Clergy office holders are self-directed and enjoy a valued and valuable sense of autonomy. However, when the ‘workplace’ is also the home and in the blurring of boundaries between ministerial life and personal life, clergy need to make time for their own self-care and ensure a healthy work/life balance.
Beyond the responsibility that clergy have for maintaining their own health and well-being, support from the diocesan bishop is an expression of his or her pastoral responsibility. In some dioceses and cathedrals, well-being falls under the responsibility of a multi-disciplinary team and on others responsibility is more fragmented. Identifying a point of contact in the diocese who can identify and signpost for further is a good place to start.
Well-being is more than just 'feeling good'. A positive well-being involves the interplay of a number of factors. Physical, emotional, physical and spiritual health, together with the availability and quality of personal and professional relationships, within the wider context of vocation, all contribute to an overall sense of well-being.
Listed below are some sources of support both in and out of the Church.
BBMinistries supports Christian people in the challenging task of living as models of reconciliation.
Family Mediation Helpline gives information about suitable local mediation services.
Broken Rites supports clergy spouses/partners who are experiencing difficulty in their relationships or situations.
LawWorks is a charity offering legal advice to those who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford to pay.
Community Legal Advice -provides a wide range of information on legal rights.
Women’s Aid is a provider of safe confidential services for women and children who have experienced any form of domestic abuse at any time in their lives
Refuge is provider of specialist support for women and children who experience domestic abuse and other forms of gender based violence
Hestia is a provider of domestic abuse refuges in London
ManKind initiative provides help for men suffering from domestic violence or domestic abuse by a current or former wife or partner (including same-sex partner)
St Luke’s Healthcare for the Clergy - St Luke’s offers to work with any diocese to enhance clergy wellbeing through resilience training workshops and reflective practice groups
Mindful Employer - Guidance and signposting for individuals to maintain their own well-being and where to go when in need of extra support
Mind - Information, guidance and signposting to support around mental health
Mind fit - Introduction to Mindfulness
Sons and Friends of the Clergy is a clergy support charity, established in 1655, which provides financial grants to Anglican clergy households in times of poverty, hardship or illness. Eligible beneficiaries include serving and retired Anglican clergy and their families, divorced and separated spouses and civil partners of eligible clergy, and widows, widowers and surviving civil partners of eligible clergy. Support is also currently provided to Anglican ordinands training for ministry in the UK.
Churches' Mutual Credit Union (CMCU) is a mutual society, a savings and loans co-operative owned and controlled by its members. Savings and Loan accounts are available to individuals who hold a recognised position within The Anglican Churches of Great Britain, The Church of Scotland, The United Reformed Church,The Methodist Church of Great Britain, The Catholic Church in England & Wales and The Catholic Church in Scotland in either a paid or voluntary capacity. This includes a wide variety of associations including lay or ordained ministers, church council members, elders, office staff and trustees of church charities including church schools. The CMCU are also able to offer accounts to household members of people who qualify and to retired ministers.
The Henry Smith Charity, founded in 1628, has a programme of grants to assist ordained clergy serving in parochial ministry in England, administered by Diocesan Bishops, from whom full details, including eligibility criteria, are available. The Charity also has a Christian Projects grant programme to support projects that explicitly promote the Christian faith in the UK.
Money Advice Service is a government website giving free, impartial advice on money matters including the steps to consider if facing divorce or separation.
State Pension Entitlement This website will help you to calculate your state pension entitlement at retirement.
Turn2us is a charitable service helping people access money available to them through welfare, benefits, grants and other help. It gives a wealth of information.
Elizabeth Finn Trust may provide grants to those facing hardship and savings of under £16,000 or help with nursing home fees.
The Foundation of Edward Storey may provide help, grants and accommodation or offer a number of services to those professionally connected to the Church of England - at the discretion of their Trustees.
Adviceguide is the online help from Citizens Advice Bureau and provides information on your rights covering a range of topics.
Trade union / Professional Association Representation All clergy are entitled to be a member of a Trades Union or Professional Association and this is a matter for individual decision. Members of a Trades Union or Professional Association may be represented in matters affecting them as individuals by their Trades Union or Professional Association representative. (In certain situations, the representative must not be someone who could prejudice any hearing or who might have a conflict of interest.)
PastoralDivision.org A network of people and organisations involved in pastoral supervision and interested in training in pastoral supervision. Our members include:
- Healthcare chaplains
- Local clergy
- Spiritual directors
- Theological educators
- Church education officers
- Pastoral counsellors.
The Retreat Association provides advice on making a retreat, finding a spiritual director and links to over 200 retreat centres across the UK and beyond.
Sheldon Hub is for people in ministry to share ideas, advice and resources for wellbeing, confidentially. The Hub includes. Where you can find::
- A supportive online community
- Live directory of people and places
- A bank of trustworthy advice