Anglican Bishops – Leadership Development

The Bishops are probably the most critical leadership community in the Christian Church in England, being the public face of the Anglican Church on the one hand, with all the scrutiny which goes with that, whilst having pastoral and management responsibility for hundreds of clergy and church appointees on the other.


Recognising the increasingly complex challenges being faced by Bishops in the extremely demanding context of today’s church, and the limited opportunities for formal leadership development, the Archbishops’ advisory council commissioned Waverley and Sarum College to provide a leadership programme combining a unique mix of organisational, theological and personal leadership development development. The aim was to support a personal and collective enquiry into the most important leadership aspects of the Bishops role and to support people in how they refine their priorities, relationships and skills better to address these.


The programme combined intensive self awareness modules incorporating 360 feedback, action learning and peer coaching, with practical skills modules and challenging inputs around the role of the church in today’s society and the characteristics of effective organisational leaders – all supported by bespoke 1:1 coaching over a period of 9 months.


Although it is still early days, the effects of the programme have been profound. Not only have individual Bishops refreshed and refocused their personal priorities, benefits have been achieved in greater cohesion and clarity of purpose across the community, leading to a more purposeful and productive dialogue in the senior echelons of the church.

“A very helpful time for me – challenging yet fruitful. I wasn't sure when I signed up that I was going to enjoy it, but the reality has been very good and helpful and stimulating. I am looking forward to the rest of the year’s gatherings. “