Ministerial Development Review (MDR)

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The Diocese of Liverpool is piloting a new process for MDR, an aspect of the Bishop of Liverpool's episcopal oversight and in keeping with the guidelines of the Church of England.

The purpose of MDR is
  • to support clergy
  • to allow clergy to be more focused in their ministry
  • to ensure others in their context understand that focus
  • to help equip them for their ministry
MDR is an annual process undertaken by all clergy in the Diocese, for all are united in the same call to service. However, the process is flexible to accommodate the different contexts in which clergy minister, and the different responsibilities they bear.

MDR is not an appraisal system for clergy, nor is it a mechanism for bringing in targets for parishes. Its purpose is solely to help clergy develop in their ministry, and to foster a greater sense of collaboration between clergy and those they serve alongside.
MDR overview
At the heart of MDR is a conversation between the clergy person and an appointed Bishop’s Reviewer.

This conversation is confidential, and should be wide-ranging, honest and searching. The guiding text for this conversation is the Ordinal.

In preparation for the review, a ‘listening to those we are called to serve’ exercise will be undertaken. This involves a number of people, both within and outside of the church, who encounter the clergy person’s ministry being asked to comment on it. This listening exercise provides an opportunity for encouragements to be heard, and for the clergy person’s own perceptions to be balanced. The listening exercise will also allow for the voice of the wider church to be heard, such as the clergy person’s contribution to the Deanery Mission Plan and to any diocesan roles.

During the review, a number of objectives for the clergy person are identified, which might equally be personal developments or ministry-focused. Any further training opportunities or needs are also noted. These objectives are shared with those with whom the clergy person works - for example for parish clergy the Area Dean and PCC - to foster understanding and support for the clergy person in achieving these objectives. The Lifelong Learning department will also support, as appropriate, the identified training opportunities.

The summary of the review conversation, written up by the clergy person themselves, will be confidential to the clergy person, Bishop’s Reviewer and the Bishop of Liverpool.

Every third year, the review will also include a broader reflection on the development of the clergy person’s calling. This will be shared with the bishops, and the Bishop of Liverpool will respond.

For more information about Ministerial Development Review please contact the Learning Manager, Bob Banton, 0151 705 2101