During 2014 a report was commissioned into Clergy Wellbeing Groups and a working group set up chaired by The Dean to put forward a plan for the future support of clergy wellbeing. Their proposals were aimed at providing healthy and accessible support for all clergy that result in collegiality and interdependence, to encourage clergy to take personal responsibility for their health and wellbeing, and to challenge any tendency towards either dependency or inappropriate independence.
You can read the summary of the report’s finding and recommendations agreed by the Bishop by clicking here.
The Diocese of Chelmsford offers a range of support and development opportunities for clergy, including:
• Continuing Ministerial Development courses and grants
• Ministerial Development Reviews
• Extended Study Leave opportunities and grants
• Confidential counselling for clergy and their families
• Coaching, Work Consultancy and Transition Mentoring
• Spiritual Direction.
In addition, PCCs are expected to support their clergy by enabling them to take a proper day off and leave and by covering their working expenses, supporting additional relevant CMD, purchasing appropriate books and journals, and financing an annual retreat.
Diocesan Wellbeing days for Clergy
Wellbeing days offer a regular, intentional time twice a year for clergy to think about the theology, spirituality and practicalities of wellbeing in ministry. There is also a Quiet day around the beginning of Lent. Organised jointly by the Cathedral and CMD, the Wellbeing days take place in the "vocational space" of the Cathedral and follow a regular pattern of corporate worship and lectio, input and discussion in small groups. Speakers during 2016 included Stephen Cherry, author of "Beyond Busyness: time wisdom for ministry". Future plans include exploring the Prayer life of Clergy.
The days usually last from 10:00am to 2:00pm (coffee available from 09:30), are offered free to all licensed clergy and include a sandwich lunch. To help with catering please register to attend via the Cathedral website. In case you are then unable to attend, please inform as soon as possible.
Clergy Communities of Practice
All clergy are encouraged to be part of at least one peer support and learning group of their own choosing that we are calling Clergy Communities of Practice. These self-initiated groups help members develop as practitioners through mutual learning and support rooted in the Bible, reflection on the practice of ministry, and prayer. Ideally these Communities of Practice will be varied in approach and length, and self-sufficient in terms of facilitation. Members themselves will be helped to grow in the repertoire of skills required, such as Action Learning, shared Lectio or group spiritual direction.
An annual budget has been established within the CMD department to fund small grants to help Clergy Communities of Practice get going. Click here to find out more about these grants.
For questions please contact Revd Jill Mowbray, CMD Adviser responsible for Ministerial Wellbeing & MDR on email.