Conflict can happen any time that there is difference and tension in a relationship or a group. It is a reality of life.
The nature of Christian ministry means we are likely to encounter it perhaps more than most. When things go awry with relationships both personally and in local communities, our priority will always be to do what we can to bring people together in order to help restore relationships. We should always seek to transform conflict in ways that are appropriate to the circumstance.
Confident that clergy are determined to live out the commitments and promises they made at ordination, the diocese has three key expectations of those who find themselves in situations of conflict:
- That they will do all that they can to bring about a local resolution;
- That where bringing about local reconciliation is a struggle (for whatever reason) and where additional assistance, advice, and support may be helpful, that they actively seek this from colleagues, national bodies, and the diocese; and
- Where the diocese has become involved because of the nature of the difficulties, that clergy will fully co-operate with the diocese in its responsibility to seek and facilitate all opportunities for reconciliation (e.g. through mediation).
Training in dealing with conflict
The Diocese of Bristol has a fully trained team, equipped to deliver comprehensive training on how to deal with conflict. Our training is based on the Bridge Builders material.
The training is in two stages:
- Stage 1 - Our experience of, and preferred way of engaging in conflict, with an introduction to alternative tools to transform conflict situations.
- Stage 2 - Going deeper: how we might get the best out of ourselves and others through our communication, our decision making and our leadership.
Both for your personal well-being and resilience and also for the benefit of your ministries and communities, we encourage participation in this training, Making Peace with Conflict in the Church.
For more information, please contact the Ministry Development Team Administrator.