Monday, 15 December 2014

Plus ça change...

I'm ploughing my way through the Lord Green Steering Group report 'Talent Management for Future Leaders and Leadership Development for Bishops and Deans: A New Approach'. Now there's a title to excite you about the mission of the church in C21st. I first heard of the report in a Church Times article published last Friday and the report has been put up on the Thinking Anglicans blog. The Church Times also carried a robust critique of the report from one of those it is aimed at, Martyn Percy the  Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.

I'm not sure of the status of the report; some people have seen it and others are completely in the dark. Has it been published? Bishop Pete Broadbent has suggested that if you are in the loop on these things then you will have seen it. I'm fairly well networked in the C of E and I hadn't heard of it until last week, but then I'm just a parish priest so... . Is this how we handle significant reports in the Church of England these days? If so then plus ça change. The response across social media has been mixed and largely based on selective reporting. My own initial response was one of real disappointment, not because I don't believe that leadership training is important, it is, but because of the tone and language of the reports about the report. I will read the report thoroughly and discuss it with colleagues before commenting on its content further.

I would, however, make one observation. The report argues for a much more professional approach to senior church leadership, including change management. If the publication or not of this report is anything to go by, then the first people on the new courses need to be those who are responsible for the way this process has been handled because it has been nothing short of a joke.

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