THE first wave of training for current and potential senior clerics in the Church of England, instigated by the Green report, has been hailed a success by the Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway. The report was the subject of vigorous debate after it was published last year (News, 12 December; Letters, 19 December).
In a blog, Bishop Conway, who chairs the appointments and development group of the House of Bishops, said that, despite the “uneasiness” that many had felt about the new training schemes (News, 19 December), the “reality has been extremely positive and we feel blessed for the fruits it is already bearing”.
In the first of three of the strands outlined in the report, 28 deans and clergy from large churches attended the first leadership programme at Judge Business School in Cambridge, in March. Bishop Conway said that they had all found it useful.
He quoted one dean as saying: “This has been, by a country mile, the most impressive course I have undertaken in over 30 years of ordained ministry.” Bishop Conway said that fears that the management jargon would not translate to the world of theology and the Church had proved unfounded.
Later in the year, 18 bishops took part in a new episcopal development programme in Leicester. Bishop Conway reported that many of the bishops had appreciated the high-quality of the teaching.
As part of a third element in the Green report, the first meeting of the talent pool of those earmarked for future leadership positions met at Lambeth Palace. The group, now re-named the Learning Community, took part in a day’s teaching on organisational leadership. One participant was quoted in Bishop Conway’s blog: “I haven’t been so enthused and inspired for a long time. And, more starkly, it’s like finding water in a desert.”
Over the coming years, new people will be invited to join the Learning Community, Bishop Conway wrote.
The Archbishops have put aside £2 million to fund the various elements of new training.