Continuing Ministerial Development

CMD Statement of Expectations


Support and development

The Church of England recognises the centrality of lifelong learning, support and development1-3 in the lives and ministry of its clergy. In the Rochester Diocese we are clear that clergy should feel both affirmed in their ministry and accountable to their Bishop and colleagues for their development.3

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. This document sets out the policy of Rochester Diocese in offering opportunities for support and development and laying down the expectations for clergy in continuing learning and development in their ministry.

For the purposes of this document, and for CMD in general, the term ‘clergy’ will also encompass Lay Ministers who undergo the diocesan Lay Ministerial Development Review including Church Army Officers.


The fundamental purpose of Continuing Ministerial Development is to equip and develop the Church’s ministers in order that they may stimulate and enable the whole Church to participate more fully in the mission of God in the world.1


There is a mutual responsibility for on-going 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 the 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.

Lifelong learning

Professional development

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).

Professional update

All clergy are actively encouraged to undertake an annual programme to update their theological and associated studies as well as practical skills. Many courses are made available through the Diocese. However, there will be many other opportunities available through universities, colleges, church and secular organisations. Some financial provision is available to support this, and clergy are also encouraged to negotiate contributions for this from their working expenses. Personal CMD Grants are available after consultation with Diocesan Director Formation & Ministry, however, these grants must be related to MDR outcomes. 

 Initial Ministerial Education (IME 4-7)

All clergy in their first three years of ministry are expected to undertake the Diocesan.  IME 4-7 Programme which is a joint programme with the diocese of Canterbury.

New appointments

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.

Ministerial Development Review (MDR)


Our Diocesan scheme for Ministerial Development Review (MDR) follows guidance from the House of Bishops and is, therefore, similar to schemes in other dioceses.  MDR is an expression of the Bishop’s oversight of ministers within the Diocese; it sits within a pattern of pastoral and developmental support, which is intended to foster both the ministries of individual priests and deacons, and the pastoral and missionary calling of the whole church. It is not expected to bear the whole burden of this function alone.

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.  It is also a chance to think about what has not gone so well, and to respond accordingly.  There is a particular focus around opportunities for further development and formation.

The requirements for MDR, which is formally part of the pattern for all clergy on Common Tenure, are set out in The Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations 2010 part IV.  This and the accompanying papers (listed below) describe the MDR scheme for our Diocese.  The scheme is administered and supported from the Bishop’s Office and the Diocesan Formation and Ministry Team.

All the documentation for MDR is to be found on the Diocesan website.

Work and ministry consultancy

Individual work and ministry consultancy, coaching and other support are available for clergy to assist them in their ministry.

New appointments

Alongside the Mentoring Programme, all new Incumbents can expect to meet with their Area Dean, the Director or a Representative from the Formation & Ministry team   at various points in their first year. All incumbents new to the Diocese of Rochester are expected to attend the three-day New Posts programme assist them in induction and in vision-setting.

Other residential opportunities

The Diocesan CMD programme also offers a variety of other residential opportunities for clergy to develop their ministries and seeks to support and encourage clergy at various stages of ministry. In each archdeaconry, the archdeacon provides a 24 hour residential for their clergy alternate years.


An important part of clergy support will be opportunities to spend time and share ministry with clergy colleagues. All licensed clergy are expected to participate fully in Deanery Chapter and Synod, and to use such meetings as opportunities for encouragement, support and shared learning. Area Deans aim to include in chapter gatherings opportunities for development and mutual support.

Ministerial and personal development

Extended Ministerial Development Leave (EMDL)

All licensed clergy may apply for a three-month period of EMDL after ten years in ministry (and after every subsequent tenth year). Normally, up to £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. For more information click here.


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.


  1. The Archbishops’ Council Mind the Gap: Integrating Continuing Ministerial Education for the Church’s ministers (London 2001)
  2. The Convocations of Canterbury and York Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy (CHP London 2003)
  3. The Ministry Division of the Archbishops’ Council Review of Clergy Terms of Service (CHP London 2004)


Diocesan Director of Formation & Ministry

Canon Christopher Dench
T: 01634 560000 E:

Formation & Ministry Team Administrator

Ethlyn Roy-Johnson

T: 01634 560000 E:

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