“The Diocese of Lincoln is committed to promoting, enabling, and sustaining the Wellbeing of all who serve and worship within our parishes”
We are particularly aware of the impact of ministry on those who lead our churches, both lay and ordained, and on their families, and we have a very specific focus on their wellbeing. For Readers, as you will see below, we have designated Wellbeing Leads, and for our Clergy, the Wellbeing and Continuing Ministerial Development Officer, The Reverend Jackie Johnson, creates, administers, and reviews a variety of Wellbeing systems and processes, better to provide support in this area.
If you would like to discuss a wellbeing issue, or something relating to your vocational development, please contact Jackie.
The Revd Jackie Johnson, Wellbeing and CMD Officer
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 http://lincolnreaders.org/readerboard.htm
For information with regard to mental ill health, there is a local NHS self-referral resource:
Lincolnshire Talking Therapies
The Lincolnshire Talking Therapies 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. You can self-refer to steps2change through this link to their website.
And for more general information:
Every Mind Matters
Every Mind Matters provides advice on how to deal with stress and anxiety, 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. It includes tips and advice developed with experts, approved by the NHS and endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Lincoln Diocese Clergy Counselling Scheme
Helping you to work out where the pieces fit.
The counselling strands we offer differ to meet varied needs. You can access them 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, (contact details above), 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. Be assured that no referral to Relate is translated to information in your Personnel (blue) file, and that the only time confidentiality cannot be promised is in regard to Safeguarding issues.
We have all needed additional support 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@example.com].
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 (RPGs). These are groups of 6-8 clergy meeting no less than six times a year to discuss their roles as church leaders. They also consider the impact upon them as an individuals, on their families, and on their vocations. A facilitator with supervision and mentoring skills leads each group. They encourage discussion and reflection on all aspects of life and ministry brought to the table. This helps clergy to improve overall wellbeing by sharing the issues that matter to them. We currently have one Reflective Practice Group which is now in its third year. There are also two groups meeting with a Pastoral Supervisor through a new partnership with Lincolnshire Relate
We are able to provide access to an RPG to as many clergy as are interested in participating. 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: https://www.ipsrp.org.uk/what-is-pastoral-supervision/)
For more information, see below. If you are interested in undertaking pastoral supervision/Reflective Practice, please contact Jackie.
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 Diocesan Synod affirmed and adopted the Covenant. Synod recognised it to be a vital and major strand of the Time to Change Together (TTCT) process. The Covenant encourages us to build on current good practice and to keep wellbeing central to our focus . In time, we seek to create a culture where self-care is not to be opted out of, but is 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.
‘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 here.
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:
Clergy Support Trust helps Anglican clergy and their families in the UK, Ireland and Diocese of Europe, supporting thousands of households each year. Their mission is to promote and sustain the wellbeing of Anglican clergy and their dependents by offering a variety of support services and financial grants, so that clergy and their families can flourish and thrive. Here are some of the ways it can help:
Wellbeing support: to encourage life/work balance with grants for holidays, retreats, respite breaks, fitness and leisure or sabbaticals
Mental and physical health: help with diagnostic tests and therapies, mobility aids, access to a free insomnia programme, and referrals for free counselling sessions
Money worries: grants for the unexpected, such car repairs or a large heating bill, means-tested financial support to help you get through a period of difficulty, or help to tackle problem debt.
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 Jackie Johnson.
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.
CAP have some 400 staff members across the UK helping people who struggle with debt.
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.
This is another charity which gives free and independent debt advice over the phone and online.