The Diocesan Ministerial Development Review (MDR) scheme derives from a shared responsibility for ministry in which the Diocesan Bishop and his immediate colleagues, offer a ministry of both affirmation and accountability. Within the exercise of the Bishop’s pastoral oversight of the diocese, the scheme aims to:
It is a requirement of all those holding the Bishop’s licence that they take part in the review scheme, the only exception being those in training posts. For those whose appointment includes its own review arrangements (for example in the case of a full-time hospital chaplain), it offers an opportunity alongside other institutional requirements, to explore and review ministry from a personal and vocational perspective, as well as a professional one.
National guidelines make on-going, regular review for clergy mandatory. Within the Diocese of Manchester, Clergy / licensed lay-workers can expect to have a review approximately every 18 months. This is a significant undertaking by the Bishop and his colleagues, but one to which they are committed as providing a more systematic and regular approach to pastoral care and encouragement of those in licensed ministry, as well as accountability.
The aims stated above indicate that the review is part of the Bishop’s pastoral oversight and responsibility. This is extended and exercised on his behalf by his fellow bishops and, the archdeacons and by other trained reviewers, ordained and lay, appointed by the Bishop.
Reviews will work to a two-part cycle. The pattern will be that one review will be with a suffragan bishop or archdeacon (but not the one to whom the reviewee normally relates in day-to-day ministry), and the next will be with one of the other nine reviewers. Please note that the Bishop of Beverley will also be conducting reviews where this is specifically requested.
With the suffragan bishops and archdeacons, the other reviewers appointed by the Bishop are:
Revd Jan Ainsworth
Revd Canon Ian Anthony
Canon Phillip Blinkhorn
Revd Canon Dr Chris Bracegirdle
Revd Dr Terry Clark
Revd Dr Rebecca Craven
Mr Graham Curtis
Revd Canon Anne Edwards
Revd Tim Evans
Revd Alison Hardy
Revd Andrea Jones
Revd Canon Sharon Jones
Mr Gordon Main
Revd Canon Adrian Rhodes
Revd Canon Mike Williams
Revd Richard Young
As part of the preparation for the review meeting, there will be a built-in element of peer review known as 360-degree feedback. This will provide a means of gathering feedback on personal ministry from two or three nominated colleagues according to certain guidelines. Written comments will be invited from these under a series of headings and then forwarded to the person being reviewed. This is intended to help the practice of self-reflection on ministry, as well as to give opportunity for affirmation and increase self-awareness.
1. When a ministerial review is due, a letter will be sent from the Bishop giving the name of the reviewer. The necessary preparation documents and guidance notes can be downloaded from the diocesan website or paper copies can be supplied from Bishopscourt.
2. The reviewer will be in touch to arrange a date for the review meeting. It is to the reviewer that the completed enquiry form should be sent, together with the 360-degree feedback responses at least 10 days before the meeting, to allow for preparation. This will provide the primary material for discussion in the review meeting. Please note that the review meeting cannot go ahead without 360-degree feedback responses.
3. The review meeting will last about an hour to an hour and a half. Towards the end of the review meeting, major issues will be summarised, particularly those issues of a forward looking / developmental nature. Within the discipline of no more than two sides of A4, a summary will be sent to the person reviewed for his/her comment. The agreed document will be forwarded to the Diocesan Bishop and kept on file at Bishopscourt. It will provide a starting point for the next review. If there is significant disagreement with some element of the summary on the part of the person who has been reviewed, there will be opportunity to add a note to record this.
4. The Bishop will write to acknowledge receipt of the summary and the completion of the review. Although the review is not an appraisal, the Bishop will share the summary document with the relevant suffragan bishop and archdeacon in order to inform the ongoing support they aim to provide to ministers. Any training needs that have been identified will be shared with the CMD Officer who is able to offer advice on how expected outcomes can be taken forward. However, it remains the reviewee’s responsibility to progress any identified needs.
It is intended that this practice of Ministerial Development Review will contribute to the refreshing and sustaining of all in ordained and licensed lay ministry.
The Ministry Development Review scheme cannot fulfil all that is needed for ministerial development or personal support. What it can do is highlight other networks which may be of help through Continuing Ministerial Development, Counselling, Spiritual Direction and Work Consultancy. At any time, resources in each of these areas can be called upon by any person wishing to explore more fully their potential.
If you have any queries, please contact the Bishop’s Chaplain.