Clergy wellbeing

Clergy wellbeing

"It is hugely important that we take care of our own wellbeing, and that of our colleagues. It is not selfish to take proper time off and retreat time, or to challenge unreasonable and unrealistic expectations, and it will better equip us for the ministry to which we are called." [Bishop Stephen's Letter to Clergy, Epiphany 2018]

One of the levers of change in the Diocese of Ely's strategy is to 'develop healthy churches and leaders'. It includes the aim to refresh leadership, so that both clergy and laity feel energised, empowered and liberated to grow in their ministry. The flourishing of the clergy is key to the flourishing of the church.

Clergy wellbeing encompasses all that promotes the health and wholeness of the clergy of the diocese. Clergy wellbeing is of concern for the whole church and the responsibility for the promotion of wellbeing lies with: 

  • the diocese, in offering personal support and development of skills necessary for the changing role of those who are ordained and in defining manageable roles for clergy
  • the clergy, as they take responsibility for their own wellbeing and are mindful of the wellbeing of their colleagues
  • congregations, as they are encouraged to recognise their impact on the wellbeing of their clergy.

Diocesan provision

Recent developments in diocesan provision to encourage clergy wellbeing include:

  • the development of the Ministerial Development Review process
  • the availability of coaching
  • training in Resilience in Conflict
  • an introduction to Mindfulness
  • a series on ' How to Survive and Thrive as a Minister'
  • the provision and training of mentors for new incumbents.

Counselling for clergy

Any clergy seeking counselling for themselves or members of their family are welcome to contact the Revd Bruce Kinsey on 01865 277716 or via email:

Click here to view and download this Pastoral Care and Counselling Leaflet.

Sources of Support for clergy

Please follow this link for sources of support for clergy.

The Society of Mary and Martha, Sheldon

The Sheldon Community supports people in ministry at times of stress, crisis, burnout or breakdown as well as offering space for regular retreats; a programme of led retreats; a 12.000 mile service, and other events. To quote their website 'We're good space in a crisis and good space for your regular retreats (and nobody needs to know which it is).'

With joy and not sighing

As part of our diocesan vision to be people fully alive in Christ, we seek to build healthy churches and leaders.  Encouraging cultures and structures of clergy wellbeing is central to this. The question of what helps clergy to flourish is theological and vocational as much as it is structural, and so I am immensely grateful to Lynda Taylor, Jenny Gage and Sue Wyatt for helping us to reflect theologically about clergy wellbeing.  This is rich theological reflection grounded in practical experience and robust research findings.

‘With joy and not sighing…’ invites clergy and congregations to think together about what joyful, flourishing ministry looks like, so that together we can be best equipped to grow into healthy churches which serve our communities for the sake of God’s Kingdom.

I encourage clergy, lay leaders, PCCs, and congregations to engage with this material as part of the conversation around the national Covenant for Clergy Wellbeing and to grow in our understanding of what it means to be fully alive as God’s people ministering together across the diocese.




Supporting documents

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Page last updated: 9th June 2020 9:52 AM
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Ely Diocesan Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 142183, and a charity registered in England and Wales with Charity Number 245456. The registered address is: Diocesan Office, Bishop Woodford House, Barton Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4DX. All rights reserved.