Church Consult – a new, peer-driven SWF initiative

Welcome to Church Consult

Church Consult is a brand new, peer-driven initiative for church-based leaders,
facilitated in partnership with the Susanna Wesley Foundation. We are inviting participation in this initiative for the 18/19 year. The SWF’s Sue Miller tells us more:

What are you offering?

We offer a reflective and strategic space for church-based leaders and practitioners across all traditions to consider their experience of Christian mission and engagement in the many challenging, creative spaces in our rapidly diversifying world. Shared insights and experiences become the basic tools for reflecting on how we might better connect with the changing world around us, and exercise a confident yet non-hubristic leadership, participation, and curation of the spaces and institutions with which we engage. The hallmarks of what we offer, and the impacts that will accrue as a result, include:

  • shared and intentional learning
  • beginning with experience, and engaging with live issues (intriguing or puzzling)
  • working with the grain of the context
  • integrating theory and practice
  • developing a sense of agency, confidence and new strategies for leadership.

What does the learning experience look like?

We facilitate a series of three one day events – see details below – which will allow learning, reflection and shared experience to be built upon in ever deepening and insightful processes. This structure also enables individual participants to reflect on how their practices and approach have changed since the start of the learning and reflection cycle. Each day event runs along roughly the same pattern and aims to work with a core cohort of 24 leaders and practitioners.

What are the dates for the three one-day sessions?

4 October 2018              22 November 2018              31 January 2019

Days will run from approximately 9.30am to 4pm.

Commitment to attend all three events is strongly urged of everyone participating. However, if you cannot make one of the days please do still get in touch.

Who are the facilitating group?

We are a consortium of experienced practitioner theologians who have worked in both church, business, and academic environments over many years, advising, teaching and training in issues of leadership, mission and team-building. We are working in partnership with the Susanna Wesley Foundation whose mission is to offer opportunities for reflection, practice and research in these areas. (Read more about us here).

Where are the days being held?

The Church Consult day events are being held in central Birmingham (UK). Contact us for details.

What does it cost?

Most of the costs of this event are being covered by the Susanna Wesley Foundation but we are asking for a contribution of £100, to include the three days’ input and refreshments.

How can I register?

To register your interest in this programme please click here.

We hope to see you there!


More about the facilitators:

Chris Baker is Professor of Religion and Public Life at Goldsmiths, University of London and Director of Research for the William Temple Foundation. As well as researching on the impact of religion and belief on public life (and vice versa) he also teaches and shares his findings across many audiences including academic, policy, church and other faith-based settings.

Keith Elford is a consultant with 20 years’ experience of working with leaders of organisations of all kinds. He has written about the value of bringing insights from organisational theory and practice into church contexts and is currently conducting doctoral research on the theme of organisation and theology under the auspices of the Susanna Wesley Foundation.

Rosy Fairhurst has been Canon Chancellor at Leicester Cathedral for four years and in 2018 begins as Incumbent of St Augustine and St Clement, Bradford. Rosy was an Organisational Analyst with The Grubb Institute and then co-led the Transforming Clergy Leadership Courses (later called Liminal Leadership), whilst on the clergy team at St Martin in the Fields. Previously she worked at Ripon College Cuddesdon, in parish ministry, and as a teacher and journalist. She published Uncovering Sin (SPCK) in 2012.

Sue Miller is the Deputy Director of the Susanna Wesley Foundation, a project of the Southlands Methodist Trust, a charity based at the University of Roehampton. One-time training manager, then policy officer, in the now defunct Department of Employment Group, former Principal Lecturer at a Business School, and previously employed by the Connexional Team of the Methodist Church, she brings management, research and teaching experience, and a belief in the power of conversation, participation and reflective practice to bring about change.

Nigel Rooms is the part-time leader of the Partnership for Missional Church long-term cultural change process with the Church Mission Society. He holds the Tavistock Institute’s P3C Certificate in Consulting and Change and conducts research, facilitation and consulting on a freelance basis.