I suepect most clergy have some scepticism about "in-service" training events, and I am no exception. So it was with some curiosity that I turned up for a course for new area deans at Hinsley Hall in Leeds. A remarkable venue, it used to be a Methodist training college, but more recently was acquire by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds as a pastoral and conference centre. One room is still called the John Wesley Room in acknowledgment!
Organised by some of the Yorkshire Dioceses (Ripon & Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Wakefield), the course was the first of its kind that was feasible for me to attend. The content was very good, and the group of people attending were good company. It was especially useful to be with people from other Dioceses where models of working were different (as were levels of staffing!)
As is often the case, I don't know how it will emerge in the way I do my area-deaning, but hopefully it will mean that I have some useful ideas and ask the right questions in the right places!