By Revd Helen Gheorghiu Gould
A 'FANTASTIC' first national Interim Ministry conference at High Leigh, Hoddeston, was attended by 50 delegates representing 19 dioceses.
The Diocese of Chelmsford sponsored the gathering for Interim Ministers and senior staff involved in this area in the Church of England, to share current experience and explore the way forward in Interim Ministry (IM), considering the theological background, current challenges and the need for training and resources for the future.
The conference was addressed by Revd Angus Mathieson, Partnerships Development Secretary for the Church of Scotland where IM has been used for 20 years; Dr Jane Williams, St Mellitus College; Tony Evans, from the Institute for Interim Management, who operates as an Interim Manager at chief executive level in the business sector; and Ven Julian Hubbard, Director of Ministry for the Church of England Archbishop’s Council.
The event supported both practitioners and those working at a senior and strategic level by offering an opportunity to share perspectives, learn how interim roles operate in different contexts and reflect on effective ways of working in and deploying IM.
Interim Ministry is an area of growing interest for many dioceses, following recent legislative changes which allows for short-term appointments in parishes undergoing change.
Delegates - lay representatives, bishops, archdeacons, directors of ministry, training institutions and national church institutions - discussed three fundamental questions:
- Is Interim Ministry about covering gaps in ministry or stimulating strategic change?
- What are the underlying challenges Interim Ministry is trying to address?
- And how can Interim Ministry be most effectively used?
The next steps being considered include shared national networking, training and learning to help dioceses develop IM skills and make best strategic use of interim posts.
- Revd Helen Gheorghiu Gould is Priest-in-Charge, Parish of All Saints with St Giles, Nazeing - an Interim Minister in the Diocese of Chelmsford.
This article first appeared in the April 2017 edition of our newspaper, The Month.