3 Kings out of touch2
Church of England

Church of England to spend £2m on "new approach" to leadership

 

Politicians are out of touch. We know that, because we constantly hear about the ‘Westminster bubble’ or the ‘Westminster Village’, and Nadine Dorries once told us that neither David Cameron nor George Osborne knows the price of a pint of milk. Or was it a loaf of bread? They are isolated from normality, shielded from deprivation, and insulated from the worries, concerns and agitations of the fair-to-middling, milk-and-water, run-of-the-mill lives the rest of us try to live, or partly live.

Church leaders are out of touch, too. We know that because we constantly hear from the out-of-touch politicians about how the Church needs “a sharp prod” toward full equality and must “get with the programme”. And it’s about to get a whole lot worse, with the adoption of a £2m “talent management” programme to overhaul the Church’s command and control structures. It was apparently discussed by all the bishops in September, and by the House of Bishops on Monday, and so it’s sorted, done-and dusted and sewn-up.

The Church Times has obtained a copy of the report – Talent Management for Future Leaders and Leadership Development for Bishops and Deans: A new approach, which was formulated by an out-of-touch group of bishops chaired by the elite Prebendary the Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, the former aloof HSBC chairman. Excitingly – almost rivetingly – it speaks of a “culture change for the leadership of the Church”.

Two million quid for a “new approach” and “culture change” for church leadership?

What was wrong with the old approach? Or the New Testament pattern?

You can read all about the mandatory processes, frameworks, bureaucracies, implementations, reviews and “residential modular development programmes” entitled ‘Building healthy organisations’, ‘Leading growth’ and ‘Reinventing the ministry’. The Church of England is adopting the corporate jargon and management-speak of the secular world. Instead of pastors and shepherds we’re getting directors and CEOs. And all this is to be inflicted on an elite “talent pool” of up to 150 “high-potential individuals”, overseen by something called the ‘Development and Appointments Group’ (does the DAG eventually replace the CNC?), all managed by an enlarged staff under Caroline Boddington, the Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments at Lambeth Palace.

Two million quid developing just 150 bishops and deans?

In Ofsted style, individuals are to be graded “early promise”, “exceptional potential”, or “ready now”. No longer will applicants be permitted to submit their CVs organically to the CNC: only if the DNG deems you to be “ready now” will you be permitted to apply for a bishopric or deanery. It’s a kind of QTS for CofE leaders; an ‘Approved List of Candidates’, if you will, just like the aloof and out-of-touch lists compiled by the political parties to advance their chosen ones. The Church might talk generically about leadership qualities and nebulous attributes (nodding to the Ordinal and spirituality), but they make it clear that the objective is to ensure that leaders emerge from “a wider variety of backgrounds and range of skills than is currently predicted”.

A CofE modernisation programme for brand detoxification? With preference given to women, ethnic minorities, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and the transgendered? Well, it worked well for the Conservative Party. And the parallels are really quite astonishing, right down to the Big-Brother monitoring and summary culling:

Those who have been in the pool will form an “alumni network”, tracked continually by the “talent database” and available for mentoring and coaching future leaders. Anyone failing to fulfil his or her potential will be asked to leave.

One wonders if, unlike the Conservative Party’s total absence of natural justice, those who are “asked to leave” the leadership programme will be permitted to appeal. And one wonders what the incentive will be, in this self-perpetuating oligarchy of bishops and deans, to appoint those whose grasp of theology is robust and whose mission praxis is exemplary, but they happen not quite to fit the DAG prescribed mould and spiritual ethos. Who will discern that the DAG judges are “ready now” to judge that applicants are “ready now”?

The Dean of Christ Church, the Very Rev’d Professor Martyn Percy, is an intelligent and discerning man. Not only is he the only living cleric to get a mention in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, he knows his theology, ecclesiology, sociology and Church history. Writing again in the Church Times, he says the Green report “has no point of origination in theological or spiritual wisdom. Instead, on offer is a dish of basic contemporary approaches to executive management, with a little theological garnish”. He says an awful lot more, too:

The report expects to see all senior leaders equipped with a standard toolkit of MBA-type organisational skills. But it does not say how this might connect with the primary calling of bishops as “shepherds of Christ’s flock and guardians of the faith of the apostles”. Or what the implications for public ministry might be if bishops now move from being chief pastors to chief executives. Despite the report’s stated aspiration to increase diversity in senior leadership (much needed), there seems to be no space for the bishop as scholar, evangelist, contemplative, theologian, prophet, or pastor. Or scope for senior church leaders who might be visionaries, risk-takers, and pioneers.

If a shrill and unformed Margaret Thatcher were to present herself today to the Conservative Party’s Candidates’ Department, she might be graded “early promise”, even “exceptional potential”. But she would not be deemed “ready now”, and would certainly not be preferred for a ‘safe seat’.

And if a relatively inexperienced, unknown, untried and untested applicant were to submit his CV for the position of Archbishop of Canterbury, and his background happened to be in (say) the geeky world of oil finance and big business, with very little mission experience and no episcopal track record to speak of at all, it is highly unlikely that he would be deemed “ready now” to occupy Lambeth Palace.

Would the Church of England’s ‘Development and Appointments Group’ deem a poor, ignorant, hot-headed fishermen to be “ready now” to lead the worldwide Church of Christ?

  • dannybhoy

    “In Ofsted style, individuals are to be graded “early promise”,
    “exceptional potential”, or “ready now”. No longer will applicants be
    permitted to submit their CVs organically to the CNC: only if the DNG
    deems you to be “ready now” will you be permitted to apply for a
    bishopric or deanery. It’s a kind of QTS for CofE leaders; an ‘Approved
    List of Candidates’, if you will, just like the aloof and out-of-touch
    lists compiled by the political parties to advance their chosen ones..”

    Ummmmm,
    Does God know about this?

    • Uncle Brian

      Does God know about this? This must have been one of the reasons why He took the precaution of setting up the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

      http://www.ordinariate.org.uk/

      • dannybhoy

        Very interesting.

    • magnolia

      “Ready now.” fills me with foreboding. I would much prefer “as ready as can be expected” because it is more realistic. Who knows what “slings and arrows” await, nor how fierce the battle, nor how suited that particular person is to the particular set of spiritual battles that they will encounter?

      Thinking how this would apply to St Paul, for whom there was only a short gap between being an arch persecutor and a mighty Apostle is a bit mind boggling!! But then I think his theology is pretty much irreconcilable to the tone of this terminology anyway.

  • dannybhoy

    Just a thought.
    I wonder if as a result of these proposals some Bishops are anxiously sitting near their letterbox.
    It’ll either be a letter from Santa or a P45..

  • magnolia

    Quite why the Church of England is so impressed by business-speak is one of the mysteries of the modern world. Is the Holy Spirit somehow deficient that we must go grovelling for wisdom to the leaders of Mammon in this age?

    How did Jesus choose his dubious bunch of leaders who certainly at times illustrated the Peter principal, because the inherent stresses clearly got to them, not least because they were too worldly and thought as the world- and industry?-typically thought, and why on earth are we so sure we can improve on his methods?

    What does industry teach us about the Resurrection -precisely? Probably a feasibility study would rule it out, and most if not all of our core beliefs.

    The difficulty is partly that so few clergy have worked in business or industry as underlings or actually studied the markets, and so have a disproportionate respect based on fear of the unknown for businessmen and banksters, and the great proficiency that they readily proclaim themselves to have.

    The church is most successfully run, when it is run by those who put faith first, and have confidence that their training and the Holy Spirit equips them to do the job I would argue. It is not a business, not a post office, not a market stall, nor a financial system, thank God.

    If we have faith the money will come, and some who work in finance will of course help, and advise, but not taking over the personnel department when the core needs are spirituality and being “an Israelite in whom there is no guile”.

  • Graham Wood

    But the church is not a business is it? And bishops are not CEOs either.

    What was wrong with the old approach? Or the New Testament pattern?”
    Indeed so, and presumably the bishops concerned will be using some of the £2 million to issue their own redundancy payments if the New Testament pattern (the only authentic one authorised by the Church’s Founder) is to be adopted .

    • dannybhoy

      “What was wrong with the old approach? Or the New Testament pattern?”
      I think that was ditched years ago when da leadership realised that actually Christianity was intellectually indefensible, the Bible was full of mistakes and fairytales, and besides which the Gospel upset and/or irritated a lot of people.
      So they started allowing in more warm and fluffy, well meaning people who accepted the social gospel and didn’t want the hassle of joining the Humanist Society..
      This met with the approval of the Establishment and now the process of sanitising the Church of England enters the next stage.
      But I guarantee that whatever happens, finances will continue to dominate synods.. 🙂

  • And when they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter:
    “Simon, son of John, dost thou care for me more than these others?”
    ” Yes, Lord,” he told him, “thou knowest well that I love thee.”
    And he said to him, “Enrol on the ‘Talent Management for Future Leaders and Leadership Development’ programme.”

    And again a second time, he asked him, “Simon, son of John, dost thou care for me?”
    “Yes, Lord, he told him, thou knowest well that I love thee.”
    He said to him, ” Join a “alumni network” and from their “talent database” find a mentor and coach.”

    Then he asked him a third question,
    “Simon, son of John, dost thou love me?”
    Peter was deeply moved when he was asked a third time, Dost thou love me? and said to him,
    “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou canst tell that I love thee.”
    Jesus said to him, “Get with the programme.”.

    And Peter replied,
    “Eh?”

    • dannybhoy

      Beautifully done Jack!

    • magnolia

      I like this, but find myself wondering whether his unfortunate slip doesn’t mean he was tracked and then kicked out of the alumni for denying the company policy, No possibility for forgiveness and new beginnings seems to be inherent in the system,

      But then, again, I doubt whether a mere fisherman would have been in the system anyway.

      I think some people who are in love with neat little systems find the Holy Spirit a bit pesky, because she will blow “where she listeth” and they have their own list-ies, and would like to box it all up with a neat ribbon on the top.

      It’s a world away from the song “Why me?” by Mal Pope about the Welsh Revival which captures the responsibility, the need for humility, and the spiritual danger of ministry:

      “Why me, why here, why now?
      Oh my Lord, nail my pride.
      Why me, why here, why now:
      Set this man aside.”

      Much much much better. Let us get some awe, responsibility, semi-reluctant, called, and non-prideful leadership to lead us to the promised land.

      • As the Church of England might say:

        “Enough for you, that New Leadership will come upon you, and you will receive strength from this programme; you are to be my witnesses in Jerusalem and throughout Judaea, in Samaria, yes, and to the ends of the earth.”

  • Don Benson

    This has to be the worst year in the history of the Church
    of England.

    First we have the Pilling Report – get with the (PC) program;
    then Justin Welby and Stonewall’s ‘Valuing All God’s Children’ – a PC brainwash
    for the next generation; and now the Green Report – restrict appointments to
    the chosen elite who will be groomed to pursue the program.
    How much more evidence do we need that the Church of England
    has lost its way and is being led towards oblivion? The degree to which the
    leadership has lost focus on the spiritual battle going on at parish level is
    breath taking.

    Of course the CofE needs to be businesslike. It needs
    smooth, efficient and simple procedures for the day to day running of parishes,
    but not bureaucratic structures and super executives honed for ruthless pursuit
    of diocesan targets.

    In the parish system we have men and women on the ground who
    daily nurture their congregations, lead, preach, teach and reach out to all who
    will listen with the best news any human being will ever hear. Encouraging
    these men and women with all necessary pastoral support, prayer, advice,
    doctrinal wisdom and guidance are the bishops whose sole aim in life is to
    serve the clergy in their diocese. Or possibly not.

    • dannybhoy

      Yes, we do need to be business like, but all our gifts and all our talents and our position should be placed at the disposal of the Holy Spirit. As individuals we are not important or even irreplaceable. It is our Lord’s commission which matters.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Your Grace,
    This clearly shows me how out of touch with the Holy Spirit’s guidance the CofE is.

    I wonder would the young and secretly married Thomas Cranmer have been selected to be the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    • dannybhoy

      If he “showed promise” why not? Extra points for sspartner..

  • SidneyDeane

    haha. Such a comical resistance to change.
    Be that a bishop policy that discriminates against women or a marriage policy that discriminates against lesbians.
    Merry Christmas one and all.

    • The Explorer

      Sidney,
      Suppose it was decided to update the Battle of Trafalgar: fought in 1812, say, against the Russians.
      If there were to be an objection, could it be dismissed as resistance to change?

      • CliveM

        Hi Explorer

        Nice to hear from you again. How are you doing?

        • The Explorer

          Carl, Uncle B, Clive,
          Thank you. When I had emergency admittance to hospital my heart ejection fraction was down to 5% (normal is 65%) and it was all pretty touch and go. But after an intricate operation, much new medication and ongoing monitoring, things have stabilised: enough to resume blogging..

          • IanCad

            Praise The Lord!!

          • CliveM

            Well I will pray that the improvement continues. It looks like it was a worrying and stressful time.

      • Uncle Brian

        Hello again, Explorer. Good to see you back. I hope this means that you’ve got over your health problems.

      • carl jacobs

        Welcome back, Explorer. 🙂

      • IanCad

        How very good to see you up and at ’em again Mr. Explorer.
        Update please!

        • The Explorer

          Hello again, Ian. Thank you for the good wishes. For update, see below.

          • Inspector General

            Good to see you again Explorer. We’re desperately short of good news lately, but your return is one such…

          • CliveM

            Agree wholeheartedly.

          • The Explorer

            Thanks, Inspector. I see DanJ0 has acquired an avatar.

          • Welcome back, Explorer.

          • The Explorer

            Thanks, HJ.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Bunyan? Whitefield? Wesley? No chance, not then, not now, not ever. Another fabulous shiny new nail has just been hammered into the coffin of our national church.

  • Coniston

    To sum up many of the comments: Why didn’t Jesus think of this?

  • Watchman

    The relevance of 1 Samuel 8 is screaming at us. The same principles apply: Jesus is King in His Kingdom, why do we need substitutes who demand loyalty, money, our time in endless pursuits of godless secular wisdom which are and will be to no avail. God never orders any project for which He does not fully pay, so away with you accountants and fundraisers, you are working for mammon, not the Kingdom of Heaven. Leadership manuals are contained in the Letters of Paul, why do you need more than this, or doesn’t he address equality and diversity, feminism and gay issues to your satisfaction?

  • Busy Mum

    £2m could put an awful lot of tins of soup into the food banks….

    • Watchman

      Now why would you want to encourage dependency?

      • Busy Mum

        Absolutely not – just pointing out the absurdity of this expenditure in the light of the thread a couple of days ago.

    • Inspector General

      Interesting thought you have there, Ma

      By removing the middlemen and going straight to the manufacturer, you could obtain a tin of nourishing soup for 80p one would think, on a 2 million pound order, that is…

  • sarky

    An ofsted style rating of the c of e would probably read ‘not fit for purpose’.

    • Busy Mum

      On this, I agree with you!

  • donadrian

    The problem goes back to when the Bishops decided that the task of discerning priestly vocations was not their job, and set up CACTM in imitation of the Civil Service selection process. One wonders how many times CACTM and its successors have simply got it wrong either by not recommending a man who would have made a first class priest or, perhaps even more seriously, opening the priesthood to some who should never have been ordained. Whenever churchmen try to copy a secular model, they invariably do it badly – the only difference this time round is that it is a corporatist rather than a bureaucratic model that is proposed.
    I wonder if there will still be room somewhere in the piles of documentation this will doubtless involve for someone quietly to append the magic acronym which according to legend secured many a man his mitre: WHM – ‘Wife has means.’

  • Maalaistollo

    It looks as if the Rock on which the C of E wishes to build is of the Northern variety, in which case £2m will only be the start.

    • Watchman

      It’s not rock, it’s sand.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector is forever impressed by the episcopal setup. Priests supervised by bishops supervised by archbishops. Wonderful way of doing things. The RCC does it very well. Rather a shame the CoE progressives no longer want it around. But then, there have to be big changes now, if the girl bishops are going to get their feet under the table. If the girls are going to be equal with the boys, the boys are going to have to talk the talk. Not just to get to the first level, but to get to the second too. And to get to ‘ready now’, the third level. How’s that for a triple lock.

    By the way, ‘early promise’ is damned cunning. You have to get the new liturgy right from day one, or you’re never going anywhere. There’s no provision for ‘late promise’. They really are taking no chances. They’ve been reading up on how the Bolsheviks ordered themselves, that’s for sure.

    It makes sense of course. Nobody goes about revolution in a half arsed way. Not if you don’t want rankling dissent for evermore, you don’t.

    The lads will have to be feminist supporting homophile automatons to get there. (Agnostics are welcome to apply, but consideration will be given to candidates who have a belief in God. Please note, humanists are not automatically excluded, if an exceptional potential is apparent.)

    There, that should do it. They’ll be no more division in this church. Give it ten to fifteen years to run through and the senior office holders will all be of the updated faith. A bit longer than Henry VIII took, but then he had the advantage of pressing home his reforms at the point of a sword…

    • Inspector General

      Anyone else have a feeling that Jesus as a priest wouldn’t make it under this system ?

      • Inspector General

        It is of course quite wrong to suppose that Jesus ignored women in his ministry, as Mary Magdalene found out…

        “Mary, I have an important job for you”

        “Is it spreading the word to the Etruscans. I really like their art”

        “No, it’s the washing up”

        “Doing it now”

        “Have you seen my grail. There’s a lads night on Thursday, I’ll need it then. You can pop to your mates for a yap if you want”

        “That’s too kind of you. And no, your grail is missing”

      • CliveM

        He is the type they wish to deliberately exclude!

      • Actually, when you think about it, He didn’t make it under the Jewish one either.

    • carl jacobs

      That Episcopal setup works great.

      The priest takes an altar boy into the cloak room. The Bishop shuffles the priest off to another Parish. The Archbishop pays the lawsuit settlement. The Cardinal flees to Rome one step ahead of the Law. And the Pontifex Maximus says “Terrible. Just terrible.”

      • Inspector General

        You’re not noted for your acidic wit Carl. Don’t start now, there’s a good fellow…

        • When Jack read that comment of Carl’s he thought he may have logged on to Pink News by mistake.

          • Inspector General

            Yes, he’ll hang his head low tonight…

          • carl jacobs

            Yes. The guilt is overwhelming.

          • He’s loading his shotgun as we speak.

      • CliveM

        Carl

        That’s naughty! And not really on topic!!!

        • carl jacobs

          The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.

          • …. and now fibs. You put up no resistance to temptation and show no repentance.

          • CliveM

            Oh well, it was funny!!

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            No, I actually did pause before posting that comment. And I admit that it was a millimeter or so below the belt. But it was also true in every detail. Tell the Inspector to stop leading with his chin regarding this great ecclesial leadership structure in the RCC. That Great ecclesial structure is the cause of what happened.

          • Inspector General

            Homosexuality is the cause of what happened. Rather like saying if you walk into dogshit, the shoes are at fault…

            Continue hanging head low…

          • “But it was also true in every detail.”

            It was a cheap stereotype. The fault lay with the people in the ecclesial structure, not the structure itself. And you really believe Pope’s John Paul, Benedict and now Francis didn’t give a damn?

            “Tell the Inspector to stop leading with his chin regarding this great ecclesial leadership structure in the RCC.”
            Why? He’s broadly correct about it. The Pope does have absolute authority in running the day to day affairs of the Church. How he uses it is another matter.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            If people were angels, then structure wouldn’t matter. Some structures are much more vulnerable than others. The RCC structure is especially vulnerable once its authority is compromised. The whole thing is designed to prevent exposure. Compromised authority can use the requirement of obedience to silence critics, obscure facts, and protect itself. How is it that parishes could receive Priests previously caught having sex with children without the new Parish knowing? How does that happen without the RCC ecclesial structure?

          • “If people were angels, then structure wouldn’t matter. Some structures are much more vulnerable than others. The RCC structure is especially vulnerable once its authority is compromised. The whole thing is designed to prevent exposure.”

            It’s cultures and the integrity of people that make structures work or fail – or whatever sort. The structure is not designed to afford self protection but protection of the Gospel message. All ‘command and control’ structures run on authority and obedience. It’s their strength as well as their weakness. The local Archbishop and Bishops failed for reasons unbeknown to us.

            “Compromised authority can use the requirement of obedience to silence critics, obscure facts, and protect itself.”

            Yes but it shouldn’t. It’s not why the organisation is there. If Law did this or any of the Bishops, then the Church should take whatever action is deemed appropriate against them.

            “How is it that parishes could receive Priests previously caught having sex with children without the new Parish knowing? How does that happen without the RCC ecclesial structure?”

            This can’t be explained or justified. The priests should have been reported to the police and removed from ministry. The Bishop will have known. Are you saying local parishes should be able to interview, examine and appoint their own priests and hold them to account for the performance of their duties? Never going to happen.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            What I wrote wasn’t cheap. And it also wasn’t a stereotype. That’s exactly how this situation played out. I understand that you are duty-bound to defend this command structure of Rome because the entire Roman edifice depends upon it. You are correct that individuals are accountable but you also have to address:

            1. How those individuals were put in positions of authority.
            2. Why nothing was done about them.
            3. Why there were no apparent institutional constraints on their behavior.
            4. Why this behavior was so widespread.

            The structure in the RCC gave people the ability to act with impunity. You need to face a harsh truth. If the RCC had not been forced to deal with this issue by bad publicity, lawsuits, and the possibility of criminal prosecution, the behavior would still be going on. The bias of the church hierarchy was “Avoid scandal.” The structure allowed it to act on that bias.

            So it was not just people. It was people placed within a structure that inherently lacked accountability. In a more open structure, people may have the will to act, but they won’t have the opportunity.

          • “You need to face a harsh truth. If the RCC had not been forced to deal with this issue by bad publicity, lawsuits, and the possibility of criminal prosecution, the behavior would still be going on.”

            Jack would not accept that at all. It was triggered into action by these means because it was shaken out its ignorance. This is not the same as indifference. To suggest it didn’t care is outrageous.

            “So it was not just people. It was people placed within a structure that inherently lacked accountability. In a more open structure, people may have the will to as CT, but they won’t have the opportunity.”
            The structure directed accountability to local national Churches and then to Rome. There is no inherent lack of accountability, quite the opposite. People can hide in bureaucracies and be protected by other players in them. The Church has taken a range of measures to minimise the risk of future abuse. None required a change in structure.
            And what “open structure” would you suggest for a Church that is episcopal in nature and has a Papacy, Magisterium and Curia?

          • Uncle Brian

            Sadly, all too true.

          • You been reading the ‘National Catholic Reporter’ (Fishwrap)? Not a good idea.

            The structure wasn’t and isn’t the critical ‘problem’ behind the failure of the Church, though it could do with an overhaul. Neither was or is it celibacy. It was/is the liberal-progressive culture, ignorance about sexual abuse, the failure to properly screen and prepare seminarians and the tacit acceptance of homosexuality amongst a sizable minority of the clergy.

          • Uncle Brian

            You didn’t actually read what Carl wrote, did you, Jack?

          • Yes, Jack did.

          • Uncle Brian

            Think of Cardinal Bernard Law and his archiepiscopal machinations over a period of many years. He was never accused of personally committing any sexual abuse of underage girls or boys, but his gross mishandling of the numerous cases that were brought to his attention had the effect of multiplying the number of victims of paedophile priests in his diocese, and in the second place of multiplying the damage caused to the Church itself.

          • Agreed … but as Jack has said it was Bernard Law at fault and not the ecclesial structure of the Church. Just why he behaved as he did, we don’t know. Plus, its never been officially claimed, let alone established, that Law fled to Rome to evade the law.

            “And the Pontifex Maximus says “Terrible. Just terrible.” “ was a gross slur on Pope John Paul.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            a gross slur on Pope John Paul.

            So what else did he actually do about it then? Where are the heads of bishops on sticks? (Metaphorically speaking, of course.) Because there damn well should have been heads of bishops on sticks over this.

          • Jack will check with his sources about Pope John Paul’s actions but doubts he will get too far. It would be good to know if they were acting in good faith or not but, in the absence of evidence, Jack refuses to speculate. We shouldn’t just express anger about the Pope and the Bishops and call for revenge.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            In this circumstance, the head of a bishop on a stick is not revenge. It is justice. It also would have been the fastest and most direct path to restoring the moral credibility of the RCC. That’s how you establish that this was a problem of just indivuduals and not structure as well.

          • So would it have been “justice” or a public relations exercise to re-establish moral credibility?

            Neither you nor Jack knows what action the Church took against individuals. We don’t really know why these men behaved in the way they did or whether they behaved in bad faith. However, he does know the Church is predisposed towards forgiveness rather than revenge.

          • “In this circumstance, the head of a bishop on a stick is not revenge. It is justice.”
            AD 33
            (Upper Room Easter Saturday)
            Simon Peter
            “Brothers, Judas has approached me full of remorse, desperately repentant for betraying Jesus and for facilitating His arrest, torture and crucifixion. He says he was ‘out of his mind’, acting in ignorance, and had no idea of the consequences of his behaviour. He wants our forgiveness.
            Well Carl Jacobs. Let’s start with you. What do you think we should do?
            Carl Jacobs

          • Inspector General

            It isn’t heterosexual celibacy then…

            Interesting….

      • Cheap …. cheap shot. One expects better on this weblog. This is just the level of discussion reached on Pink News.

  • carl jacobs

    You know, there is wisdom here. Just think about that guy Jeremiah. How’d he ever get to be a prophet? His ROI was terrible. Someone should have noticed he wasn’t fulfilling his or her potential and asked him to leave.

    • Peter Llewellyn

      They did. They did it to Amos too – Amos 7:10-17 tells the story graphically enough. It would be wonderful to use Amos’ words for these jokers.

  • DanJ0

    It sounds like the organizational changes they are making will help them to integrate strategically their skills transfer in a results oriented way. It’ll help them to energize a sustainable initiative, enabled by a change management resource and improved roll out. No doubt the outcome of the change management process will be a committed transformation and change agent training with a clear change readiness map which they will be able to achieve strategically. Obviously, if they are managing a complex organizational change, they need to provide an improved rejuvenated approach to audit their methodology expertly. I expect this will be delivered through a unique blend of change lever and reegineering supported by rejuvenated methodology.

    • Inspector General

      Don’t be surprised if the CoE pinch and adapt all that for the inevitable prospectus. You being of the world and not of Christ’s Kingdom…

    • A most excellent summary, Danjo.

      • Dominic Stockford

        No it isn’t, it sounds like 100 monkeys typing for 100 hours on 100 typewriters…

        • Yes, its supposed to Dominic. Tsk .. How else would the European Foundation for Quality Management make its money assessing organisational performance? Leadership nowadays is so much more sophisticated and needs its own priestly caste.

    • bluedog

      Brilliant DanJO. One can see the CofE House of Bishops hitting the beaches running and storming ashore to seize the low-hanging fruit offered by this opportunity.

    • Inspector General

      Ten ticks !

      I’ll be buggered….

      • Darter Noster

        Is it Friday already? :oD

        Make that 11…

      • CliveM

        Is that a request? Lol!!

      • Now it’s 14 – and do not use that expression. People will talk.

      • “I’ll be buggered….”
        Quite possibly …. now it’s 21 up-votes.

        • CliveM

          It’ll be his Christmas present!!

    • Martin

      DanJ0

      I’ve been on one of those course too. At least I think so, was asleep most of the time.

    • Phil R

      Glad you think it is absolute bullshit as well.

      David Brent (The Office) would be “ready now” most likely

      Hang on though. He might be the sort of change the CofE need.

      Help us relate to people etc

    • john gibson

      DanJ0, That is outstanding. Well done.
      John Gibson

    • DanJ0

      Can’t say it’s all my own work I’m afraid, there’s a corporate-speak generator online which creates random sentences. Heh.

      • CliveM

        I’m disappointed, I thought it was a result of too many training courses!

    • Terry Mushroom

      Suggest that somewhere in there that you need the word “robust”.

      • DanJ0

        And synergies.

  • Darter Noster

    Yay – Dilbert’s joined the Church of England!!! :oD

    Can’t wait for the Pointy-Haired Bishop to tell us about Total Quality Episcopacy :oD

    ISIS are the Elbonians presumably…?

    • Inspector General

      Good point Darter. Dilbert has his finger on the pulse…

    • Martin

      Darter

      Does that explain the shape of their hats?

  • What the C of E really needs to do is to organize a search party for its lampstand.
    I think they’ll find it’s been removed (some time ago, actually).

    • Martin

      Martin M

      Oh dear, so apt.

  • The Church’s mission statement was declared by Christ. All the resources necessary to meet this was also promised.

    “All authority in heaven and on earth, he said, has been given to me; you, therefore, must go out, making disciples of all nations, and baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all the commandments which I have given you. And behold I am with you all through the days that are coming, until the consummation of the world.”

    By any benchmark, Western Christianity is failing in its mission to convert, teach and instruct. This is not because of a lack of business acumen or organisational leadership skills. Nor is it because “a wider variety of backgrounds and range of skills” is needed.

    Is this where are really heading?

    The
    “Buddy Christ.”

  • Martin

    Just thinking, this should sink the chances of anyone who doesn’t toe the party line. Presumably the current pope wouldn’t get in either.

    • Jack suspects he might get in and go very far too. Whoever listens to him seems to hear what he wants to.

  • len

    The Church certainly ‘needs to get with the programme’, God`s programme that is… it`s called the Gospel……..

  • Albert

    Obviously, serious questions need to be asked of this (and the questions raised in the OP are right IMO), but the basic idea of bishops who know how to manage is surely sound. In business you don’t let people manage unless they know how to manage and are properly trained. In many other fields, you just let people who are good at their job do management, which is a different thing. Not only does that take someone away from what they are good at, but it also requires them to do what they may not be good at. An Orthodox monk once said to me, “I’m always sad when a good monk becomes a bishop.” I think a similar thing could be said of a good parish pastor. I’m not of course suggesting that a bishop is just a manager – he must be a pastor and a preacher first, but he is also a manager. As scripture says:

    Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil; moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders, or he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

    and

    And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues.

    If the Church takes good pastors and preachers from parishes and makes them bishops without giving them the tools to do that job well, then the Church cannot expect the job to be done well. All the Church will achieve is to remove them from what they were doing well and force them to spend time doing something they can’t do well. And this is not the way of Christ, for he always equips us with what we need.

    • Albert, Jack thinks the question is whether this programme will develop the appropriate skills or not in church leaders. Economy and efficiency are one thing; embracing ‘new public management’ tools and ‘leadership speak’ quite another. Plus, this programme appears to be designed to create an elite of socially diverse future bishops based on secular skills rather than spiritual qualities.
      Jack doesn’t believe Saint Paul was intending this when he listed the criteria for appointing bishops in the early church. Basically, he was calling for people to be chosen based on the manifestation of their faith in their personal and family lives.

      • Albert

        Happy Jack, there are many valid points in your comment – in fact they all are. My only tweak would be that it ought to be possible (a) to select bishops who are up to the task and (b) to train them for the job. The kinds of management difficulties of the modern age, together with issues of communication, are serious. Of course, the risk is that “management” becomes the message, but if it becomes a better way of running things more effectively for the gospel, I’m all for it. That which can be pressed into the service of the Church and the Gospel without risk to either, should be employed. That I guess is the idea. The practicalities…well yes, a bit of a nightmare!

        • We are agreed, Albert.
          It’s a question of emphasis. Jack always baulks at prior selection and fast-track training prior to a candidate ‘serving time’ in the field and demonstrating their worth to the core mission of the organisation. He has witnessed this in the Health and Social Care profession. And the idea of weighing selection according to social characteristics is a matter for concern.
          The question really is whether the actual details of this programme will strengthen those called by God to be bishops on the basis of spiritual worth, or whether managerial and intellectual qualities (as well as sex, gender, colour and theological bias) will be more important. And the idea of a special group of cadres awaiting ‘promotion’ and ‘networking’ is divisive.

          • Albert

            Jack, you may well be right. I don’t know much about this sort of thing. What I do know, from places I have worked, is that the promotion of people to positions which involve a lot of management when they are not good or trained for the latter, is somewhat disastrous!

            The question really is whether the actual details of this programme will strengthen those called by God to be bishops on the basis of spiritual worth, or whether managerial and intellectual qualities (as well as sex, gender, colour and theological bias) will be more important.

            We need both.

            the idea of a special group of cadres awaiting ‘promotion’ and ‘networking’ is divisive.

            Agreed.

    • Intonsus

      Surely bishops are not called primarily to be Administrators, but Apostles & prophets

      • Albert

        I agree, which is why I said:

        I’m not of course suggesting that a bishop is just a manager – he must be a pastor and a preacher first, but he is also a manager.

        Given that he is also a manager, it is important that he do that part of his job well. That’s all I’m saying.

        • Intonsus

          Sorry if I didn’t read your comment properly.
          But I think we need properly ordered and spiritually-gifted Administrators – that’s what Deacons are for.

          • Albert

            Agreed, but again, I think bishops will always have to do such things and if so, they may as well do them well.

          • Intonsus

            Yes, but I doubt this is the best way to get good Bishops

          • Albert

            You may well be right. I’m not the person to judge how best to achieve helping bishops to be good at management. But that they should be so helped, and perhaps prevented from being bishops if they cannot do management, seems to me to be a fairly straightforward thing.

  • Women bishops and deans are expensive!

  • Guest

    Says it all

  • Intonsus

    ” I believe that one reason why the Church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world, is because the world has so much influence over the Church”
    C H Spurgeon

    • len

      If only Spurgeon were alive today…….Probably be in prison for breaking the Politically Correct rules …but wouldn`t most of those prisoners hear the Gospel though!.””

  • Intonsus

    Would the Church of England’s ‘Development and Appointments Group’ deem a
    poor, ignorant, hot-headed fishermen to be “ready now” to lead the
    worldwide Church of Christ?

    Would the Church of England’s ‘Development and Appointments Group’ deem an under-educated carpenter who had shown few signs of leadership or ‘early promise’ (apart from a few ill-understood stories) to be ‘ready now’ to proclaim that ‘God’s kingdom is upon you’?