This email communication has been sent to all licensed Active Clergy, clergy who hold the bishop's Permission to Officiate, Retired Clergy, Readers, Authorised Lay Ministers, Churchwardens, Lay Chairs, PCC Secretaries, and the members of the Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees.

Dear colleagues,

We write to you today with our primary concern about your wellbeing. There is information on the Employee Assistance Programme and also some advice from Ecclesiastical Insurance regarding precautions to take with church buildings that are currently closed.

We wish to stress to clergy, and to those in lay ministry, that during these strange times in which we find ourselves, you still do everything possible to take a clear day off each week. Each of us are adjusting to working in new ways and we need to ensure that we still ‘distance’ ourselves from the demands of work each week despite it being in our house. Please tell others you are doing it to help you keep that time off. For the time being we both intend to take a Saturday as a time for rest and what we are modelling we would urge you to also do! Our chaplain can always be an initial point of contact and Jayson can be reached for urgent matters on 07487 242912.

The diocese is now in partnership with Employee Assistance Programme (or EAP), namely ‘Health Assured’ which several dioceses use. This enables clergy and family members to self-refer for counselling (currently this will be by telephone, or Skype, or Zoom).  That means there is no requirement to contact anyone within the diocese to ask for such help – this is all anonymous – and is readily available to you by making one call.  You can take a look at what Health Assured offers by looking at their website.  

Once on the website you can read about the provision available to you as clergy and family within Lincoln Diocese.  Also, if you look at the top menu bar, you will see a section marked ‘Individual’.  A drop box includes the words ‘Health Portal Log in’.  

Here you can access a number of resources like mini health checks, webinar sessions on varied subjects, and more. The number for making arrangements for counselling is: 0844 891 0354  or you can ring the 24 hr confidential helpline:  0800 028 0199. If you are on the website, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will find a segment in purple.  There is a column headed ‘For Individuals’ under which you will see ‘Counselling for you’.  Tap onto that and you will be directed to a page which gives more information about the counselling provision. At this time we are all more fragile than ever, and it is important to say that seeking help of this kind is not considered to highlight failure or weakness.  Quite the opposite – a person looking to access help with regard to their mental health shows good personal knowledge, insight, and wisdom.

If you would like to talk to anyone from Edward King House about what is happening now for you and your family, then please do get in touch so we can assist and support you and your family. 

Victoria Duff Jackie Johnson
HR Officer Wellbeing and CMD Officer
Mobile: 07432 522411 Mobile:  07590 950040
[email protected] [email protected]

Insurance Advice

Ecclesiastical Insurance have passed on some helpful guidance about looking after church buildings during the present closure. It can be accessed here.  

Please note you may wish to join, and encourage others to take part, in the ‘clapforourcarers’ that occurs from houses tonight at 8pm. People are encouraged to applaud those who care for others from our front doors, gardens, windows etc. This is a way to acknowledge the work of the NHS – to show nurses, doctors and carers our appreciation for all they are doing. 

With our best wishes and prayers,

Bishop David                                                  
The Right Reverend Dr David Court                  
Bishop of Grimsby                                          
Acting Bishop of Lincoln

and

Bishop Nicholas
The Right Reverend Dr Nicholas Chamberlain
Bishop of Grantham