CPD, CMD, APSE, PS……what is it all about?
What are all these letters about? A weird start to a pub quiz, maybe, or just some random doodling? You will probably recognise at least one or two of them.
Continuing Professional Development. Continuing Ministerial Development. Association for Pastoral Supervision and Education. Peer Supervision.
Anyone at all associated with most professions and certainly ministry will know about the encouragement to keep learning and, perhaps not so often, the need for practical support in reflection on work, which is what supervision is all about. In more recent years we have become more aware that, with all the complexity of life, it is essential to have space to reflect on our practice of our chosen profession. This is not supervision as a means of checking on an employee doing the job properly, but rather is “a relationship between two or more disciples who meet to consider the ministry of one or more of them in an intentional and disciplined way” (Leach and Paterson “Pastoral Supervision – SCM – 2010 – p,1)
Workplace chaplaincy can be a bit of a lonely place, especially away from the statutory forms of it in health, prisons, police etc.. It can easily become an isolated place too when there is nowhere to take concerns or find some sort of accountability. What do we do about the puzzling reaction to our enquiry about someone’s health? Or, possibly more especially, what do we do about our own unexpected reaction of sorrow or anger to a particular pastoral situation?
A relationship of pastoral supervision aims to provide somewhere to process such things in a safe, supportive but rigorous way. It’s worth asking “Do I have somewhere to go for such help?” Even if our ministry is very “level” and seems to be moving along in a positive way, pastoral supervision can still be a valuable way of simply keeping an eye on how we do things and how we are.
CWC recognises the value of supervision and is wondering how much of a need there is for it in the world of workplace chaplaincy. Areas such as spiritual accompaniment/direction recognise the need for at least peer supervision in its ministry. Perhaps something like that would work in workplace ministry?
We would value hearing your experience of supervision and your thoughts on the need for it. Certainly APSE is one source for it where ministry is quite full rather than occasional (www.pastoralsupervision.org.uk). But, perhaps, a peer supervision approach might suit the party-time nature of some workplace chaplaincy. Do let us know if this is something you would like to explore. It could make a huge and helpful difference to the practice of your calling.
Paul Hills, Vice Chair, CWC