Brain Food: Unlikely managers - Clergyman, Church of England

Brain Food: Unlikely managers - Clergyman, Church of England - Name: Rt Rev Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Name: Rt Rev Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford

When did you become a manager?: I first took on managerial responsibilities in 1972, when I became vicar of All Saints in Fulham. There is a management element to the role of every parish priest - chairing the parochial committee and ensuring the efficient running of the parish.

What does management mean to you?: My role is to bring a coherent strategy to my diocese. I have to manage 500 clergy, so I am in the persuasion business. They are very autonomous and I adopt a hands-off style with them. The church is suspicious of the word management - the trick is to set it in a pastoral context. It was said of a recently retired colleague that 'Love shone out of his filing cabinets'. That's how it should be - good management is an expression of good service and of love.

What do you love/hate about it?: I enjoy the responsibility and privilege of trying to give a lead. I don't like running the machinery of the Church of England. I didn't get ordained for that.

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