The journey of ministry can be stormy, scary, turbulent. It can also sometimes be alarming, frightening and a lonely place. As a diocese we feel it is very important that you have access to the support that you need. Clergy and their families at times walk on a very real tightrope, with many demands upon us. There will be times for all of us when we need pastoral care and support and what we need will be different for all of us.
Pastoral care and support will rightly take a number of different forms, depending on the situation. However, it will almost certainly include:
- Offering practical support
- Enabling and equipping
This pastoral care policy has been written with the insight gained from the online clergy survey which was completed at the end of 2015. One of the most pressing concerns the survey identified was the need for a Pastoral Care Adviser, a trained counsellor to triage and signpost the most appropriate course of action. We have funding for this post and our hope is to have a new person in place by the new year. Until then, financial support for such things as counselling should be sought from your archdeacon and for training needs from the Revd Dr Tim Watson (CMD Officer) - contact details in blue box on the right.
The diocesan structures should not merely be for administrative purposes, but also work at a pastoral level. The pastoral well-being of clergy is something that will be in the Role Description of every rural dean, archdeacon and bishop. MDR will also provide a regular opportunity for all licensed clergy to reflect on their life and ministry with a senior member of staff.
The pastoral care policy has been designed to be user friendly for clergy and members of their families, so you won’t have to wade through the whole policy to discover the information that you require. Whilst there are Christian-specific organisations mentioned, you’ll find links to statutory sector and secular charities too. Some people may be happier dealing with certain issues completely out of the church. Some links take you to national organisations, but we also direct you to local support and organisations, which may be the most effective place to begin. The policy is categorised, so you can simply go straight to the place you need and click on the hyperlink.
This policy will be updated and further links and resources will be added from time to time. Please contact us if you have a helpful resource you’d like to share with others.
Pastoral care fundamentally is relational with a focus on enabling one another to know, love and follow Jesus.
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Turn2us - a website that you can use to calculate benefits and also find grants - there are 9000 grant making bodies listed. It’s a very easy website to use.
Society of Martha and Mary at Sheldon - As well as their retreat programme and work with clergy who may need support or be in crisis, they do a clergy family holiday which is fantastic value for money and especially wonderful if you have a young family.
Eggbeer Trust - They have two lodges in Devon which they rent to Christian workers for free. There’s an online calendar where you can check out the dates which have been booked. If you want a school holiday you have to book a year in advance.