“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus of Nazareth
It is vital that we care for our wellbeing during these unprecedented and uncertain times, whether we are clergy, laity or diocesan employees. As we have entered another period of lockdown at the beginning of 2021, many are feeling tired.
In John 10:10, Jesus says that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” We know that a number of things can rob us of our wellbeing and disrupt our mental, physical, and spiritual health – and prevent us from living the healthy lives God surely intends.
It is crucial that we continue to take our day off – a Sabbath rest is as important as ever. Although holidays to wonderful destinations are not currently possible, we should still be taking holiday leave. Employees should book holiday leave as before. Clergy may wish to seek cover from other clergy, or point their churches towards online services in another parish or to the cathedral service. If cover is an issue, please contact your Rural Dean or Archdeacon.
Wellbeing is vital to all of us. Whether it is our own health, physical, mental and spiritual, or those who are in our care. Here are a variety of links and resources to assist you in finding the right resource. If you need other help please contact Liz Geddes: firstname.lastname@example.org
A small group has been formed in the Diocese to provide information and resources relating to wellbeing and which is now tasked with responding to the Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing.
The group comprises:
Liz Geddes – Director of Human Resources & Deputy Diocesan Secretary: email@example.com T: 07918 732808
Christine Broad – Dean of Women in Ministry: Christine.Broad@oxtonstsaviour.co.uk T: 0151 678 4825
Peter Mackriell – Head of Counselling Services: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 07918 732806
Jonathon Green – Director of Foxhill: email@example.com: T 01928 733777
Lesley Currie – Rural Dean of Chadkirk and Associate Minister, All Saints’ Marple: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many avenues of support available. The details of help available can be found below:
Diocesan Counselling Service
The Diocesan Counselling Service is available to support clergy, their families and employees of the Diocese of Chester. For further information, see
or contact Peter Mackriell - email@example.com
Supporting Good Mental Health
The Supporting Good Mental Health booklet from the Church of England contains some daily reflections to provide hope, reassurance and comfort.
It includes 'Have a go habits' to help you develop resilience and skills in dealing with isolation, struggles and busyness. It challenges you to be honest with yourself about how you are feeling day by day, and provides scripture and prayers to use in different situations.
Health Assured Employee Assistance Programme
The Diocese of Chester has partnered with Health Assured to provide an Employee Assistance Programme (despite the fact that clergy are not technically employees) for all clergy - stipendiary and SSMs - and Church House staff. The programme provides a free 24-hour confidential helpline, as well as proactive advice on matters such as families issues; legal information; medical information; financial information; stress and anxiety; bereavement; and addiction issues.
If you would simply appreciate the opportunity to pray with someone, please contact Jonathon Green at Foxhill, on 01928 733777, 07513 170210 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Diocese works with Thrive Worldwide who provide support with employees and clergy who may need additional support. There is access to support from an Occupational Consultant and a Consultant Psychologist. If you feel you would benefit from their services, please contact:
Liz Geddes E: email@example.com
Government guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of Coronavirus
The Gov.uk website contains helpful guidance regarding mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus situation. It can be accessed via the link below:
For those reflecting on how we re-engage healthily with our churches, with our communities and with our selves. Produced by the Bishop of Tonbridge, Simon Burton-Jones, he encourages us to tune in, to show we care, and to offer hope.