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Title: Friends, family or foe? : fostering good relationships between lay leaders and the newly appointed ordained leaders of Anglican congregations
Author: Jordan, Elizabeth A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 857X
Awarding Body: Anglia Ruskin University
Current Institution: Anglia Ruskin University
Date of Award: 2015
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Traditional patterns of leadership in the Church of England are changing. The demands of mission in post-Christendom, and renewed attention to the theology of social trinitarianism have focussed attention on the health of the local congregation as the place where the future of the church will be determined. Aware of the damage that disharmony can cause, the Diocese of Chelmsford has supported this research which examines how good relationships between lay and ordained leaders may be fostered, as a contribution to the equipping of congregations for mission. A process of facilitated conversations was held with lay and ordained leaders at the end of a ministerial vacancy, after an appointment had been made. These were analysed in the light of both theological and sociological perspectives on the nature of priesthood and of the local church, and of my own experience as a parish priest and training officer in the church. The process of facilitated conversations enabled differences of attitude and understanding to be articulated. Of particular note was a strong preference for, or reaction against, the use of familial language to describe the local congregation. These differences could be categorised as a contrast between the views held by those who had received no academic training in theology and those who had. A revised pattern of meetings is proposed in the light of these results and the feedback received. The conclusion is that relationships between the lay leaders and the newly appointed priest will benefit from facilitated conversations at the outset of this new period of ministry about the nature of the priestly role and the local church. A good relationship, marked by improved mutual understanding and respect between leaders, will better enable the parishes of the Diocese of Chelmsford to re-envision the missionary task.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Congregation ; Lay-clergy relationships ; Family ; Ecclesiology ; Social Trinity ; Ordinary Theology