The peer review process is a key element of Renewal & Reform, supporting dioceses by 'holding up a mirror' to their work. The objectives of the diocesan peer review process are to ensure mutual accountability and to facilitate shared learning while aiming to be of real value to the individual dioceses.
The process seeks to combine the principles of good stewardship, accountability and transparency. We hope it will strengthen communion within the Church through the application of the gifts of leadership, wisdom and administration.

The key elements of peer review are:

  • Preparation, focused on a self-assessment by the senior diocesan team which is passed to the peer reviewers with other materials before the meeting to give them an understanding of the diocese.
  • Three-person panels of peer reviewers, selected from a pool mostly nominated by dioceses, with the skills and experience necessary to conduct effective reviews. Peer reviewers are provided with training in the role and are asked to be affirming and objective, constructive and challenging.
  • The peer review meeting involving up to eight senior people from the diocese including the diocesan bishop and diocesan secretary. This takes most of a day and explores key areas: both areas of strength, perhaps where there are lessons other dioceses can learn, and areas of 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, or an audit; rather it offers an opportunity for a diocese to reflect, sharpen its focus, and add momentum to its key priorities.

Was it worth it? Absolutely - it’s given us a clear steer on practical outcomes for the next twelve months that have a sound theological rationale and which excite us about God’s mission in the diocese.

Bishop Peter Burrows, Bishop of Doncaster

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