Wellbeing in your ministry

Sources of Support

The pressures on those who minister are well known. It can be hard to regulate working hours and to know whether you’re ‘at work’ or not. The pressures are often felt by ministers’ partners, children and wider family and friendship networks and can be unseen by others.

This page is designed to direct you to the various sources of support that exist to help support your wellbeing in your ministry.

The Diocese of Liverpool actively encourages all licensed ministers to care for their wellbeing and has signed up to the Charter for Employers Who Are Positive About Mental Health and so aims to provide non-judgemental and proactive support to individual staff who experience mental health issues.

It has long been recognised that there is no one single way to deal with the pressures of ministry, but it is important to develop a pattern of prayer, work and rest which works best for you. However, there are some simple steps that can help

Look after your physical health. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and look and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy and is also a significant benefit of improving your mental health. Eat well, a balanced diet is needed by your brain in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.

Take your days off and holidays. We know that clergy regularly don’t stop working on their days off. It is often the case that you plan a day off and then end up working anyway when there is a knock at the door “I know it’s your day off but…” Be disciplined with yourself. Block time off in your diary and take it. Make yourself accountable to someone – a friend or family member that will remind you to switch your brain off from ministry matters, especially when you are on holiday.

Find things to do that you love outside of ministry. Get a hobby. Even a couple of hours a week thinking about something else will be beneficial and reduce stress.

Develop a good network of friends. And they don’t all have to be clergy! There is evidence to suggest that a wider social network has a positive impact on your mental wellbeing.

Ask for help and support if you need it. You are often the person that other people turn to for help and it is easy to end up carrying everyone else’s burdens. Who is there to support you? Know that help is out there if you need it. Check out the resources in the table below and also the funding opportunities page in this section, especially the Clergy Support Trust. Whatever the issue that you are struggling with you can contact your Area Dean, Archdeacon or Bishop's Lodge. We can point you in the right direction to access the support you need.

Here are some sources of support we have organised, click on the links below and scroll down to see them in helpful themes:

General Clergy support 


What support? Who is it for? Contact
Ministerial development reviews All clergy http://www.liverpool.anglican.org/Ministerial-Development-Review
Spiritual direction Anyone http:/www.liverpool.anglican.org/Spiritual-Direction
Retreat Clergy http://www.sheldon.uk.com
Coaching/Mentoring Clergy suzanne.matthews@liverpool.anglican.org
Reflective practice groups    'lifelong learning' at St James' House
Pastoral Support    
Support for self-supporting clergy   Rev Anne Murray
Support for sector ministers   Rev Jackie Parry










Physical and mental wellbeing


What support? Who is it for? Contact
Individual medical consultations focused on the mental health and wellbeing of clergy and their families All ordained clergy St Luke’s Healthcare for Clergy
020 4546 7000 (for self-referral)
Counseling/Theraputic suppport Ministers and family and church army officers Inter-diocesan counselling service
Mental Wellbeing Anyone

The NHS’s Moodzone website 
Health Assured's Employee Assistance Programmme
HealthAssuredEap.co.uk (contact HR for log-in details for access)

Stress Anyone If you think you may be suffering from the effects of stress you can take an online assessment offered by the National Health Service at
Pastoral Support All ministers and their families Your Bishop, Archdeacon, Area Dean, Deanery Lay Chair or Deanery Chapter
A confidential online forum for clergy All ordained clergy The Sheldon Hub



Financial and material wellbeing


What support? Who is it for? Contact
Clergy Support Trust Clergy and their families www.clergy support.org.uk
0800 389 5192
Email: grants@clergysupport.org.uk
Brochure available to download
Pensions and forecast retirement housing advice All stipendiary ministers Pensions board
Debt management and money advice (for free and independent help with money matters) Anyone Christians against poverty
Money advisory service
Your rights and responsibilities Anyone Citizens advice



Thriving in personal relationships


What support? Who is it for? Contact
Confidential counselling/
therapeutic support
All ministers and their families Inter-diocesan counselling service (IDCS) which offers professional counselling to Clergy, Church Army Officers, Ordinands and their families. Contact them via the website at
Relationship report All ministers and their partners Relate
Clergy marriage and relationship breakdown partners of clergy following relationship breakdown or divorce Broken rites UK
Marriage enrichment All ministers and their spouses Marriage Encounter
Marriage preparation All ministers and their fiancés Engaged Encounter



When things don't go well


What support? Who is it for? Contact
Safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults All ministers Safeguarding Team
Andrew Holmes 07940 378139
Michael Murphy 07376 431466.
Media and communications support All ministers

Communications Team

Legal support All ministers Diocesan Registry
Bullying and harassment All ministers

Human Resources
0151 705 2120

Support if a complaint is made about you All ministers The Church of England Clergy Advocates
(clergy section of UNITE)
0333 123 002
Concerns about spiritual abuse All ministers Archdeacon or the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor - Andrew Holmes
0151 705 2153
Concerns about addictive behaviour All ministers and their families MIND
mind.org.uk (search for "addiction")


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