We were delighted to work with the Diocese of Leeds to design and deliver the initial cohort of the Clergy Leadership Network (CLN). The Bishop and Archdeacons had identified a gap in the training and support offered to incumbents, particularly those in more rural areas. Whilst providing plenty of spiritual and theological support, it seemed as though some of the more practical skills to run a parish were not always adequately addressed. There was also a sense that incumbents sometimes felt alone and isolated in their leadership roles in their communities.
From this, the CLN was born, to both support practical skills development and also provide a real opportunity to create an informal network of peers with whom clergy could share their ideas and issues with. Spiritual leaders can feel very lonely!
“CLN has been a great way to learn afresh, whilst being enlivened as we shared valuable experiences with other clergy through this network. I would recommend this to all clergy.” (Yvonne, Area Dean)
The CLN programme ran for 18 months and featured a number of formal, day long sessions addressing the following subjects
- Working effectively with volunteers
- Spiritual Leadership
- Change Management and
- Leadership skills
Every participant also chose an issue to work on during the period as a Mission Based Project, ideally to put into use some of the practical skills developed on the programme. Participants also split into informal learning trios to continue the networking and support elements of the programme in between sessions.
“Ministry can be fulfilling and rewarding but it is also demanding, CLN has given me valuable support for the ups and downs of leadership” (Phil, Incumbent)