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The Art of Review - a set of resources for reviewing LEPs

It has been clear for some time that the review documentation required an overhaul. Although no material has been withdrawn, this collection of documents was created as a first response to that need.

This set of resources for Sponsoring Bodies and Ecumenical Officers is designed to be handed on as appropriate to Review facilitators and denominational leaders - and, of course, to the local people who are sharing the adventure of Local Ecumenical Partnership together.
The purpose of this set of files is to equip Sponsoring Bodies and Ecumenical Officers with resources to enable them to have a conversation with congregations in local ecumenical partnership about the most beneficial process of review.
The effective review of local ecumenical partnership is a pastoral art. So these files offer insights, possibilities and lessons learned from previous experience. The intention is that those engaged in review should feel more able to take responsibility for discerning, developing and negotiating their own patterns and processes of review according to the best needs of any local situation. It does not provide a set of instructions!
This material was compiled and collected in March 2006 by Anne Doyle, Sue Loveday, Robin Dixon, John Bradley and John Cole on behalf of the Group for Local Unity of Churches Together in England.


1. Setting the Scene:Two leaflets describing the fluidity and complexity of local ecumenical partnership

a. A limitless variety
b. The stakeholders

2. Guidance notes for stakeholders: Introductory leaflets targeted for specific stakeholders

a. Core issues for denominational leaders and the Sponsoring Body

  1. Getting the context right
  2. Sustaining shared oversight of joint activity
  3. Equipping those who facilitate the process of review
  4. Overseeing the follow up

b. Core issues for County Ecumenical Officers

  1. A Pastoral Role
  2. Negotiating appropriate review processes
  3. Monitoring the review process
  4. Ensuring effective follow up

c. Core issues for external reviewers

  1. The approach
  2. The questions
  3. The evidence
  4. The report and recommendations

d. Core issues for LEPs and their leadership

  1. The initial negotiations
  2. Administration, ownership and publicity
  3. Tasks in the context of an external review
  4. Tasks in the context of self-appraisal
  5. Tasks in the context of peer-group appraisal
  6. From looking around to looking ahead

3. Negotiating a review process 

Leaflets primarily for CEOs to enable them to involve the right people and make responsible choices when negotiating arrangements for LEP review.

a. Five key issues for the review process

  1. Ownership of the review process
  2. Intention of the review process
  3. Affirmation and respect for the LEP community
  4. Relevance and realism of the review process
  5. Outcomes of the review process?

b. Contacts within the denominations when a review is being negotiated: An index of key people within the denominations who should be consulted when a review is being negotiated.

c. Three basic patterns for review External Reviewers, Self-appraisal, Peer-group appraisal

4. Conducting a review: An initial selection of ways of shaping the review process

a. Four questions during review

  1. Are members growing in faith?
  2. Are you learning from each other's traditions?
  3. Are you reaching out to the community?
  4. Are people joining your church community?

b. Ten headings for self-appraisal – a checklist

Fabric - Worship - Ministry - Events - Social Work - Community Involvement - Young People - Communication - Congregation - Finance

c. Self-appraisal - an eight-stage process

  1. Who are we?
  2. Where are we?
  3. What is our awareness of each other?
  4. Our joint activities
  5. Affirmation - the centrality of what we are doing
  6. A public declaration
  7. Nourishing a living relationship
  8. What are our goals?

Leading to a Statement of Purpose and Commitment

5. Acting on the review findings: The essential final step in the review process - ideas for all stakeholders

a. Taking things forward

  1. In the LEP
  2. In the Sponsoring Body
  3. In the Denominations
  4. By the CEO

b. If the LEP is ending

6. Some underlying considerations: two leaflets offering food for thought

a. Ways into a theology
b. Overcoming ‘denominationalism’


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