Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

The Chelmsford Clergy Leadership Programme (CLP)

Clergy Leadership Programme 2017/18

Residential CLP

This residential programme is held in two one-week blocks with projects in between to apply learning to your personal and local parish contexts. 

Joint 2017/18 Residential Course with the Diocese of Karlstad

Every two years CLP is shared with clergy and trainers from our partner Diocese of Karlstad in Sweden.

  • Residential (1): Monday 9th to Friday 13th October 2017 at the Diocesan Retreat Centre, Pleshey
  • Residential (2): Monday11th to Friday15th June 2018 in Karlstad, Sweden

Modular CLP  

Modular CLP combines flexible in-depth residential learning with application and follow-up. Meeting regularly over two days enables sustained, collaborative learning that reflects on your current ministry as it unfolds.  Most participants will be residential at Pleshey but it will be possible to include some day participants who cannot be away from home overnight.

Each of the teaching days will begin at 9.30am. Day One ends with supper and an optional programme, Day Two 2 ends at 4.00pm. Modules 7 & 8 last one day and include an opportunity to present project work in small groups.

2017/18 Modular Course

  • Introductory day: Tuesday 7th February 2017 at the Diocesan Offices 
  • CLP (1): Wednesday 29th - Thursday 30th March 2017
  • CLP (2): Monday 8th – Tuesday 9th May 2017 
  • CLP (3): Tuesday 6th – Wednesday 7th June 2017 
  • CLP (4): Tuesday 19th – Wednesday 20th September 2017 
  • CLP (5): Monday 6th – Tuesday 7th November 2017
  • CLP (6): Monday 29th - Tuesday 30th January 2018
  • CLP (7): Tuesday 13th March 2018
  • CLP (8): Tuesday 17th April 2018


The cost of CLP Residential and Modular CLP is covered by CMD and so is free to you. However, travel to Pleshey and Belsey Bridge is the responsibility of participants. Travel to Sweden is paid for by the Diocese.


1.   Introducing the Chelmsford Leadership Programme

The purpose is to equip clergy leaders in the diocese with some of the insights, skills and resources that will help them to exercise effective and transformational leadership in God’s church. Our focus is on developing collaborative leadership-for-mission for the church of today and the emerging church of the future.

Our programme is built on and resourced by the experience of The Leadership Institute (TLI) who have been providing training, encouragement and vision for the church’s leadership since 1995. The first Chelmsford Clergy Leadership Programme began in 2001.

2.   Why is the Programme needed?

Our society and culture are rapidly changing.  The whole context of ministry is radically different from what it was when most clergy undertook their initial theological training.  Clergy are well equipped as pastors and theologians but few have had the opportunity to reflect on the leadership skills needed in today’s church and society. In contrast, many lay leaders have practical experience of leadership and management but may not have had the opportunity to reflect theologically on secular models and apply their wisdom in appropriate ways to the mission of the church.

The CLP encourages participants to stretch the limits of their creative thinking, to re-evaluate existing structures, assumptions and methods.  By the end of the programme, participants will have gained new insights and heightened confidence in their own ability to lead with others in a changing world and changing church.

3.   The Clergy Leadership Programme

3.1. Who is the Programme for?

The Clergy CLP is of most benefit for clergy who:

  • have the ability to learn and adapt to new situations and challenges
  • want to increase their personal effectiveness in coping creatively with change and conflict
  • are looking for new ways to sustain their parish ministry and home life
  • want to develop positive models for lay leadership and enhance collaboration
  • are of incumbent status and have been in their present role for two or more years and are not close to a move or retirement.

3.2. Content of the Programme

The CLP combines in-depth residential learning with application and follow-up. The programme begins a Preparation Day in Chelmsford that includes an exploration of our personality preferences using the Insights Discovery Process. The main work is then done in two residential study weeks. Between the residentials each person develops a personal project and leaves after the second residential with the resources to carry out a parish project with their colleagues who have attended the Associate Leadership days..

We aim to form a learning community within which to explore models of leadership which are values-based, visionary in focus, empowering in expression and participative. The best insights from the business world are subjected to theological scrutiny and considered alongside wisdom from Scripture and church tradition (such as the Rule of St. Benedict) to form a coherent and relevant framework for Christian Leadership development.

The first residential focuses on the individual and the personal foundations for leadership. Included here are issues of identity, vocation, priorities, motivation, power, leadership styles and personal renewal. These are further developed in a Personal Development Project which each participant identifies and develops to suit their individual circumstances.  This ensures that the learning does not gather dust, but is thoroughly digested and may even become life-changing.

In the second residential period we reflect on the progress we have made personally and apply this to the challenging leadership task of parish development and mission. The main focus of part two is on organisational culture, developing trust, servant leadership, change, team building and conflict issues.

The final aspect of the programme is a second project designed to develop a particular aspect of congregational life and witness. This is carried out in partnership with a small group, most of whom will have attended to Associate Leadership study days. Progress and learning from these projects then provides the material for reflection at two or three follow-up days. The whole programme ends with a celebratory dinner.

We offer various resources and book recommendations for those who want to go deeper but there is no requirement for extensive preparatory reading or essay writing.

In summary, the Clergy Leadership Programme is

  • long enough to cover a wide range of new learning;
  • short enough to be manageable without major disruption to personal or parish life;
  • intensive enough to learn deeply, and for changes to develop at spiritual, emotional and intellectual levels;
  • far enough away for participants to be free from parochial pressures.

3.3. Timetable, Commitments, Costs and Bookings

On the CLP Residential programme the residentials begin with coffee at 10.30am and end with lunch on Friday. The daily routine is carefully crafted to integrate learning (in a variety of styles) with worship, food and personal-time so that participants will not leave too exhausted.  However, we encourage participants to have a full day off in the week before and take the rest of Friday and Saturday off at the end of the residential.

On CLP Modular each of the teaching days begins at 9.30am. Day One ends with supper at 18:30 and an optional evening programme, and Day Two ends at 4.30pm. Modules 7 & 8 last one day and follow the same pattern as Day Two.

Due to the integrated nature of the process, participation in the whole programme is essential for both the residentail and modular progarmmes. Clergy are expected to be resident/attendfor the whole time as it is not possible to conduct any parish business and do justice to the programme at the same time! We will do our best to handle any real emergency that would, for example, be serious enough to cut short a family holiday but please note that funerals, parish or school meetings do not qualify as emergencies!

The Chelmsford Clergy Leadership Programme costs £700 for accommodation and materials but because of the strategic importance of leadership training this is offered free to participants.

Bookings can be made with the Sue Denham, CMD Administrator on 01245 294450 or by email 

3.4. Some comments from previous participants

  • A valuable course giving space for reflection, stimulating input, and very comfortable surroundings. Besides the formal input, the informal contact with other course members is invaluable
  • It is certainly worth working with a group in our Diocese. There is real value in meeting together afterwards to evaluate and work through the material.
  • Thank you for space to reflect on my journey, help in self awareness. And for opening up issues in social change and concepts in leadership.
  • The course has been the most worthwhile I have ever been involved in.  It was hugely enjoyable, and I learned a great amount
  • It attends to the roots rather than just polishing the fruit!
  • CLP helped me crystallise my thinking on how I do life and how I lead church. I have done things differently over the last two years and the results are palpable! 

Canon Dr Roger Matthews

Director for Mission and Ministry

More Information

If you want to find out more, please contact your Area CMD Adviser. Sue Denham can give you their details if necessary and can also give you names of other clergy in your locality who have completed the programme.

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