For Bishops in Europe looking to sponsor an API group
How can we envision and equip Christians and churches to be agents for reconciliation in divided communities and societies? How can local churches be engaged more deeply with their neighbourhoods, building on the strengths within the community?
If, as a diocesan bishop, you’re pondering questions such as these, then you’ll want to consider sponsoring a group to participate in an Anglican Peacemaking Institute (API) Reconciling Mission programme. The API Reconciling Mission process is focused on resourcing participants with a vision for mission as part of joining in God's reconciling work, marked by deep engagement with local communities, along with tools for the church to play a creative role in promoting reconciliation within society, building on the assets within local neighbourhoods.
What would I be committing myself to?
If you sponsor a group, you and your team will be committing yourselves to the following:
- You, as the diocesan bishop, identifying and investing in a diverse team of four
- Meeting with your team in advance to clarify hopes and expectations
During the initial API Reconciling Mission course, the team will develop a provisional plan for implementation in their own parishes.
Over the following 18 months, your team will participate in a series of small online video conferences, with each of the other participating diocesan teams. These conferences are designed as action learning groups and will be facilitated by an API facilitator. You can expect:
- For you or one of your senior staff to meet occasionally with your team to discuss implementation and agree next steps. (Typically, meeting within a month of the API, then every few months.)
We also hope that you and your team will offer feedback to subsequent API programmes, via short pre-recorded video interviews. Where possible, team members may also attend occasional gatherings of API ‘graduates’, to share stories of impact and learning. They will also be able to be part of an ongoing community of practice.
Who should I sponsor as participants?
Your four participants will typically be clergy, although suitable lay people are welcome if they can commit the time involved (for example, if they work for the diocese). They should ideally meet these criteria:
- experienced leaders with the potential to continue growing;
- a mix of genders, typically two women and two men;
- people who reflect some of the diversity within your diocese, especially ethnic diversity wherever possible;
- people of some emotional maturity, who are not extreme characters; and
- expected to be in the age range 30-59.
In addition, ideally they should each have completed some foundational skills training in handling conflict through Bridge Builders, Place for Hope or a similar service. Or, alternatively, they should aim to complete such training within a few months of participating in the API Reconciling Mission course, in order to enhance their skills for working with tension and conflict.
Once you have identified a team of four, please notify our director. If you want to make an exception to the guideline criteria, please explain why. Then invite each team member to read the pages of this website, and to complete the application form.
What’s it going to cost my diocese?
The proposed contribution for the API Reconciling Mission programme beginning in June 2021 is GBP £850 per participant, totalling GBP £3,400 for a group of four. This covers both the residential training week, and the ongoing group coaching sessions. Reconciliation Initiatives covers the balance of the costs involved. If needed, we may be able to help you seek financial support from a charitable trust to cover some of your diocesan contribution.
The diocese or province will also need to cover each participant's travel costs to any venues.
Video from Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester
In this short video, the Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, offers an insight into why she sponsored a group in the inaugural API Reconciling Mission 2020 programme, and why other Anglican Bishops will want to consider sponsoring a group in the 2021 programme: