Major clergy wellbeing study results shared


Key insights from an ongoing Church of England research programme into clergy flourishing are to be distributed to curates across the country as part of an initiative to promote clergy wellbeing, it was announced today.
The cover of the report is shown in bright colours

Findings from the first phase of the Living Ministry project – a 10-year study into clergy flourishing and wellbeing – have been incorporated into a new booklet, How Clergy Thrive, published by Church House Publishing.

The booklet, sponsored by Clergy Support Trust, is a practical resource for all clergy. It summaries qualitative and quantitative findings from the research in areas including the spiritual, relational, physical and mental as well as material wellbeing of clergy and ordinands.

The study identifies six principles that contribute to the wellbeing of ordained ministers, including handling expectations, recognising times of vulnerability, healthy boundaries and the importance of affirmation.

The booklet is intended to help resource personal reflection as well as conversations within dioceses about the Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing which was launched earlier this year after being given overwhelming backing by the General Synod of the Church of England.

Close up of person wearing robes, hands held held together

Dr Liz Graveling, author of How Clergy Thrive, and Director of the Living Ministry programme, said:

“Supporting the wellbeing of our lay and ordained ministers is a shared responsibility for all of us in the Church of England. We hope How Clergy Thrive, along with the accompanying resources we are making available online, will be used by clergy, diocesan teams and theological education institutions for reflection and discussion.

“The Living Ministry programme started before the pandemic and has already reported on its first two phases of work. Given the pressures and challenges faced by clergy, alongside the rest of the population, as a result of Covid-19, its insights are needed now more than ever before.”

Canon Simon Butler, Chair of the Trustees of Clergy Support Trust also led the working group which drew up the Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing.

He said: “I hope How Clergy Thrive will equip all with responsibility in the field of clergy wellbeing to understand what is emerging from the Living Ministry project and what we can do together to promote the health and wellbeing of our ministers.”

Notes to editors

  • The Living Ministry study has been studying the wellbeing and flourishing of clergy ordained in 2006, 2011 and 2015 as well as people who entered training in 2016.
  • The Clergy Support Trust is funding the provision of free copies of How Clergy Thrive to curates and training incumbents, rural and area deans, Synod members, senior clergy, theological education institutions and some diocesan officers.
  • How Clergy Thrive: Insights from Living Ministry by Dr Liz Graveling, and accompanying resources can be downloaded.
  • It is available to order in print from CHP, priced at £2.99.