Reviews – Enriching Ministry

Enriching Ministry. Pastoral Supervision in Practice. Edited by Michael Paterson and Jessica Rose SCM 2014 ISBN-13: 978 0 334 04956 2

Canon Anne Tomlinson, Principal Scottish Episcopal Institute, Edinburgh.

‘Clergy and Vestries are increasingly being tasked with overseeing the work of others, whether because of linkages, clustering or the appointment of specialist staff. This book is a timely and invaluable tool for all who find themselves in that, perhaps unaccustomed, role of ‘pastoral supervisor’, encouraging and helping to improve the ministerial practice of others – though equally valuable for those, such as Spiritual Directors, long accustomed to offering such a reflective space.

The essays – edited by two experienced pastoral supervisors, Michael Paterson, an Episcopalian priest and psychotherapist, and Jessica Rose, a psychodynamic counsellor – are written by reflective practitioners from a wide and ecumenical range of involvement: within congregational ministry, chaplaincy, the NHS, counselling and clergy training. The volume is theologically and psychologically bilingual; the latter discipline’s insights about human behaviour are blended into, but not allowed to overpower, the other primal component in the mix, the languages of theology and contemplative spirituality. Thus Michael Paterson’s generic model of supervision draws together psychodynamic insights not only with the spiritual disciplines of hospitality, attention and presence but also with ‘the three levels of seeing’ in John 20. Recent usage of this model with clergy engaging in Ministerial Development Review has proven its worth; it gets to the heart of people’s calling, bringing the transformative dimension of such conversations to the fore.

I would commend the book to all involved in Initial or Continuing Ministerial Education and the formation of congregational leaders who can reflect in the present on the past in order to create a different future. The essays will also be immensely helpful to all involved in spiritual guidance, vocational discernment and the fostering of self-awareness. They will indeed enrich those ministries, contributing to the shaping of ‘a learning church’ which seeks to reach out in love in today’s world.’

Professor Heather Walton, Theology & Religious Studies department, University of Glasgow.

‘This book is more than helpful. It is an inspirational reflection upon key themes in supervision that widens the focus of this work beyond traditional understandings of the supervisory process. It demonstrates how relevant theological and values based reflection can be in many differing contexts and encourages reflective practitioners to be adventurous in their thoughtful action. The ethos of this text is established through key essays by Michael Paterson but enriched by the voices of the many expert colleagues who have contributed to this work. It is certain to become a valuable resource in the workplace, in the parish and in the academy.’