The second set of findings from a 10-year research programme into how clergy can flourish in ministry is published today by the Church of England.

Research from the Living Ministry project into the wellbeing of 85 ordinands and clergy is featured in the study Negotiating Wellbeing: Experiences of Ordinands and Clergy in the Church of England.

The qualitative study builds on quantitative findings based on responses from 761 clergy and ordinands published by the Living Ministry programme last year, Mapping the Wellbeing of Church of England Clergy and Ordinands.

Writing in the foreword to the report published today, Bishop Martin Seeley, Chair of the Church of England’s Ministry Council, said: “The Church of England’s Living Ministry research represents an investment by the Archbishops’ Council into understanding the experiences of those in ordained ministry.

“Its unique approach, mixing quantitative and qualitative methods to follow cohorts of clergy through their ministry over a decade, provides profound and rigorously documented insight into the struggles and joys of clerical life.

“It will form an invaluable resource to those in dioceses and theological education institutions who have responsibility for the formation, training, support and care of ordinands and clergy.”

Dr Liz Graveling, who is overseeing the research programme in the Ministry Division, said: “This is a significant piece of research and a measure of how seriously the Church of England takes the wellbeing of clergy and ordinands and their flourishing in ministry. This is a decade long project and we will be returning to the clergy and ordinands involved to see how their experiences evolve over the coming years.”

The report published today can be found here.

Notes for editors

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 project is looking at how clergy can flourish in ministry. The report published today examines clergy well-being.

The findings of the project are being used to inform the Church of England’s Renewal and Reform programme aimed at building a growing church for all people and in all places.

The Living Ministry report comes after a draft Covenant for Clergy Care and Well-being was published earlier this month for consultation and comment.

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