Last week the Church Times published a leaked summary of the “Green report” (aka Talent Management for Future Leaders and Leadership Development for Bishops and Deans: A New Approach – Report of the Lord Green Steering Group. Reaction, in the CT, and via social media, was generally, not impressed.
I was one of the unimpressed ones, and offered a comment piece to the CT which is due to be published this Friday (19 December). I based the piece on some work I did last year for a symposium, organised by a number of scholarly parish priests in the Church of England (and, yes Virginia, such creatures do exist), which was held at St Martin’s-in-the-Fields and called Messengers, Watchmen and Stewards: The Practice of Parish Ministry. The intention of the symposium was to reflect on the charge in the ordinal, and to think how that solemn charge might be, or should be, expressed in the world today. Papers included “What can we learn from the story of St Paul’s ministry?”; “The Church of England and the love of learning;” “The Church and the Brain;” and “The Priest as ‘defender of the poor'”. Some of these papers were subsequently published, in an edited form, in a special issue of Theology under the title ‘New Directions in Ministry’1.
The following posts are taken from my original paper presented at St Martin’s, which expands on the historical context of and assumptions present in “managerialism” as an ideology2
I hope that those who think Green is the sine qua non of managerial thinking, or strategic resource planning, will realise that the opposition to Green is NOT just “disdainful sniffing”, or special pleading, or objections to the means by which this report will be imposed upon the church, but is, above all, a considered, informed theological and theoretical critique of the history, assumptions, iniquities and inefficiencies of such a misguided approach to the mission of God as expressed through the Church of England.