A secret out in the open


In 2019, the Revd Lynn Boyle, incumbent of Compstall for more than ten years, was sitting in a meeting of her peers when she found herself unable to continue. The weight of emotional torment she had been carrying for so long was suddenly too much to bear.

“I just couldn’t continue,” she says. “The archdeacon asked me a question and I just broke down.”

Following the meeting Lynn disclosed to him that for decades she had secretly been reliving, on a daily basis, the traumatic events of childhood and teenage abuse; her emotional collapse had been a long time coming.

With the encouragement of her family, her parish, and the diocese when diagnosed with acute PTSD, Lynn took time away from parish ministry to reflect and to begin the long process of healing.

Following several months of counseling and therapy, Lynn has now returned to parish ministry and has turned to write about her experiences in a blog titled Rev’s Return.

She says: “Writing the blog is a continuing part of the healing process. It’s been incredibly cathartic for me.”

In her blog, Lynn recounts unflinchingly the events of her past and the abuse she suffered and gives praise to God for the strength she has found to be able to come through the process a stronger person. 

"Perhaps someone reading this right now is facing something similar"

She says: “Despite the setbacks and negative experiences, and the difficulties encountered whilst reliving these over the past year, I know that with God’s help we can come through life’s challenges stronger than we were before.

“I’ve also written this blog in the hope that it might encourage others with long-held secrets to come to terms with, to reach out for help. Perhaps someone reading this right now is facing something similar to that which I went through. I would want to encourage them and reassure them that they will be listened to and supported.”

You can read Lynn’s blog here.


Safeguarding support 

If you have any concerns or issues to discuss, or if you wish to come forward with any safeguarding information, contact Pauline Butterfield, the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. 

E:  pauline.butterfield@chester.anglican.org
T:  01928 718834 x 221 or 07703 800031


Page last updated: 28th April 2021 5:25 PM