Well-Being and Support
The flourishing and well-being of ordained and authorised ministers is fundamental to the life and mission of our Diocese, and the Bishops place high value on it. There are some core expectations for ministerial self-care including days off, holidays, retreats, study leave (sabbaticals) and CMD.
A description of these expectations can be found here.
To sustain well-being, many find it helpful to have someone with whom to talk to or share thoughts about their ministry, before any crisis or 'problem' arises. All ministers are encouraged to develop networks of mutual support in their parishes and benefices, work contexts and deaneries. Below are some of the sources of support which are available within the Diocese and beyond.
Ministerial Development Review (MDR)
This annual review is for all stipendiary and SSM clergy and all Readers and licensed Lay Ministers under 70. Clergy and Readers with PTO are not required to have an MDR, but may opt in if they wish. Chaplains may also opt in.
More information can be found here.
Study Leave (Sabbaticals)
Periods of extended study leave - 12 weeks, and short study leave – four weeks are encouraged for clergy and licensed lay workers including Readers. More information can be found here.
Mentors, Coaches and Ministry Companions
There are various options for reflecting on ministry with others, which the diocese encourages. More information can be found here.
New Incumbents' Groups
GGroups run by the Bishops for those in their first incumbency. This is offered by invitation, but please contact Jeanette Gosney (Bishops' Ministry Officer) or call 07710 479497 with any enquiries.
Support for Chaplains
There are developing networks for chaplains in different workplaces and contexts. Contact Jeanette Gosney for more details.
Help against bullying
Diocesan Policy: Preventing Bullying and Harassment – Encouraging Positive Relationships | PDF
'Dignity at work' is a national policy from the Ministry Division of the Archbishops' Council addressing issues of bullying and harassment and is available here.
'Challenging Bullying in the Churches' offers further ideas and can be ordered directly from Grove Books (P145).
Courses are provided by Bridge Builders offering insights and training in dealing with aspects of bullying.
Contact Susannah burn for support and advice on: 07742 908947 or by email: Susannah.email@example.com.
Women's Ministry Support
Some women find it helpful to have a specific network for women as well as someone with whom they can raise any concerns relating to women's ministry. Jeanette Gosney Jeanette.Gosney@cofesuffolk.org is the Diocesan Advisor for Women’s Ministry (DAWM).
All ministers are encouraged to have a Spiritual Director (soul companion, spiritual accompanier) with whom they can meet regularly and confidentially to discuss their spiritual well-being.
Clergy Financial Support
The Bishop has available through various charitable trust funds, sums of money for the support of clergy wellbeing and ministry. This may include, for example, financial need arising from unusual or emergency expenditure such as illness or expensive car repairs, the need for a holiday after a period of stress or other family circumstances. This is open to all licensed clergy but not ordinands or retired clergy. If you feel you have such a need and would like to be considered for a grant, please apply in the first instance to Jeanette Gosney (Bishops’ Ministry Officer) firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further Resources for restoring mental, physical and spiritual health and wholeness
stlukeshealthcare.org.uk St Luke’s healthcare, providing physical and psychological support for clergy.
www.burrswood.org.uk Burrswood health and wellbeing, a large country house near Tonbridge Wells, provides a good place for clergy in need of a break. The Director of Spiritual Wellbeing is Revd Carol Morrison, tel; 01892 865976, email@example.com.
www.sheldon.uk.com Sheldon, providing space, a wide variety of retreats, and refreshment for those in ministry.
www.retreats.org.uk The Retreat Association, providing information about retreat options.