Last updated 29 March 2022:
On this page you can find details about counselling, coaching and spiritual direction as well as our Wellbeing and Return Working Group and resources for you to use for your own mental health and wellbeing, together with a link to a separate spirituality webpage with reflective materials to feed your own spirituality.
Churches and clergy across the country are being invited to take part in discussion about a new partnership aimed at improving the care and wellbeing of ministers, in a ‘Big Conversation’ launched by the Church of England. The Diocesan Synod discussed the Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing at its meeting on 21 November 2020. Subsequently a pilot session using the national Clergy Covenant discussion materials has been held with a group of clergy and laity in the diocese and will be offered to deaneries as part of the ‘Big Conversation’.
Below is an example of a conversation about one church’s experience of addressing wellbeing questions when looking to appoint a new minister.
Alongside the Big Conversation, ‘How Clergy Thrive’ is an additional new resource for all clergy and those who care for them produced by the Living Ministry project within the Church of England. Drawing together reflections of over 800 ordinands and clergy from interviews and results of recent survey, this offers insights into the factors that allow ordained ministry to flourish, as well as the pressures and challenges that hinder it. The resource is published on the Church of England Living Ministry Resource webpage.
Wellbeing for all videos
Here’s the first in a six-part series of short devotional videos with a wellbeing theme. They're loosely based on the book ‘How Clergy Thrive’ by Liz Graveling, but it's been a tough year for all of us and this series can help us all think more about our wellbeing! Find the whole series on our YouTube page here.
Clergy and Lay Ministers retreat days at Launde
The day beings with a brief gathering worship at 9am and ends with a simple Eucharist at 4pm. The time in between is spent in silence except for a “talking” lunch. There is no charge for the day however, due to social distancing places are limited so please book your place by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. See the upcoming dates below:
Thursday 7 April, Tuesday 17 May, Monday 20 June, Thursday 14 July, Tuesday 6 September, Tuesday 4 October, Saturday 15 October (later start time of 9.30am), Tuesday 29 November, Tuesday 6 December
Timetable for the day:
9am Opening Worship
9.30am unguided quiet time until lunch
12.45pm lunch (not silent)
1.30pm unguided quiet time
4pm closing eucharist
(Refreshments and lunch provided)
Wellbeing and Return Working Group
The Bishops' Leadership Team has established this group to look at ways of supporting our church leaders through what is for many a turbulent and uncertain time.
This group is chaired by Claire Wood, the Archdeacon of Loughborough, and its membership also comprises: Alison Adams, Andy Brockbank, Stuart Burns, Andy Hall, Mayo Jolaoso, Vince Jupp, Carolyn Lewis, David Newman and Richard Worsfold.
Alongside collating resources and updating this page with opportunities to help with your wellbeing, the group will also be contributing to the Shaped by God Together process, recognising that support for wellbeing will continue to be a key priority as a new diocesan framework for mission emerges.
Diocesan Counselling Service
The Counselling Service which is available to Clergy and their families, and Licensed Lay Leaders has been up and running since October 2020. This is one avenue of support offered by the diocese. If you would like to discuss your issues with someone and would like to explore if counselling could offer you the support you need, please contact our Diocesan Counselling Coordinator Anissa Chung on Anissa.Chung@LeicesterCofE.org. or 0739 819 9392 to book an initial meeting.
COVID-19 Crisis Counselling Support Service
A new service has been set up by the Association of Christian Counsellors in response to the evident distress and suffering of many people as a result of the situation caused by COVID-19. ACC’s COVID-19 Crisis Counselling Support Service is for anyone in the UK, whatever their faith, who has been bereaved during the time of the epidemic and anyone working within an NHS setting in a frontline role. The service offers anyone who is eligible up-to ten sessions of counselling on a no-fee basis from a professionally trained counsellor. Find out more here.
Coaching and Spiritual Direction
For more infomation about Coaching (Available through the Parish Transition and Ministry Department) contact Stuart Burns, Director of PT&MD Team, on email@example.com
Financial Wellbeing for Clergy and Licensed Lay Leaders
Concern about our finances and our longer term financial planning can be a specific drain on our energy and ministry. To support us we have appointed Chris Sheldon as our Financial Wellbeing Coordinator who can confidentially help Clergy, licensed lay leaders, retired clergy and families. You can read more about this support here and you can contact Chris confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 07779 273705.
Wellbeing Through Travel
We recognise that travel and transport can play a significant part in our health and wellbeing as well as climate change, and we have published a Sustainable Travel Toolkit for our churches and fresh expressions as well as a Workplace Travel Plan for diocesan staff. You can find out more here.
Other Wellbeing Resources and Ideas
A useful app that you can download: https://www.headspace.com
Here are some other ideas and advice:
- Supporting good mental health
- Guidance on mental health and wellbeing during coronavirus
- Clergy and Lay Minister wellbeing advice
- Funeral ministry
- A mental health and wellbeing workbook (compendium of resources produced by Leicestershire Partnership Healthcare Trust)
- Download this document with hints and tips for Zoom good practice for your wellbeing.
- Mental and Emotional Wellbeing and the Church: some helpful resources
If you find yourself feeling low, tearful, angry or unable to cope for a long period of time, you may be suffering from stress, anxiety or depression. Find out about the support available.
Telephone numbers for mental health organisations can be downloaded here or a link to therapeutic support through GP referral may be found here.
Telephone numbers for mental health organisations can be downloaded here.
Other Helpful Websites
There are myriad different websites offering a wide variety of help for you to explore how to maintain wellbeing and sustain good mental health even if you currently feel fine. Some are specific to the coronavirus pandemic situation and others are more general so please do explore: