Synod Paper GS2133

The full report can be found here.

The Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing states:

The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scripture and set forth in the catholic creeds, which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in every generation.

In its formularies, the Church of England recognises that God calls some to serve as deacons, priests and bishops to build up and equip the whole People of God.

Conscious that such a calling is both a privilege and a demand, we commit together to promote the welfare of our clergy and their households.

We undertake to work together to coordinate and improve our approach to clergy care and wellbeing so that the whole Church may flourish in the service of the mission of God.

The goals of the report were that we:

  • shift towards prevention,
  • shift towards a mutual responsibility ie, the minister, the parish, the diocese and the national church all share this responsibility,
  • shift towards there is a coordinated response, ie the needs of the clergy all the way from discernment to retirement and beyond will be considered.
  • Have a culture change: ie we change the culture so that the church cares more about the wellbeing of the clergy
  • Have something achievable – pragmatic at every level

The recommendations are:

  • We have a ‘Big Conversation’ about clergy wellbeing with questions on various aspects of clergy wellbeing for the minister, the local church and the wider church and bishop
  • Non-managerial pastoral supervision and reflective practice is available for all clergy
  • Training for ordinands and curates help to develop self-care, understand expectations, develops collaborative ministry and reflective practice
  • Role descriptions for posts are realistic and it is clear during appointment and licensing that the expectations should not be unrealistic and that clergy care is part of the package.
  • MDRs focus on the realistic role descriptions and also include focus on clergy care.
  • Good practice is shared rather than the silo working that we have become accustomed to.

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