Supporting healthy ministry in the Diocese of Oxford
“I’ve been very blessed and enriched to have worked with ministry accompaniers and work consultants in every major role as a vicar and theololgical educator, missioner and bishop. I have learned a huge amount through being simply listened to and asked thoughtful questions as a regular part of ministry. I warmly commend the practice of ministry accompaniment to all clergy in the Diocese of Oxford.”
Why Ministry Accompaniers?
As part of the Diocese’s encouragement and support for healthy and sustainable ministry, the network of Ministry Accompaniers exists to act as a critical friend and external reference. They are there to help think through the issues you face in your role as priest or minister, all within a confidential relationship.
Such issues could include vision setting, conflict resolution, small or major change, how you exercise your leadership, building and developing collaborative ministry, dependency problems, as well as more personal work issues such as changing jobs, time management, or achieving a better balance in your life.
“Calling in a ministry accompanier can feel threatening; it could look like I cannot do things myself. Having used 3 accompaniers over the last 11 years, I can only say they have been very positive, empowering experiences, facilitating real change in practice and consciousness.”
Team Rector, Berkshire Area
How is it different to other support I have?
A Ministry Accompanier focusses on you in your role as priest or minister in the context of your benefice/parish/team etc. They can offer an impartial perspective from outside that context.
How does it work?
A Ministry Accompanier is there to work with your ‘stuff’ in a totally confidential environment. Their aim, through attentive listening and challenging questions, is to enable you seek clarity, identify possible ways forward and to move on. They may utilize a number of different skills or approaches, as appropriate, to help you in this process, eg coaching, consultancy or mentoring, but they won’t tell you what to do.
For full details download the Ministry Accompaniers leaflet (2018).
Will there be a cost?
Some of the network are freelance and need to charge and some are free. The rate of charge is very reasonable (£35 per hour) and you could use your annual CMD grant of £250 to fund this cost.
How do I find a Ministry Accompanier?
First of all, please talk to your Parish Development Adviser. They will discuss with you what it is you are looking for from the relationship, eg is there a specific focus or need, or is it more general at this stage.