I co-authored the book AppreciatingChurch, the conversation cards More than Welcome, and the IAAI Appreciative Inquiry Facilitatators Handbook which is used as the basis of introductory and advanced training. I have been practicing Appreciative Inquiry since the mid-2000s and draw from theory and practice through my experience of community development in the UK and internationally, adult education, and pastoral ministry with the United Reformed Church. I am currently a freelance facilitator.
I have been in pastoral ministry with the United Reformed Church for over 30 years and I now have an enabling role serving 120 congregations. Having practiced Appreciative Inquiry intentionally since 2020 I am excited when groups and individuals discover that they can navigate a pathways of positive and sustainable change. I am grateful for opportunities to accompany groups on this journey whether they are faith-based or not.
Originally from Glasgow, I served as a Church of Scotland chaplain in the RAF for 16 years, followed by a further 3 years in the army chaplaincy. In 1997 I became minister of Trinity United Reformed Church in Slough, then in 2007 was appointed Development Officer for the URC’s Yorkshire Synod. Now retired, I live with my wife, Judith, in Egglestone, County Durham, where we enjoy exploring the beautiful countryside of Upper Teesdale. I am interested in organisational development, leadership, conflict transformation, reading, motorcycling, music and photography, though not necessarily in that order!
Appreciating Church Trainers
Yorkshire Plus Learning Network, The Methodist Church
Based in Sheffield, I have designed and facilitated workshops for the Methodist Church for six years, including bespoke learning opportunities and awaydays. My background is in environmental education, Forest School, and latterly project management. I am also a graphic recorder and cartoonist, and use these skills within my AI practice to give a visual element to my approach.
Having been introduced to Appreciative Inquiry almost 15 years ago, I have been using it in different ways ever since. This has included attending training days organised by the URC, being a co-trainer at an Introductory day, and being part of the team that put together the Appreciating Church handbook. I’ve used AI to help churches find a way forward and create a vision statement; as the basis for Local Mission & Ministry Reviews; as the main strand of methodology for my PhD on the theology of ministry; and to facilitate my retirement from a busy pastorate. Now in my practice as a pastoral supervisor I keep the principles of AI to the fore.
I am available for pastoral supervision, to lead workshops on AI (preferably in a team), and to consult on using AI in local church ministry.
I’m a curly headed combination of artist, project manager and theologian, habit bound to find peace in complexity. I create images to offer a calm centre inside complicated theological or social issues, or to find paths to clear outcomes with steps along messy expectations of social sector projects, or to gently reveal the progressive God who loves all of this and more.
As a commissioned artist, illustrator, teacher and project manager, I am interested in using appreciative inquiry where there are real possibilities to change some political discourse or open up an organisation to positive change.
I am at present serving with the Church Mission Society and working with the Church of Uganda, based in Gulu as Principal of the Archbishop Janani Luwum Theological College. I find Appreciative Inquiry invaluable for dreaming a better future, and working to bring that dream to reality. I am happy to work online or onsite to enable others to more effectively use AI to further God’s kingdom.
Appreciating People help make positive change happen, in organisations, communities, businesses, charities and individually. We use a variety of ‘strength-based’ approaches, such as Appreciative Inquiry. We focus on your strengths, and areas you’re good at, rather than weaknesses, to create sustainable change and development.