A training programme to benefit future leaders within the Archdiocese of Birmingham is set to be rolled out following a successful pilot.

As part of the Diocesan Vision: Unfolding God’s Plan it has been identified that all parishes need, and have leaders, and the new training will better equip them to support their parish and the vision.

In the context of the Catholic Church there is currently no Leadership Training.

And so Natalie Orefice, Advisor for Parish Evangelisation, and Deacon Nick St John, from the Parish of the Immaculate Conception in Bicester and a Leadership Development Practitioner, joined forces to create a bespoke programme for the Archdiocese to meet the needs of clerical and lay leaders.

They recently delivered the pilot Leadership Training in Tamworth to a team of eight people including priests, a deacon, parish staff and volunteers.

Feedback from the pilot session was overwhelmingly positive with comments including:

I feel I have more confidence I can take to my leadership role in supporting my team. I did not have these skills before. Thank you.

• I particularly found the group sessions useful with practise and discussion. Giving and receiving constructive feedback was particularly good. The scenarios related well to parish life.

• The programme exceeded all my expectations.

• Analysis of leadership behaviours gave great clarity, highlighting the importance of leadership training and our shortcomings.

• I really enjoyed the programme, really inspiring and thought-provoking. Clear steps given to many areas of leadership. Plenty for us to work on and develop. Great team building process.

Later this year Natalie and Deacon Nick will be delivering the training to diocesan Trustees and the Archbishop’s Council, and they are currently negotiating delivering more sessions in the meantime.

The training programme covers six modules including: what is leadership; our relationship with ourselves and others; vision into action and skills for working with people.

The programme designed comes from a Catholic worldview. It is a vital tool for understanding who we are all called to be in the Church and enable co-responsibility to flourish. The training is of equal value to priests, deacons, religious communities and the lay faithful.

Delivered in person by Natalie and Deacon Nick, the training takes place over four/five days (this can be adapted to suit the circumstances of those attending) and is free.

Natalie and Deacon Nick will deliver the training on site in parishes. Anyone interested in finding out more or booking onto a pilot is invited to email [email protected]

Diocesan Vision, Unfolding God's Plan