Comments: Church of England releases Talent Management report

So no discussion, no questioning, no consultation even. straight to advertisement. So much for 'collaborative ministry'.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Tuesday, 16 December 2014 at 4:14pm GMT

If the Bishop of Ely is responsible for the 'process' of appointments, will he be reviewing the CNC's workings? That is definitely a poisoned chalice.

Posted by Commentator at Tuesday, 16 December 2014 at 4:46pm GMT

++Canterbury has issued his response!

Posted by Paul Richardson at Tuesday, 16 December 2014 at 5:33pm GMT

These advertisements confirm my worst fears. They are written in the usual managerial bureaucratese and make no reference to the fact that whoever is appointed will be working for a Christian church. These adverts could apply to any secular post. I note that the salary is more than a diocesan bishop earns. The fact that the powers that be have gone to management recruiting agencies is indicative of the mind-set of those pushing this development.

All this is deeply alienating. As I have said elsewhere, I know that there is a need for radical and urgent change but my experience of the managerialist ideology is that it promises much and delivers little. The recently posted Oxford Faith Debates offer some pointers as to how the church might change.

Posted by Daniel Lamont at Tuesday, 16 December 2014 at 6:01pm GMT

"O all ye Green things upon the earth, bless ye The Lord praise him and magnify him forever."

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 16 December 2014 at 6:15pm GMT

Doesn't the General Synod have a say in all of this? If not what is the point of the General Synod (something I have often wondered about)? Looks like the old mantra of "synodically governed and episcopally led' has now been abandoned as this definitely looks to me like Archiepiscopally governed and led without any consultation with the Church's parliament. Another mantra that seems to have passed it's sell by date is that the only power the ABC has is that of persuasion. No more, as it seems that the current Archbishop has committed the Church to spending millions off his own bat without even bothering to persuade the wider Church of the merit of this ill thought out scheme.

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 16 December 2014 at 8:39pm GMT

More than a diocesan bishop but less than the Dean of Christ Church.

Posted by Richard at Tuesday, 16 December 2014 at 9:29pm GMT

Heaven help you CofE. The wisdom of this age shall pass away...

Posted by Stephen at Tuesday, 16 December 2014 at 9:43pm GMT

Notwithstanding that the subject matter makes a satirical rejoinder irresistible, with the release of the report ( which I have not by any means digested) I'm left with questions about the issues on substance.

I'm looking at this from the outside, from far and away, not up to speed on the details, but as someone who has been critical of the institutional church for its almost congenital inability to engage in inter-disciplinary work.

I see in the posted rejoinders major concerns about the tension between spiritual and corporate models. But, is there nothing that spiritual leaders can learn from expert laity about management of resources?

I'm thinking of the bridge between Catholic social teaching and Mondragon for example. There has been some good local success here, adapting the Mondragon model of Basque Spain, for the church as a supporter of just community economic development.

The diocese I served for many years has legally incorporated parishes ( not the norm in Canada where the bishop is corporate sole) with Parish Councils ( formerly vestries) responsible for all financial and legal issues. Having no training in finance or administration, I learned a lot from, and learned to appreciate mightily, the skills and expertise of laity in terms of stewardship of the parish.

I'm wondering what aspects of the report, specifically, raise red flags, and what specific counter suggestions may be in order.
Maybe its an Ephesians many gifts for the one body kind of situation?

Posted by Rod Gillis at Tuesday, 16 December 2014 at 11:35pm GMT

"Simply arriving at moments of appointment and then looking to see who might or might not, by a process of amounting to chance, have suitable preparation and gifting, is to abandon all responsibility."

A process amounting to chance; i.e. the work of the Holy Spirit? It might be helpful to know how many and which current senior appointments the Archbishop feels are under par. Does he attribute his own swift rise in the ranks to a lamentable process of chance?

Posted by Howie Adan at Wednesday, 17 December 2014 at 4:00am GMT

Doesn't the Church of England realise that the Selective Educational System was abolished decades ago and that Shirley Williams and Margaret Thatcher closed down hundreds of Grammar Schools in favour of the Comprehensive system? I know that one of UKIP's policies is to create a Grammar School in every town (does that mean that every town will also have a Secondary Modern School as well? Heaven forfend that a sheep and goats system will be reintroduced into the Educational system!) but they haven't a hope in hell of making that policy a reality after next May's General Election.

Here we now find that a Church which teaches and preaches equality of all God's children is introducing a selective system as far as its future ministry is concerned. The privileged 150 "toffs" (including the token "maverick prophet") are selected to join the highly elitist talent pool; meanwhile the poor bloody foot soldiers feebly struggle while they in glory shine. I wonder why, as a good Christian Socialist, my alarm bells are ringing?

But hang on a second, to continue the Educational analogy, hasn't Lord Green's report not only introduced an elitist selection process into the Church's ministry but has also created a kind of Public School for those destined to become bishops and deans? The Church of England is in danger of creating for itself an Ecclesiastical Eton! Now remind me, which school did the ABC attend?

Like Dean Pete, I too am bemused and exasperated yet for different reasons.

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 17 December 2014 at 5:55am GMT

I wonder how the chosen ones will manage in their 'normal' jobs as they are training for elevation. Who will look after their parishes while they are away on training? How might they find working with us unwashed when they return from training sessions? How might they cope when despite all the training they are not after all chosen? I am someone who has for many years had a great future behind me - and this brings its own challenges.

Posted by Fr William at Wednesday, 17 December 2014 at 8:33am GMT

'...diversity and inclusion...' The current experience of many is of profound rejection...' . So would Jeffrey John be included in this programme? I very much doubt it.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Wednesday, 17 December 2014 at 9:30am GMT

The revelation in an earlier thread by Jane Charman of how the collective concerns of Directors of Ministry about this report were brusquely and insultingly brushed aside, with the implication that they were 'part of the problem', is shameful and disgraceful.
It seems as if the CofE has comprehensively 'shot itself in the foot' by the manner in which this report was (not) released, and no amount of special pleading (of which I personally found the present Dean of Liverpool's to be the most persuasive) is likely to restore any credibility to it.
But no matter, the likely objections in GS being avoided by the simple expedient of not even involving it, those responsible are proceeding apace regardless, and £2M given in good faith is being spent. I hope that GS will insist on making its views known.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Wednesday, 17 December 2014 at 3:59pm GMT

The Stockport announcement has taken attention from this topic. That'll be a relief.

Posted by Fr William at Wednesday, 17 December 2014 at 9:21pm GMT

It is now the norm for prospective candidates for Diocesan Bishoprics to be interviewed for the vacant sees.I wonder how the 150 candidates are going to be selected to swim in the talent pool? Will it be some kind of selection process similar to The Apprentice and will the Church of England be employing Lord Alan Sugar to fire the failures and hire the elect?

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 17 December 2014 at 10:19pm GMT

Currently names can come before the CNC without them being on the preferment list. Will that still be the case? Some of us will be asking that in GS.

And yes there will be myriad complaints in February. The problem is the process more than the substance (though there are substance issues too). Ironically, Christopher McLaverty's arrogant, rude and unprofessional comments to the DOMs have probably made acceptance of this report all but impossible now. He should apologise very publicly.

Posted by Charles Read at Thursday, 18 December 2014 at 12:26am GMT

Seems to me that it all boils down to this - in the Church of the 21st century do we want bureaucratic functionaries or spiritual guides and Guardians of the Faith?

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 18 December 2014 at 8:11am GMT

Am I alone in assuming that the Head of Senior Leadership Development will be Caroline Redfern?

Posted by Fr William at Friday, 19 December 2014 at 4:35am GMT

No, Fr William, you're not alone. I laughed when I saw in an earlier thread on this subject a post which said something like the report had come from the 'get rid of Caroline Boddington' party. That's not how I read it!

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Friday, 19 December 2014 at 6:48pm GMT
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