeral director printed Love Divine's lst vse - 'Finnish then thy new creation.'#scandinavian

PrayingAnglican my friend at college once said 'kneekly mealing'

HannahCleugh Favourite mis-speak in evensong "Endure thy ministers with righteousness"
ReverendAlly Last week we had 'Our Father, who rat in heaven' - led to interesting discussion about animal souls!


LosTheSkald we were encouraged at a baptism to 'reject Stan, and all his works, and all his empty promises'. Hope I never meet him

PhilipAStewart  spoken rather than in print - 'The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly flavoured!" '

d1sc1ple In a wedding, from Shine Jesus shine - As we gaze on your kingly brightness, May our faces display your illness

Ally Barrett‏ @ReverendAlly In 'The King of love my shepherd is' - we had 'Thy unicorn grace bestoweth...'

David Newsome‏ @newsome_david Carol service typo: "Risen with heating in his wings"

PeteWilcox1564 Yep, I once typed 'Get thee behind me, Stan'. Horrible man.

OurChurchofEngland‏ @OurCofE one of the best typos I ever saw on a carol sheet was thus spake the seraph and forthwith appeared a shining thong'

Catherine Fox ‏@FictionFox 'Give his angels charge at last, in the file the tares to cast.'

Mike Haslam‏ @revmikehaslam 'Away in a manager' The dubious joys of spell check!

Maggie Swinson @MaggieSwinson I still think mine has to rank highly. 'A hymn is sung and the offerings of the people are collected and resented'

Raquelita‏ @raquelita_e  I saw '...yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. men.'   this yr. My friend whispered 'patriarchy!'

Michael Jones ‏@MichaelJone5   Not typo but as a lad it was some time before I realised that at the end of a reading we didn't say, "Thanks Peter God"

margaret johnson‏ @johnsonmahj our hope to follow Julie is in thy strength alone

Chris Upton ‏@Turkeyplucker From death's dead string thy servants free.

Andrew Graystone  The opening words of a service at our church last month were "Let's all close our minds..."

gittite  Has anyone yet mentioned 'let angels prostate fall'?

PeterNimmo1 If you're still on mis-speaks- lots of children in Scotland think the carol's called A Wean in a Manger

tall_rich I've seen several service sheets inviting me to Evensnog. Resultant services less fulfilling than promised.

StephCouvela in fairness to share one of my own, once in open prayer I thanked God from the heart of my bottom.

And one from our pew sheet yesterday - on Gaudete Sunday we tell jokes while waiting for God!

@FictionFox @OurCofE I have seen a PowerPoint where the preacher meant to describe the church as an organism... But got the wrong word!