Everyone in ministry in the Diocese is encouraged to pursue their Continuing Ministerial Development(CMD), Education and Training for their own, and the wider Church's ongoing flourishing.
To support this, the Formation and Ministry Team arranges courses and events for clergy and lay ministers. Some courses are related directly to major transition points of ministry: new post, mid-ministry, pre-retirement. Others are subject or special interest-focused.
On this page we cover:
We also have dedicated pages on:
Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) events provided by the Diocese, are either advertised directly to clergy and other ministers through special mailings or posted in Events and Training.
Under the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations, all those holding office under Common Tenure are under a duty to participate in Ministerial Development Review and Continuing Ministerial Development and so clergy and lay ministers are encouraged to be proactive about in-service training and to make use of the training grants available.
The fundamental purpose of Continuing Ministerial Development is to equip and develop ministers so that they may stimulate and enable the whole Church to participate more fully in the mission of God in the world.
There is a mutual responsibility for ongoing support, training and development between individual members of the clergy and the Diocese of Rochester.
The Diocese recognises its responsibility to offer appropriate provision for support and development. The Bishop has, therefore, appointed officers to oversee the delivery of support and development opportunities and have also ensured the provision of financial and other resources. The first point of contact will be the Diocesan Director of Formation & Ministry whose details are below.
For their part, each member of the clergy has the responsibility to seek out and use the resources available, both at a local level and more widely.
Explore some of the different types of learning opportunities that are available:
All Stipendiary Clergy (and Self-Supporting Clergy, where possible) are expected to attend designated continued ministerial development such as conferences and study days which are designed to offer opportunities to address issues of topical importance in clergy ministry.
The term ‘Self Supporting Ministers’ is used to cover all Clergy who carry a Bishop’s Licence who are not paid by the Church, including, Self-Supporting Ministers (SSM) and Ministers in Secular Employment (MSE).
Those who are new to posts are invited to attend the New Posts Programme which is held biannually. You are also offered to make use of a mentor and belong to a reflective practice group.
Alongside our Mentoring Programme, all new Incumbents can expect to meet with their Area Dean, the Director, or a Representative from the Formation and Ministry team at various points in their first year.
Our Diocesan scheme for Ministerial Development Review (MDR) follows guidance from the House of Bishops and is, therefore, similar to schemes in other dioceses.
The aim of the Scheme is to help clergy take time to reflect upon their ministry not least in relation to the Ordinal. It is an opportunity for them to think about what has gone well and to consider the reasons for this. Visit our dedicated Ministerial Development Review page.
All clergy are encouraged to undertake an annual retreat and to have a Spiritual Director, Mentor, or equivalent. The Bishop, Archdeacon, Director of Formation & Ministry or Diocesan Adviser for Spirituality may be contacted to discuss these issues further. The Diocesan Spirituality Network also runs a full programme of courses, retreats, events.
All licensed clergy may apply for a three-month period of Extended Ministerial Development Leave (EMDL) after ten years in ministry (and after every subsequent tenth year). Normally, up to a £1,000 grant is available for approved study leave.
Study leave is defined as three calendar months away from the parish, in addition to the annual holiday allocation. The first step is to discuss the possibility with the Director of Formation & Ministry following a Ministerial Development Review (MDR), which identified the possibility of an EMDR.
The Diocese offers study leave grants and practical help and support in preparation for, and follow up of, the EMDL. It is also possible for clergy and stipendiary lay ministers to take shorter periods of study leave. Those considering this possibility should first discuss it with their Archdeacon. The EMDL policy and guidelines are available from the Formation and Ministry Department at the Diocesan Office.
Find out more about grants here
Useful forms and guidance
Diocesan Director of Formation and Ministry
The Rev Jane Winter
Assistant Director of Formation and Ministry