Wellbeing


Last updated 15 May 2021:

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.

Below is a message from Bishop Guli, with some reflections on wellbeing:

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.


Shielding and Wellbeing Group 

This group is chaired by Claire Wood, the Archdeacon of Loughborough, and its membership includes clergy, lay readers [including PTO] and PCC members who are in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ category and continuing to shield at home.

The meetings provide an opportunity for sharing stories and experiences, and reflecting on the ongoing situation.  Please register your interest in advance for any future events with the Archdeacon’s PA Wendy Dunnington: wendy.dunnington@leccofe.org


Clergy 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 bishops.office@leicestercofe.org. See the upcoming dates below:

Monday 21 June     
Monday 16 August         
Thursday 30 September        
Tuesday 12 October  
Tuesday 2 November                  
Friday 3 December


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.


Group Reflective Practice

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going
that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come away with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:30-32

Reflect on your ministry in a safe, boundaried and intentional way, with Group Reflective Practice. A new opportunity for being resourced, which will initially be available for clergy only, to join a group of 4 or 5 others to reflect on your practice. Download the flyer for full information.


Counselling

Diocesan Counselling Service

The new 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 Mission and Ministry Department) contact Stuart Burns, Director of Mission and Ministry, on stuart.burns@leccofe.org.uk

For more infomation about Spiritual Direction: Contact Revd David Newman on warden@launde.org.uk and see our Spiritual Direction web page here.


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 chris@sheldonhouse.co.uk or call him on 07779 273705.


Reflective Practice and Pastoral Supervision Groups

In these times of enormous challenge and new ways of working for all of us, the diocese is committed to resourcing those engaged in public ministry as much as possible.

One new opportunity for being resourced, which will initially be available for clergy only, is to join a group of four or five others to reflect on your practice. The group will be facilitated by a trained Pastoral Supervisor. See more information here.

In light of the Clergy Wellbeing Covenant becoming an Act of Synod, Bishop Guli and Revd Canon Helen Newman discuss an aspect of it in the video below, pastoral supervision, and the benefits of incorporating it more widely within the se Diocese of Leicester.


Spirituality 

Mindful of the importance of prayer and spirituality as central to wellbeing for people of faith, we have a dedicated section on the website which aims to provide ideas and resources. 


Support available for Diocesan Staff

We are aware that this has been a difficult period for all to live through as we enter a second year with the pandemic still very much with us. There is support available for all diocesan staff.

There are a number of people available to talk with if you need a chat or some support.  These include Cathedral clergy, Archdeacons, and others who have been part of similar offers of support in other challenging circumstances in the past.  Contact Andy Brockbank for the list of those available to chat.

With St Martins House beginning to be open once again, we will be looking to provide a suitable physical space which can offer some features of a safe haven, alongside the Cathedral which remains open for private prayer. You are welcome to join morning prayer led by the Cathedral via Zoom on a Monday morning at 8.30am.  The Zoom details are the same as for the 9.00am ‘breakfast’ meeting. The Community of the Tree of Life is offering the opportunity to join in the live stream prayers at 12.30 each week day.  There is also a prayer request email people can use if they would like to send a prayer request to the Community.  The details can be found here https://leicestertreeoflife.org/prayer/

The DBF, Cathedral and DBE all have other offers of support to staff which has been circulated to staff concerned.


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:

Urgent Help

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: 




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