For many of us, however much we value continuities with the past, change and shaping change is an inevitable part of 21st Century church. Leading change and handling conflict are skills that most clergy will need at some point. There are several different pathways to developing skills in this area.
Each year the dioceses of the Eastern Region (Chelmsford, Ely, Norwich, Peterborough, St Albans and St Edmundsbury and Ipswych) hold a 48 hour residential exploring the issue of conflict management. This has been well received by those who find themselves in situations of conflict in their parochial ministry. The workshop is open to lay and ordained, and is ecumenical.
It uses a mixture of input and participant work to learn about change processes, work on issues course members have brought, reflect on our attitudes to conflict, and develop a biblical theology of change. There is an opportunity to see different change processes in action and to work on individual plans for managing change.
The course aim is that by the end participants will:
- Understand the conflicts they are experiencing in a different way
- Have tools to analyse and deal with conflict especially in the context of the church
- See that conflict can be an opportunity for transformation
‘Changing the way you view a conflict can alter how you handle it.’
Further details available from Jill Mowbray or Dennis Stamps (St Alban’s Diocese).
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