First step towards Covenant for Clergy Well-being


Plans for a new deal between clergy and the wider Church of England - modelled on the ideas behind the Military Covenant - have taken a step forward after a panel was established to begin drafting.

The Church of England's Appointments Committee has set up a group, made up of members of General Synod, both lay and ordained, alongside others with expertise in areas such as health and education, to draw up a Covenant for Clergy Well-being.

It is being produced in response to a vote in the General Synod in July of this year after a debate which heard of the impact of stress, isolation and loneliness on clergy's lives and ministries.

The debate heard how the Military Covenant recognises that the nation relies on the sacrificial service of those in the armed forces and in return has a duty to support and value them in practical ways.

Although the parallels with the Church are not exact, Synod heard how a similar pattern of mutual commitment could be recognised in the Church.

The working group will begin work later this month and aims to bring proposals for such a Covenant back to this Synod by July 2019.

Canon Simon Butler, who led the debate on well-being in the July Synod on behalf of the House of Clergy said: "Such was the interest in serving on this Working Group and the strength-in-depth of the insights and skills offered to the Appointments Committee that we could have easily populated the Working Group twice over.

"This can only bode well for our work in developing a Covenant for Clergy Well-being that draws on all that the church is learning about how attending to the well-being of the clergy is vital to the mission and ministry of the whole church."

The Appointments Committee sought expression of interest from members of Synod before appointing the group.

Notes to editors

The members of the Working Group are:

  • The Revd Canon Lisa Battye, GS member, until recently Area Dean of Salford and a former nurse
  • The Revd Canon Simon Butler, Prolocutor, the Province of Canterbury (and group convenor)
  • Ms Debbie Child, Joint Diocesan Secretary of Leeds Diocese
  • Dr Simon Clift, GS member and Consultant in Occupational Medicine
  • The Revd Preb Simon Cawdell, GS member and Convenor of Diocesan Clergy Chairs
  • Ms Jan Korris, Trustee of St Luke's Healthcare for the Clergy
  • The Revd Preb Alan Moses, GS member and Vicar of All Saints Margaret Street
  • The Ven Pete Spiers, GS Member and Archdeacon of Knowsley & Sefton
  • Mrs Jacqueline Stamper, GS Member and former senior manager in Higher Education
  • The Rt Revd Dr John Thomson, Bishop of Selby & former Dir of Ministry in Sheffield Diocese
  • Dr Yvonne Warren, GS Member and psychotherapist


  • The Rt Revd Karowei Dorgu, Bishop of Woolwich
  • The Revd Canon Dr Margaret Whipp, Lead Chaplain, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation

Download the background paper provided to members of Synod ahead of the debate can be found here.

Further details of the Military Covenant, and the Armed Forces Covenant which followed it, are available online.

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