Teams of peer reviewers visit the senior leadership teams of dioceses to help ensure mutual accountability over how resources are being used and to facilitate shared learning between dioceses about their plans for mission, evangelism and discipleship.
The objective of the diocesan peer review process is ultimately to help each diocese's mission and finance to be strengthened. The process will seek to combine the principles of good stewardship, accountability and transparency to strengthen communion within the Church through the application of the gifts of leadership, wisdom and administration.
A briefing note on the process will be provided to each diocese well in advance of the peer review meeting. The key elements of peer review are:
- The use of a pool of peer reviewers, mostly nominated by dioceses, with the skills and experience necessary to work in three-person teams to conduct effective reviews. Peer reviewers are provided with training in the role, and are asked to be supportive but objective, constructive but demanding.
- Preparation, focused on a self-assessment by the diocese which is passed to the peer reviewers with other 'off the shelf' materials in advance of the meeting.
- The peer review meeting involving up to eight senior people from the diocese including the diocesan bishop and diocesan secretary. This will take most of a day and will explore key areas - both areas of strength which other dioceses can learn from, and areas of greater concern.
- A short report is prepared by the peer reviewers and passed to the diocese soon after the review meeting.
Peer review is not an inspection, it is not an audit, and the specific conclusions from each review will not be published to the wider Church (unless the diocese wishes to do so). Every effort will be made to ensure that the peer review is of real value to the diocese concerned.
In his blog "Bring out your planks" John Ball, Secretary for the Diocese of Chelmsford, shares their experience of peer review
In our second blog Canon Mandy Ford, Chancellor of Southwark Cathedral, takes a look from The Other Side of the Table after participating in Truro's peer review