We need your help with a study exploring the influence of pastoral roles and relationships on the well-being of Church of England Clergy.
The role of a priest is incredibly diverse, but there is a striking thread of relationality that runs through its heart. It is a vocational calling originating in ones relationship with God and outworking itself through relationship with others, both inside and outside the Church community (Bridger, 2015).
Research into clergy well-being indicates that these relations can be both a resource and a demand. Studies exploring the causes of clerical stress and burnout have found that facing unrealistic congregational expectations, dealing with conflictual situations and managing the diversity of the pastoral role are some of the interpersonal scenarios which may act as significant sources of ministerial pressure (Berry et al., 2012; Charlton et al., 2009). Alongside this, research including the Church of England’s Experiences in Ministry project, that have sought to identify factors which sustain clergy and promote well-being, have highlighted the importance of support from colleagues and one’s congregation (Ling, 2016; Proeschold-Bell, 2015).
This study seeks to explore this ministerial relational dynamic in greater depth. It will explore your current experiences of ministry, the varieties of pressures and resources you encounter within your role and your family and relationship systems. This is the first part of a wider research project that will also investigate the impact on well-being of a group coaching course designed to offer an empowering response to the emotional and relational demands of ministry.
If you are a full-time stipendiary Church of England minister working in a parish whose role is of incumbent or holds incumbent status (e.g. team vicar, priest-in-charge) we would like to invite you to participate.
(Unfortunately this means that you can’t participate if you are not a Church of England minister or if you are a curate, work part-time or don’t receive a salary.)
The survey should take no more than 30 minutes to complete.
If you would like to take part in this research please: CLICK HERE
Kathryn Kissell, 01/11/2016