Reader Wellbeing

Each Deanery has a designated Wellbeing Lead whom you can contact should you wish to discuss wellbeing issues. You can find their contact details at

For information with regard to mental ill health, there is a local NHS self-referral resource:

steps2change: The steps2change team consists of CBT therapists, counsellors, interpersonal therapists, psychological wellbeing practitioners, and more. They have one main focus - to provide you with the best care possible. They are based in Boston, Louth, Gainsborough, Grantham, Lincoln, Skegness, Sleaford, Spalding and Stamford, and you can self-refer to steps2change through this link to their website. 

And for more general information:

Every Mind Matters: provides simple and practical advice - from how to deal with stress and anxiety, to boosting your mood or sleeping better. It will help you spot the signs of common mental health conditions, get personalised practical self-care tips and information on further support. You'll also learn about what you can do to help others. EMM has been created by Public Health England, with tips and advice developed with experts, approved by the NHS and endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The Diocese of Lincoln is committed to promoting and sustaining the Wellbeing of all who serve and worship within our parishes.  The Reverend Jackie Johnson is our Wellbeing and Continuing Ministerial Development Officer.  A major part of her role is to ensure that we constantly review how we as a diocese care for clergy and their families, and promote wellbeing in ministry. 

If you would like to discuss a wellbeing issue, or something relating to your vocational development, please contact Jackie by phone on: 07590 950040 or by email

Clergy can access the following to support their personal and vocational wellbeing:

Lincoln Diocese Clergy Counselling Scheme

Helping you to work out where the pieces fit

The counselling strands we offer differ to meet varied needs, and are accessed either through anonymous self-referral to our Employment Assistant Programme (EAP)* with ‘Health Assured’, or via a confidential conversation with our Wellbeing Officer, The Reverend Jackie Johnson, who may direct you Lincolnshire Relate, with whom we have also partnered.

We understand how hard it can be to take a step into vulnerability by asking for counselling assistance, but especially so when the conversation is between yourself and someone from the Diocese.  Be assured that no referral to Relate is translated to information in your blue file, and the only time confidentiality cannot be promised is in regard to Safeguarding issues.  We have all needed additional support of some kind at some time in our ministry.  If you need help now, please self-refer where you can, or contact us to start a conversation about the possibility of accessing Relate. 

 *[The EAP information is sent to our clergy each year, and includes the relevant telephone numbers and the User Name and Password needed to access a variety of wellbeing resources.  If you, or someone you know has misplaced that information, please contact Jackie Johnson on 07590 950040, or email her at [email protected]].

We can signpost you to the assistance you may need. 

Pastoral Supervision and Reflective Practice Groups

A key recommendation in the Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing is to encourage the use of facilitated Reflective Practice Groups, i.e. 6-8 clergy meeting no less than six times a year to discuss, entirely confidentially, their role as a church leader and its impact upon them as an individual, on their family, and on their vocation. A facilitator with supervision and mentoring skills leads each group, encouraging discussion and reflection on all aspects of life and ministry brought to the table, helping clergy improve overall wellbeing by sharing the issues that matter to them. We currently have one Reflective Practice Group which is now in its second year. 

In the longer term the Diocese of Lincoln is looking to make provision for more clergy to participate in pastoral supervision. Very much like reflective practice, pastoral supervision is "an accompanied intentional dialogue between:

  • Soul - a person's inner motivation
  • Role - the demands of a person's field of work, and 
  • Context - the nitty gritty realities which enable or inhibit a person to find harmony between soul and role."

(The institute of Pastoral supervision and Reflective Practice:

If you are interested in undertaking pastoral supervision, please contact The Reverend Jackie Johnson via [email protected]

Two Clergy Reflective Practice/Pastoral Supervision Groups:

We have several places available for clergy who would like to participate in two Reflective Practice/Pastoral Supervision Groups which will be trialled this year in partnership with Lincolnshire Relate.  They will offer 4 x 2 hour sessions, via Zoom, to groups of up to 7 clergy.  The facilitator, who is a counsellor with Relate, provides supervision to professionals working in a number of fields.


One group will start on:                 Wednesday       25th January 2023            from 10am – 12 noon

(Future dates could be 26 April, 26 July, and 18 October, but this could be negotiated at the first session).


The second group will begin on: Thursday             2nd February 2023            from 1pm – 3pm

(Future dates could be 4 May, 3 August, and 2 November, but these too are provisional and can be negotiated).

The value of group supervision:

· Wellbeing is enhanced through sharing the weight of ministry

· A greater sense of vocational fulfilment leading to more energy for the overall task

· Encouraging deeper and more critical reflection on practice

· Increasing understanding of accountability to each other, enhancing the message/language of collaboration

· Heading off potential mis-handling of pastoral situations, (e.g. poor boundary maintenance)

· ‘A trouble shared’ can prevent stress and illness

· Diluting or neutralise the competitiveness of ministry

If you’re interested in joining a Zoom group, either on 25th January, or on 2nd February, or you’d like more information, please get in touch with Jackie Johnson ( [email protected] or on 07590 950040 ) as soon as possible.  There are 7 places available in the group starting later this month, and 3/4 places available for the February group.  These sessions come free of charge.  If, and only if, you feel you are in a position to contribute to this provision, we would suggest a sum of £10 per session with the facilitator, to a maximum of £40 for the year.  But, to be clear, there is absolutely no obligation to contribute.

The Covenant for the Care and Wellbeing of Clergy

“The Covenant … is the expressed view of the mind of the Church of England on issues relating to clergy care and wellbeing.” Canon Simon Butler, Chair of the Clergy Covenant Working Group.

The Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing asks all parts of the Church to share responsibility for the welfare of ministers and their households. In November of 2020 our own Diocesan Synod affirmed and adopted the Covenant recognising it to be a vital and major strand of the Time to Change Together (TTCT) process, encouraging us to build on current good practice, and to keep wellbeing central to our focus as we move forward, weaving a covenantal approach into the structures and systems within which we work. In time, we seek to create a culture where self-care is not to be opted opt out of, but rather, that we recognise it as integral to a healthy church.

Important note: This is not to imbue clergy wellbeing with more import than that of all God’s people. Rather, it should be our clergy who model good practice to others within their communities. 

If you would like more information on the Covenant, please use the links below. There are resource booklets created to prompt reflection, conversation, and action for clergy, laity, Bishops and the wider church. God's will for our ordained and lay church leaders is that they thrive, simply because they, like everyone, are God's beloved. God also wants all disciples and ministers to thrive vocationally, because such thriving or the lack of it, impacts congregations and the wider church, for good and ill.  

Full Covenant Document

A Document for Reflection and Action for the Clergy 

A Document for Reflection and Action for Local Congregations

A Document for Reflection and Action for Bishops and the Wider Church

How Clergy Thrive: Insights from Living Ministry’ This is a 64-page booklet drawing together some of the key findings from the Living Ministry research. Once again, we read of how the responsibility for promoting and supporting clergy wellbeing is shared, and this booklet, emerging directly from the experiences of ordinands and clergy aims to help clergy, senior clergy and diocesan officers reflect on their own wellbeing and that of others around them. 

Clergy CMD and Retreat Funding

Clergy are able to access up to £250 towards vocational development.   You can also apply for up to £150 towards the cost of a retreat.  Application forms can be found at:

Or you can e-mail Jackie Johnson:  

St Luke’s Healthcare for Clergy

St Luke's offers a range of preventive resources and services in support of clergy wellbeing. Some are available to individuals, and some via partnering with Dioceses. Their work has been shown to reduce isolation, increase self-awareness and foster good self-care, helping clergy to flourish in their ministry. 

Sources of Assistance for those Suffering from Financial Hardship

Clergy Support Trust: CST is the UK's oldest and largest charity focussed exclusively on supporting the wellbeing of Anglican clergy and their families. 

Their mission is to promote and sustain the wellbeing of Anglican clergy and their dependents, so that those called to ordained Anglican ministry can flourish, as they seek to serve their communities. They provide financial grants in times of hardship or other need, and they have sought to expand their range of support services beyond the provision of financial grants, and to focus more holistically on clergy wellbeing. 

The Henry Smith Grant:

Their purpose is to assist parochial clergy in a time of crisis or acute financial need, where this could be detrimental to their ministry. The need may arise from family circumstances (e.g. a family with children and only one income), unusual or emergency expenditure which strains family finances (e.g. illness, disability, expensive car repairs), or simply the need for a family holiday after a period of stress and exhaustion whether through personal issues or the challenge of ministering in difficult parishes. To be eligible for a grant, you must currently be serving in a parochial ministry, whether stipendiary or non-stipendiary. (Grants are not available from the charity for retired clergy). 

For further information contact your Archdeacon, the Bishop's Office, or our Wellbeing Officer, The Reverend Jackie Johnson, [email protected]

Jackie is also able to signpost other potential sources of financial assistance, so please don't hesitate to get in touch. 

Help open to all

Anyone and everyone can struggle with financial hardship, and ministers, lay and ordained, are no exception. If you need to speak with someone about how the current cost of living crisis is impacting your life, the following charities may be able to help

Christians Against Poverty - CAP

CAP have some 400 staff members across the UK helping people who struggle with debt. 

Step Change Debt Charity

Step Change offer "free, flexible debt advice that is based on a comprehensive assessment of your situation." They can provide practical help and support for however long it's needed.

National Debtline

This is another charity which gives free and independent debt advice over the phone and online. 

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