“Supervision is a structured process of reflective learning in which a supervisor meets with a supervisee to develop and support learning skills, understanding, and good practice. It will take place within a framework of spiritual understanding and prayer, care, trust, and openness.”
It is the expectation within the diocese that lay and ordained ministers will have regular meetings with a colleague in their benefice or MMU in which they can discuss their work challenges, role, and current ministry to enable greater insight, shared responsibility, and developmental support as well as practical actions needed.
This is to assist in breaking down the isolation that many feel in ministry and to develop collegial approaches. The timing and frequency will depend on the amount of time devoted to a parish role, and whether there are also shared ‘team meetings’ with others for planning or group supervision, but a diaried meeting monthly might be a reasonable expectation for many roles. Annually the working agreement should be discussed, and revised if necessary.
Good Supervision offers space
- To be ourselves
- To dream dreams and reconnect with our vocation
- To admit tiredness, weakness, failure, disillusion, ambition, hope, confusion
- To be heard and have our work valued
- To be challenged
- To examine the gap between our intentions and our practice
- To allow God to work through us by honest interaction with one another
‘Supervision, in a non-managerial sense, creates a confidential space which is spiritually and theologically rich, psychologically informed, contextually sensitive and praxis based. It fosters a growth in both vocational identity and professional practice. It can explore issues of skill development, management of boundaries, professional identity and the impact of the work upon all concerned. It is a very useful discipline to support those in ministry and mission.’
Revd. Duncan Strathie, Diocese of Salisbury handout.
Supervision is taught in the Conference for Training Incumbents, (with reference to Theology, the Bible and Supervision, and Supervision as Practical Theology), in the Chelmsford Christian Leadership Programme (including a look at Values in Supervision) and in shorter intensive days.
Curates are encouraged to think about how to use supervision well within their Induction day and IME 2 programme, and expectations about supervision for curates are set out in the IME Handbook.
Pastoral Supervision, A Handbook, Jane Leach and Michael Patterson, SCM, 2010
Lifelong Learning, Frances Ward, 2005
Theological Reflection Methods, Elaine Graham, Heather Walton and Frances Ward, SCM, 2005.
Beyond the Diocese further training and accreditation can be undertaken through various organisations and agencies: https://www.pastoralsupervision.org.uk/training-providers/