Ministerial Development Review

The current MDR scheme for clergy in the Diocese was launched during Eastertide 2017.

The Bishop’s Adviser for MDR Revd Gary O’Neill, after consulting with clergy, reviewers, Rural Deans and the Bishop’s staff team, developed a new scheme which has at its centre the clergyperson.

Three principles lie at the heart of the scheme:

As clergy, we participate in MDR because we want to; as members of the body of Christ we are accountable to each other for the gifts and resources bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit for the benefit of the whole Church.

From this theological conviction flows the practice of MDR being something which, as a diocese, we do together, rather than something which is done to us. In a similar way that we are all minsters of the gospel by virtue of our baptism, in MDR we all participate in the bishop’s ministry of episcope by sharing oversight of each other, with each other.

The outcome of MDR is to seek to encourage, which means that although the process may involve challenge and probing, the springboard for conversation between reviewer and reviewee ultimately lies with the reviewee’s openness to that conversation; nothing may be imposed and the reviewee controls the output.

We are encouraging each other to consider MDR an annual discipline which we undertake together as a whole Diocese, and to this end we are encouraging an MDR season for each year.

This year the season is from July to October.

A fundamental principle of the scheme is that it is person-centered and a key characteristic is that the clergyperson meets with someone every year over a four-year cycle as in the diagram. It does not matter where they start in the cycle. Over four years they see: a) their chosen dedicated reviewer; b) the Rural Dean; c) their own spiritual adviser or prayer friend; and b) a Bishop or Archdeacon.

The idea behind four quadrants is that although the issues discussed in MDR are always centered on what the reviewee chooses to discuss and will always reflect the events and experiences of the past year, the four quadrants also encourage us to consider particular aspects of our ministry.

Time spent with a Rural Dean encourages to reflect on our life in the Deanery; time spent with a spiritual director, soul friend or companion places the focus on our prayer and interior life; time spent with a Bishop or Archdeacon encourages to reflect on our ministry in the Diocese; and time spent with a chosen Reviewer may be when we reflect deeply on personal aspects of our ministry.  

Reviewees will be able to choose a reviewer from a list of accredited people and make their own arrangements for spiritual direction. Reviewers will be encouraged to produce the first written drafts of the outcome of meetings but the reviewee has the final say on what the account says – these outcomes travel with the clergyperson around the cycle. The complete control of what goes into this paperwork always remains in the control of the clergyperson who is being reviewed; reviewers may not pass on anything that is discussed in an MDR meeting without the express permission of the reviewee.

 

 

A clergyperson may choose whether take up the option of a 360° or external perspectives review with any of the reviewers. The MDR office will supply details on request of how to conduct such an approach.

MDR is not about appraisal; it is about encouragement and personal development.

My Dedicated Reviewer

Given the cyclical nature of the scheme and the four different quadrants in use of review, it was possible to launch the review and have all members of the scheme begin the process of MDR at the same time. When a reviewee enters the My Dedicated Reviewer quadrant of the process they will be given some choice as to which person to use, subject to availability.

Rural Deans

Each Rural Dean will normally see a quarter of the Deanery each year but in a larger Deanery a second person may also be nominated. Any clergyperson who has reservations about this arrangement should speak to the Bishops MDR Adviser privately.

Spiritual Advisers

Although the diocesan list is available from Revd Graham Green, there is no expectation that clergy must use a name from the list or that those currently on the list must participate as part of the scheme. It is not necessary for a clergyperson in the programme to reveal who their spiritual adviser is and the minimum requirement, for that year of the cycle, is that a declaration is made that a meeting has taken place. The reviewee may wish to share goals or insights gained during the conversation but there is no obligation to do so.

It will eventually be possible for a reviewee to ask to see their own dedicated ‘My Reviewer’ in this quadrant of the cycle, subject to agreement with the said reviewer.

Bishops / Archdeacons

The way in which this quadrant will work in 2019 mmay be slightly different than previous cycles.

Administration

The scheme will be overseen by Revd Gary O’Neill and administered by Peter Bacon in Church House.

MDR is a requirement for all on Common Tenure, and is a resource for ministry that the Bishop is obliged to provide so that the training needs of the clergy are supported and development affirmed.

MDR is an important opportunity for all licensed clergy to spend some time reflecting on how their ministry has developed and how it can be further strengthened. As part of MDR, clergy are encouraged to identify future training needs that will support and enhance their ministry. Clergy are welcome to discuss these personally with the Continuing Ministerial Development Officer, Revd Canon David Herbert, who will assist clergy in exploring some of the resources available.

Contacts

Revd Gary O'Neill: mdr@chester.anglican.org tel: 01928 723327

For CMD enquiries relating to MDR:
Revd Canon David Herbert david.herbert@chester.anglican.org  tel: 07889 217589 

Links

Review form for meeting with Bishop or Archdeacon

Review Form for meeting with My Reviewer

Review Form for meeting with My Spiritual Guide

Review Form for meeting with Rural Dean

Self review questions for consideration before meeting a Bishop or Archdeacon

Self review questions for consideration before meeting with My Reviewer

Self review questions for consideration before meeting your Rural Dean

Summary graphic of Diocese of Chester scheme

National guidance and legal framework

National review of MDR in 2014

Ways ahead – provisions for Continuing Ministerial Development in the Diocese of Chester