Ministerial Development Review (MDR)
The Church in Wales bears a responsibility for the pastoral care and professional development of its Clergy, whilst Clergy are responsible to God for the ministry entrusted to them, and to the Church and to one another for the way in which it is exercised.
MDR is designed to encourage:
- an ongoing process of reflection and learning based on affirmation and accountability
- a culture of life-long learning and ministerial development
- reflection on ministerial practice
- the setting of challenging, yet achievable, objectives
A key feature of MDR is a guided discussion with a reviewer, often referred to as the ‘Review Meeting’. This provides an important opportunity for ministers to share their reflections, insights and hopes with others who have a responsibility for their well-being and growth in ministry. It seeks to enable reflection on the last year or so, presenting an opportunity to celebrate and give thanks for all that has been good. Equally, it also provides space to acknowledge what has not gone so well, and to identify where additional guidance and support may be required.
Ministers work in a wide variety of different contexts right across the Church in Wales, but each will have made the same promises to their Bishop at their Ordination:
Will you be diligent in prayer, in studying the Holy Scriptures, and in continuing to equip yourself for ministry in the Church?
MDR seeks to encourage ministers to revisit those promises, and to reflect on their relevance in their current ministerial practice and context.
There is a specific form which provides the framework for the ministerial review process. The form includes a cover page completed with the minister’s name and ministerial context, along with the name and title of the reviewer and the date of the Review Meeting. The whole scheme is designed to be electronically based, with guidelines to help ensure it is completed within a certain timeframe.
A copy of the form is available to download here:
Ideally, the diocese should make initial contact with the minister before the formal process begins and discuss their proposed reviewer with them. If the minister is unhappy with the reviewer suggested, they should contact the Bishop’s Office. Otherwise, a date for the Review Meeting should be agreed between the minister and reviewer. This is then recorded on the Review Form, which can then be sent to the minister and the process has begun.
The Review Form itself is divided into 4 Sections.
The MDR Process
Monitoring the MDR Scheme
Whilst the administration of the scheme is the responsibility of each individual diocese, St Padarn’s has responsibility for monitoring and for identifying any broad training patterns that arise.
Each diocese makes a quarterly return to St Padarn’s. This should be done electronically using a set form which is available to download here:
Training for Reviewers
Reviewers play a key role in the MDR process. Dioceses should make initial contact with the minister to advise them of the name of the reviewer who will accompany them through the process.
If the minister is unhappy with the reviewer that has been suggested for any reason, they should contact the Bishop’s Office. Otherwise, a date for the Review Meeting is agreed, and the process can begin.
The Church in Wales has committed to ensure that all potential reviewers are suitably skilled and trained. The following suite of tutorials are available to help and equip reviewers for that task, and can be accessed at any time:
Diocesan Training Videos
These videos are bespoke to each diocese, and feature an interview with the respective diocese’s own bishop
Swansea and Brecon
Additional Training Videos
There are a total of 7 tutorials which are designed to follow on from the main bespoke diocesan video
1. How to co-create a great review
2. What makes a great question?
What are questions for?
What are you going to do with the answer?
How do we ask questions that give new insight
to the minister?
3. Keeping the diocese and the Kingdom in the room.
Conversations that serve the minister, the community,
the diocese, and the Kingdom
4. Pastoral Conversations and Review.
What is review for and what do you do when a pastoral issue
5. Grace and Truth. Being more challenging
6. Listening differently.
Listening so that the minister gets new insight
7. Agreeing future goals and intentions.
Being future focussed especially when people are averse to the
language of objectives