Wellbeing is a complex area and sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. Here you can find resources emerging from the Living Ministry research to use for personal reflection and in discussion with others. Designed specifically for ordinands, clergy, senior clergy and diocesan officers, they will help you think about your own wellbeing and how you support the wellbeing of others, and point you in the direction of further sources of support.
How Clergy Thrive: Insights from Living Ministry
Based on the Living Ministry research, Dr. Liz Graveling has written this booklet as a tool both for clergy reflecting on their own wellbeing and for those with responsibility for supporting the wellbeing of others. It is published by Church House Publishing.
These question pages, drawn from How Clergy Thrive, are a helpful, downloadable tool to assist in working through the different areas of clergy wellbeing:
Our research has found six key principles that help clergy to thrive, which are summarised here
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people will see most or all of these six areas disrupted, it is hardly surprising that our physical, mental, spiritual, vocational, relational and material wellbeing will be threatened. The challenge is to find ways to recreate these elements as we adapt to the current circumstances.
Download this How Clergy Thrive resource that specifically addresses how clergy can thrive during the pandemic.
Find additional resources and listings of support organisations inside and outside the church by downloading this document: Wellbeing - Sources of support for clergy and ordinands.
Drawing on learning from our research, these briefing papers are designed for those experiencing and supporting others in ordained ministry:
During the covid-19 pandemic, churches’ use of digital technology was transformed overnight. A team from Royal Holloway, Birkbeck and Southampton universities explored the implications of this for mission, ministry and wellbeing among clergy in the Diocese of Oxford. You can read the full report here or view summaries in video, slide or PDF format.
Exploring the Wellbeing of Working-Class Clergy
In this podcast, Kate and Anna talk about their journeys to ordination as working-class women and their experiences working in the Church of England. Kate and Anna work together regularly and share an understanding of what it means to them to be working-class. In the research project, there was a fairly even number of men and women who participated. This conversation highlights some of the issues faced specifically by working-class women clergy, as well as the issues that are not confined to one gender. Kate and Anna make the point that working-class men who are clergy, whilst subject to classism, also benefit from male privilege, illuminating some of the complexities of classed experiences.
In the first half of the conversation, Luke talks about his background and his journey to ordination, offering rich detail about his working-class roots and his joy at finding intellectual growth and fulfilment through the training process, seeing the rigours of academic inquiry as a gift from the Church for which he is grateful. He also talks about the doubts he had that his call would be recognised because of his background and how he presents himself and describes how at times he has a sense of non-belonging within the Church. Luke’s story includes both the significant encouragement he received and the discomfort of some encounters with those in the Church during his journey to ordination.
In the second part of his conversation, Luke turns to the themes within his book and explores its theological basis, highlighting how social justice is at the heart of discussions about class. He offers a view of social class as something to be eradicated rather than purely as an identity. Class as something that is imposed on groups of people was a theme raised in the research and Luke offers a political perspective alongside the discussions about cultural differences. With reference to union membership, to a collectivist outlook, and to elements of Liberation Theology that highlight God’s preference to the poor, Luke challenges and urges us to understand classism as a social justice issue.