For Bishops looking to sponsor a group in the Reconciling Mission programme
How can we envision and equip Christians and churches to be agents for reconciliation in divided communities and societies? How can local churches be engaged more deeply with their neighbourhoods, building on the strengths within the community?
If, as a diocesan bishop, you’re pondering questions such as these, then you’ll want to consider sponsoring a group to participate in the Reconciling Mission programme. The Reconciling Mission process is focused on resourcing participants with a vision for mission as part of joining in God's reconciling work, marked by deep engagement with local communities, along with tools for the church to play a creative role in promoting reconciliation within society, building on the assets within local neighbourhoods.
What would I be committing myself to?
If you sponsor a group, you and your group will be committing yourselves to the following:
- You, as the diocesan bishop, identifying and investing in a diverse group of four
- Meeting with your group in advance to clarify hopes and expectations
During the initial Reconciling Mission residential week, the group members will develop a provisional plan for implementation in their own parishes or ministry contexts.
Over the following 15 months, your group will participate in a series of small online video conferences, with each of the other participating diocesan teams. These conferences are designed as action learning groups and will be facilitated by one of RI's facilitators. You can expect:
- For you or one of your senior staff to meet occasionally with your team to discuss implementation and agree next steps.
We also hope that you and your group will offer feedback to subsequent programme participants, via short pre-recorded video interviews. Where possible, group members may also attend occasional gatherings of programme ‘graduates’, to share stories of impact and learning. They will also be able to be part of an ongoing community of practice.
Who should I sponsor as participants?
Your four participants will typically be experienced clergy in parish ministry. (Suitable lay people are welcome if they can commit the time involved, for example, if they work for the diocese; and if they are confident about engaging with a group of mostly clergy.)
All participants should ideally meet these criteria:
- experienced leaders with the potential to continue growing;
- a mix of genders, typically two women and two men;
- people who reflect some of the diversity within your diocese, especially ethnic diversity where possible;
- people of some emotional maturity, who are not extreme characters; and
- expected to be in the age range 30-59.
Ideally participants should also have completed some foundational skills training in handling conflict through Bridge Builders, Place for Hope or a similar service.
Once you have identified a group of four, please notify our director. If you want to make an exception to the guideline criteria, please explain why. Then invite each team member to read the pages of this website, and to complete the application form.
What’s it going to cost my diocese?
The proposed contribution for the Reconciling Mission programme beginning in July 2022 is GBP £950 per participant, totalling GBP £3,800 for a group of four. This covers the residential learning week, the ongoing group coaching sessions, and the two day conferences in March 2023 and 2024. Reconciliation Initiatives covers the balance of the costs involved. We can also assist with identifying sources of bursary funding, if needed.
The diocese or province will also need to cover each participant's travel costs to the conference meeting venues.
Video from Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester
In this short video, the Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, offers an insight into why she sponsored a group in the inaugural API Reconciling Mission 2020 programme, and why other Anglican Bishops will want to consider sponsoring a group in subsequent programmes: