New findings published in long term study into clergy wellbeing

20/04/2021

The latest set of findings from a 10-year research programme into the factors that enable clergy to flourish in ministry are published today by the Church of England.
Credit Diocese of Norwich Luke W Bryant

Moving In Power, Transitions in Ordained Ministry, part of the Living Ministry research project, explores transitions from ordination to curacy and first posts, between posts and in the period before retirement.

The qualitative panel draws on individual and group interviews with 72 clergy and examines their wellbeing based on five dimensions: spiritual and vocational, physical and mental, relationships, financial and material, and participation in the wider church.

The study makes suggestions for good practice for the person in transition, theological education institutions, diocesan officers and senior clergy, parishes and the national church, arguing that each of these has a role to play in supporting ordinands and clergy through periods of transition.

The report also explores underlying dynamics and relationships during transition periods. It includes a theological reflection by the Very Revd Dr Frances Ward, former Dean of St Edmundsbury.

Director of the Living Ministry programme, Dr Liz Graveling said: “Moving to a new role often involves immense upheaval. I hope the experiences shared in this study will assist dioceses and others in supporting ordained ministers as they navigate periods of transition.”

The Living Ministry research project is a 10-year programme of study and was launched in 2017 by the Ministry Division of the Church of England. It is following groups of clergy ordained in 2006, 2011 and 2015 and women and men who entered training for ordination in 2016.

The findings, the fourth panel study report to be published by the project, are being disseminated to dioceses, theological education Institutions, the national church and associated organisations to inform understanding and good practice.

The programme is also contributing to work taking forward the Covenant on Clergy Care and Wellbeing which aims to help dioceses and local churches promote and support the wellbeing of ordained ministers.

Notes to editors:

  • Photo Credit: Diocese of Norwich/Luke W Bryant
  • The full report can be read online.
  • More information can be found online.