A team led Dr Selina Stone, (pictured, above) now a post-doctoral research associate at Durham University, interviewed 18 clergy at all stages of ministry, from a range of ethnic groups.
The findings of the qualitative research, funded by Clergy Support Trust, will inform Living Ministry, a Church of England project looking into how clergy can flourish in ministry.
Living Ministry has commissioned a number of independent studies to ensure a wide range of voices are represented, including a forthcoming project exploring the wellbeing of clergy from working class backgrounds, to be conducted by researchers from York St John and Bournemouth Universities.
Dr Liz Graveling, who is overseeing the Living Ministry programme, said: “‘This is one of a series of studies commissioned as part of the Living Ministry research programme to help the Church of England understand in depth the experiences of different groups of clergy, in this case those of global majority heritage, and how best to support them.
“Dr Stone’s analysis provides a rich portrayal of the lived experience of UKME/GMH clergy and will give those with responsibility for clergy care and wellbeing much to reflect on. We are grateful to Clergy Support Trust for funding the research.”
Revd Ben Cahill-Nicholls, Chief Executive of Clergy Support Trust said: “Clergy Support Trust seeks to walk alongside all Anglican clergy households.
"We know through speaking to our applicants that they continue to face racism in in the Church, difficulties securing posts, and high workloads. As the largest charity supporting Anglican clergy, we are delighted to have funded this research which we hope is welcomed by all our sisters and brothers across the Church, and from which we – like others – will seek to learn.”
Canon Dr Sanjee Perera, Archbishops’ Adviser for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns, said: “This study helps us understand the narratives, conditions and contexts of the challenges faced by UKME/GMH clergy.
"I am deeply grateful to the research team and Ministry Development team for their commitment to this issue and to Clergy Support Trust for funding the study.”
- The research team was led by Dr Stone and included Revd Dr Carlton Turner, a Church of England priest, lecturer and tutor at the Queen’s Ecumenical Foundation and Ms Tamanda Walker, a PhD candidate and a consultant on race, wellbeing and faith-based organisations, each acting in an independent capacity.
- A podcast on the research has been recorded with Dr Stone, Revd Carlton Turner and Tamanda Walker.
- The research was funded by Clergy Support Trust, the largest charity focused on the wellbeing of clergy and their families, supporting thousands of households each year. Independent from the Church and originally founded in 1655, it helps Anglican clergy and their families across the UK, Ireland, and Diocese in Europe.
- The Living Ministry research project is being conducted between 2016 and 2026 and is following groups of clergy ordained in 2006, 2011 and 2015 and women and men who entered training for ordination in 2016.
- The number of clergy who identify as of UKME/GMH backgrounds has historically been very low and stands at 4.1% of stipendiary clergy, according to the latest statistics from 2020.
- People from UKME/GMH backgrounds made up 12.1% of the intake of those starting training for ordained ministry in 2021.