Thursday, March 16, 2017

Surveying Clergy Stress and Well-being

I remember visiting a Bishop to discuss the prospects of a Curacy in his area (not in my current Diocese) and him telling me that nearly half of his clergy were suffering some form of work-related stress, addiction, depression or some other mental health condition. He said dealing with the fall out from this occupied much of his time. Unsurprisingly, I have never forgotten that meeting.

My friend Kathryn is doing her Phd on this subject and would greatly appreciate Clergy doing a questionnaire that will form part of her research data, If you are able to 'pass this forward' to other Clergy then please do so.

This is her study:

 Enhancing Ministry and Encouraging Clergy Well-Being
A study to support the development of ministerial resources


A group-coaching course that engages with the relational challenges of ministry is currently being piloted in three Church of England dioceses. The course offers a framework for thinking about congregational relationships and supports participants to develop an empowering response to these, potentially emotionally demanding, situations.

This research project is exploring the impact of this course on participants’ experiences of ministry and on their personal well-being. In order to ensure our conclusions are robust and meaningful, and identify whether it might be pertinent to offer this coaching approach more widely, we are also conducting a Church of England wide study. We are inviting a random cross section of clergy across England and Wales to participate in a survey that explores the influence of pastoral role and relationships on clergy’s experience of ministry.

Previous research indicates that relations with others, whether inside or outside the Church community can be both a resource and a demand for clergy. Facing unrealistic congregational expectations, dealing with conflictual situations and managing the diversity of the pastoral role are some of the interpersonal scenarios which have been found to act as significant sources of ministerial pressure (Berry et al., 2012; Charlton et al., 2009). Alongside this, support from colleagues, congregation, friends and family have been shown to sustain clergy and promote their well-being (Ling, 2016; Proeschold-Bell, 2015). This research will explore the impact of these relational factors in greater depth.

If you are a full-time stipendiary minister working in a parish whose role is of incumbent or holds incumbent status (e.g. team vicar, priest-in-charge) we would like to invite you to participate.

The survey should take no more than 30 minutes to complete.

If you would like to take part in this research please visit here:

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