25th November 2019

Sheldon has been making a lot of noise about the Anglican Clergy Discipline Measure lately.

Project CDM was initiated nearly two years ago amidst rising concerns about the significant effects seen in people staying at Sheldon or sharing in the Hub forums online. As one Hub member put it 

"Other denominations seem to have managed to create disciplinary procedures that don't produce the visceral response that CDM provokes."

It's not an easy subject to investigate. Among respondents, we encountered fear, shame, confidentiality, vulnerability, loyalty to the organisation and possibly non-disclosure agreements. Among those responsible for running the system it was a mix of complacency, concern, embarrassment and surprise. Overall there was a general attitude of "well these things are never pleasant but just have to be done".  A few tweaks might be forthcoming, but nothing that matched the scale of the pastoral emergency we saw emerging. We decided that a productive way forward would be to commission independent academic research. This would begin to document whether we were seeing a few outliers or a system-wide failure. It's a huge subject but we limited the scope to investigate the lived experience of CDM respondents (the people against whom a complaint has been made).

For the past year, we have been working with Dr Carl Senior at Aston University to put together a very detailed online survey. This went live at the beginning of November and already over 5,500 clergy have completed it, of whom 240 have been through CDM. This is a huge response (about 25% of the eligible totals) and means that whatever data emerges will be robust. Just circulating the survey has raised the profile and many have contacted us to say thank you for doing this, even when it has been distressing or traumatic to relive memories. 

Help us find the missing people

The survey will close in early January and our challenge is to find as many more CDM respondents as possible before then. Word of mouth is essential so tell others and share this post on social media using the buttons below. If you know anyone who used to be in ministry please ask for the survey link and send it along to them. Let's do healthy ministry together.

Share this post

Image from Pixabay

Subscribe to updates from The Sheldon Hub

Fill in your email address below to receive an email when this blog is updated.

Learn about Project CDM, a Hub collaboration project to restore humanity to clergy discipline.

Project CDM
restoring humanity to clergy discipline

If you are in ministry you can join the Hub. 

A safe environment to share with and support others, and sustain your ministry.

Login/sign up