“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: liz.geddes@chester.anglican.org

The group comprises:

Liz Geddes – Director of Human Resources & Deputy Diocesan Secretary
Christine Broad – Dean of Women in Ministry
Peter Mackriell – Head of Counselling Services
Jonathon Green – Director of Foxhill
Lesley Currie – Rural Dean of Chadkirk and Associate Minister, All Saints’ Marple

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 - counselling@chester.anglican.org

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.


Confidential conversations in the Diocese of Chester
Within the Diocese of Chester a number of people can be contacted confidentially if you require a conversation:

David Herbert, Continuing Ministerial Development Adviser
E: david.herbert@chester.anglican.org
T: 07889 217589

Christine Broad, Dean of Women in Ministry
E: christine.broad@holycrosswoodchurch.uk
T: 0151 678 4825

Peter Mackriell, Head of the Diocesan Counselling Services
E: counselling@chester.anglican.org
T: 07918 732806


If you would simply appreciate the opportunity to pray with someone, please contact Jonathon Green at Foxhill, on 01928 733777, 07513 170210 or E: jonathon.green@chester.anglican.org

Thrive Worldwide
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: liz.geddes@chester.anglican.org

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:

Chester Diocesan Counselling Service
Chester Diocesan Counselling Service is open to clergy, their families and church members within the Anglican churches of the Diocese of Chester.

Ten Steps
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.

Wellbeing Group
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.

Clergy Wellbeing

A small group has been formed in the Diocese to provide information and resources relating to clergy wellbeing. The following resources are available with the hope that they may be used as discussion starters, perhaps at clergy chapter meetings and / or Deanery Synod meetings. Please feel free to use the resources as they best suit your purpose.  More resources will be added from time to time so please keep looking!

We would be grateful to hear any thoughts, comments or feedback. The members of the clergy wellbeing group are available to facilitate your discussions if needed.


Useful Resources

St Luke’s Virtual Wellbeing Programme
St Luke’s has some specifically-prepared resources to support clergy wellbeing during a time of Covid through reflection either individually or as a group.  St Luke’s is also offering support to clergy and their families. Contact them at enquiries@stlukesforclergy.org.uk or on 020 7898 1700

Six Ways Ministers T.H.R.I.V.E. 
A very useful and helpful article on Six Ways Ministers T.H.R.I.V.E. … during a pandemic.

Ten Ways to Cope with Clergy Stress
An article on dealing with clergy stress is available. It was prepared prior to the pandemic, so not all of it is fully relevant, but nonetheless provides a good reminder.

The group comprises:

David Herbert, Continuing Ministerial Development Adviser
E: david.herbert@chester.anglican.org
T: 07889 217589

Liz Geddes, Director of Human Resources & Deputy Diocesan Secretary
E: liz.geddes@chester.anglican.org
T: 07918 732 808

Chris Moore – Incumbent at Over St Chad
E: revchrismoore58@gmail.com
T: 01606 593222

Anne Lawson – Incumbent at Acton, Church Minshull, Worleston & Wettenhall

E: revanne@uwclub.net
T: 01270 628864

A presentation is available which includes the results of the clergy survey: Clergy Wellbeing Survey results



Additional clergy support groups available (story)

Take a look at our story on this website about how The Diocese of Chester is creating additional clergy support groups which any member of clergy can join. The confidential groups, made up of six individuals from parishes across the diocese, aim to be a place for clergy to reflect upon life and ministry within an atmosphere of confidentiality and trust.


Page last updated: 22nd January 2021 2:27 PM