A multi-faith approach to developing and embedding new tools, attitudes and practices for greater conflict resilience within religious communities
Last summer we began a series of conversations with religious leaders from a range of different communities in our networks. The aim was to improve our understanding of their needs and experiences, and explore how St Ethelburga’s might best support them.
The second meeting of the Narrative Practitioners Forum last week at the London Inter Faith Centre was a truly wonderful gathering. After the first meeting, that was so full of life and energy, we did wonder how the second meeting would shape up. The numbers were smaller, but the practitioners involved just as diverse and interesting. There was a very satisfying sense of a genuine and sustainable community coming together and taking shape. And a strong sense of people wanting to learn from each other and expand in their p
This event supported educators, youth workers and others who work with young people to understand how stress and other factors can undermine wellbeing and affect learning. For example by looking at how cortisol and adrenalin unbalance the nervous system which can lead to dys-regulated behaviour patterns.
The Revd Canon Dr Sam Wells told a great story in the opening address of this three day conference in Coventry Cathedral last week. He talked about a minister who had become completely exasperated as a result of an increasingly bitter dispute within his congregation. The conflict had become bigger and bigger until it was now very much in the way of the rest of his work. Eventually, losing patience and nearing the end of his tether, he sought help from his Bishop, saying he really needed to get this sorted so he could get on with more his pressing responsibilities. Wh
The last few months have seen changes at St Ethelburga's. We have had to rethink how to sustain St Ethelburga's into the future and one result is that we are now looking for a new Centre Administrator
Last autumn the Trustees and staff, supported by Interim Director Paul Wilson, looked carefully at options to achievelong-term sustainability in a difficult climate for small charities. We decided on a threefold strategy:
a) to refocus our work on a smaller number of practical goals
We recently held a five day training in St Ethelburga's approach to dialogue and facilitation, with a wonderful group of facilitators from a range of different backgrounds.
Ian Brightwell, one of the participants, writes:
Angaangaq, Eskimo elder from Greenland @ St Ethelburga'
Edited by Yazmin (2012 participant)
In one to one conflict coaching sessions recently, I've begun to notice something that I find intriguing about how the outer and inner aspects of a conflict interrelate, and also how our individual interpersonal challenges fit into a wider cultural framework.
Often, it seems that an inner pattern or difficulty within the individual contributes to how an interpersonal conflict constellates. Working productively with a conflict means having tools to explore, understand and unpick the inner issue, whilst paying equal attention to developing a practical outer strategy.