Our Ethos

Aims and Ethos:

West Midlands Continuing Ministerial Development:

Our Conferences aim to help you reflect and develop in ministry. We aim to offer content and activities that will enable you do this in a positive and engaged way, drawing upon a variety of approaches to good adult education and spiritual and personal development.

Participant contexts - learning from difference:

Participants are drawn from the six dioceses of the West Midlands region: Birmingham, Coventry, Gloucester, Hereford, Lichfield and Worcester.

Contexts will vary widely – from deep rural, suburban, outer estate and inner city, as well as institutional chaplaincy. The configuration of our work settings will also vary – single parish and multi-parish benefices, Team Ministries, associate-Incumbency, LEPs and inter-faith teams. We are also drawn from a wide diversity of ecclesial traditions and theological approaches.

Please come expecting to work with and learn from colleagues in very different settings from your own as well as those which may feel familiar. Much of the input will be generic to ministry across the C of E, and you will need to translate the relevance of the material for your own situation and diocese.

Please come expecting to be an engaged learner rather than a passive recipient, and to practice a hospitality of ideas – a willingness to share your own ideas and listen carefully to those of others, including a generosity towards those with whom you differ. We encourage courteous and thoughtful engagement with speakers and those giving input. The Conference does not aim to reach a consensus about ministry in primary responsibility in the Church of England, but to help you develop a critical awareness of your own practice and to inform this with theological insight and ministerial wisdom.

Confidentiality

Please regard material shared by other participants in sessions as confidential – this applies both to small group settings and comments shared in plenary; in this way we will be able to test out ideas and share experience constructively.

Details that have been shared should not leave the room.

Prayer and fellowship

Corporate worship each day and relaxed and enjoyable meals ensure that the conference takes place in the context of prayer, fellowship and time for personal reflection.

Timing:

We ask all participants to respect each other through prompt arrival for timetabled sessions and meals.

Feedback:

We invite feedback as a normal part of the programme, but also welcome informal feedback.

Self-Care

Please ensure you care for yourself by addressing your needs during and after the programme. If you find aspects of the conference are raising issues or difficulties for you, please speak to the leader or team members, who will listen in confidence and do their best to help. It may be that there are further training needs or more complex issues which you will want to raise with your diocesan CMD Officer or Pastoral Care Adviser after the conference.

Issues:

If you are dissatisfied with aspects of the course or with the conduct of another participant, please raise these with the lead officers, and that sooner rather than later.

The course depends on mutual respect among participants and facilitators, and a readiness to learn which is expressed in a spirit of collaboration and participation so that all flourish. Lead officers will raise concerns with participants who appear not to respect this approach, and may ask participants to withdraw from the programme where there is disruptive or inappropriate behaviour, informing the relevant CMD officer of the decision.

West Midlands CMD Officers

Dioceses of Birmingham, Coventry, Gloucester, Hereford, Lichfield, Worcester

August 2020