Thinking Anglicans

Clergy Well-being

Press release from the Church of England

Call for ‘Big Conversation’ on clergy care and well-being

The Church of England is being invited to take part in a ‘Big Conversation’ on a new deal to coordinate and improve its approach to clergy care and well-being, in a set of draft documents published today.

The suggested text of a Covenant for Clergy Care and Well-being, modelled on the Military Covenant, is published for consultation along with a set of proposed shared commitments between ministers, churches and the wider church.

The documents have been drawn up by a Working Group appointed last year following a debate at the General Synod which heard of the impact of stress, isolation and loneliness on clergy’s lives and ministries.

In a report published alongside the Covenant, the Working Group calls for shared responsibility for clergy well-being between ministers, churches, dioceses and the national church. It also sets a goal of a culture change in the Church of England towards greater concern for the health and well-being of its ordained ministers.

Canon Simon Butler, who chaired the Working Group, said: “We are calling for a ‘Big Conversation’ on clergy care and well-being and we are providing the framework for this to happen. Our aim is not to be prescriptive, but to promote a conversation which will lead to action across all levels of the church, from members of local churches through to the Cathedrals and National Church Institutions.

“Our goal is to bring about a culture change in the Church towards greater awareness of our shared responsibility to promote clergy care and well-being and a significant move towards a preventative approach alongside responsive care.

“The Working Group is very keen to listen to the responses before taking that into the final document for the Synod next summer. We are hoping that the Covenant and the report will be debated by every Diocesan Synod by the end of July 2020.”

The draft paper ‘A Covenant for Clergy Care and Well Being’ can be found here.

Details on the membership of the Working Group and last July’s General Synod debate can be found here.

We reported on the setting up of the working group here.

Madeleine Davies writes at length on the report for Church Times: Clergy burdened by unrealistic job specs, C of E told.


Archbishop of York to retire – in June 2020

Dr John Sentamu has announced that he will retire from his post as Archbishop of York on 7 June 2020, Trinity Sunday, 3 days prior to his 71st birthday. The official announcement is here.

Some press reports

Adam Becket Church Times Archbishop Sentamu announces his retirement — but not for another 21 months

Joe Cawthorn Yorkshire Evening Post Archbishop of York John Sentamu has announced his retirement date

BBC News Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu to retire

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Archbishop of York says he will retire in 2020

Victoria Ward and Jamie Merrill The Telegraph Sentamu retirement opens door for Church of England’s first female archbishop