Resolving a grievance locally with assistance
If any person feels for any reason that they require help in resolving the situation they may speak privately to their Parish Priest or Chaplain provided he or she is not a stakeholder in the grievance or conflict, to request assistance in addressing it.
In most cases, the leader to guide the resolution of the conflict will be the Parish Priest or Chaplain. However, a suitably skilled person may fulfil this role with the agreement of the Parish Priest or Chaplain (or with the agreement of the Bishop if there is no Incumbent, or if the Incumbent is a stakeholder in the conflict) [The Parish Priest, Chaplain or other appointed person is known in this process as “the assisting person”].
Provided that the assisting person feels comfortable in assisting those impacted, and all parties involved in the conflict or grievance are willing to work towards restoring relationships, and the conflict is still at a low level (e.g. all parties are still amicable and able to talk calmly together) and all parties want to restore their relationship, then the assisting person will:
- meet with each party separately
- During private meetings the assisting person is to ensure that all parties are given a chance to tell their side of the story in private, and to work through the underlying concerns in moving towards resolution. In this process, this is called resolution facilitation.
- clearly communicate to each party the process to be used during resolution meetings and keep records of meetings and agreements
- hold resolution meetings with all the parties to work through the issues and determine the course of action and desired outcomes, bearing in mind all material (substantive) issues, including relational issues
- follow up the parties with a view to ensuring that the solutions are implemented
- monitor the situation.
- Over time check with the parties to ensure the resolution is continuing to work well for all.
- The assisting person, with the agreement of the Incumbent or their Assistant Bishop or Archdeacon may communicate something of the resolution to indirectly affected parties.
At any stage throughout the process, the assisting person, or any party may contact their Assistant Bishop or Archdeacon for assistance or resourcing without being deemed as breaking confidentiality.
The relevant Assistant Bishop or Archdeacon, and assisting person, shall provide a brief written summary report to the Bishop at the end of the resolution meeting.