The Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing as unanimously adopted by Chelmsford Diocese in 2022 and we aim to resource and enable all our ministry personnel to flourish in their ministries.
Wellbeing and the Covenant
Wellbeing is all about human flourishing and functioning well. It’s more than just feeling good and not identical with happiness.
Physical, emotional and spiritual health, together with personal and professional relationships, within the wider context of vocation, all contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing for clergy and licensed lay ministers. Ordained and licensed ministry is inextricably interwoven with other aspects of life and with other people’s lives. Ministers are often sustained by a very strong sense of personal calling but the work is also lonely, and some ministers feel isolated in their ministry or in their personal lives.
Ministerial wellbeing encompasses all that promotes the health and wholeness of the clergy and LLMs of the diocese. It is a concern for the whole church and the responsibility for the promotion of wellbeing lies with all of us in the diocese; with the paradox that because of the self-direction of the office, clergy and ministers must also take responsibility for their own self-care.
The Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing was made an Act of Synod in February 2020. In 2022 the Diocese of Chelmsford began a process*of
- Starting a Conversation
- Enabling Reflection and
- Putting into Action
which we hope will serve us well as we aim to resource and enable all our ministry personnel to flourish in their ministries.
At the Diocesan Synod on 22nd October 2022, the Covenant was unanimously adopted by the diocese.
Slides from the June Diocesan Synod are available for download here for ministers and deaneries to use in beginning and continuing local conversations about how we can support the wellbeing of those who serve in ministry.
Living Ministry project
Our work on ministrial wellbeing is guided by the research of over 10 years from the Living Ministry project, and further information can be found here. www.churchofengland.org/living-ministry.
‘How Clergy Thrive’
Parishes and deaneries may find it useful to download the booklet ‘How Clergy Thrive’ authored by Dr Liz Graveling How Clergy Thrive Downloadable for Local Non Commercial Use.pdf (churchofengland.org).