St Luke’s for Clergy Wellbeing (St Luke’s) has a long history of supporting the physical and mental health of Anglican clergy and their families. Today, St Luke’s focuses its charitable activity on mental health and wellbeing, assisting clergy to flourish for the benefit of their congregations and the wider community. The charity achieves this through providing workshops and services which are preventive and reparative. St Luke’s also advocates for improved mental health and wellbeing support - the charity has a deep understanding of the challenges as well as the joys of ministry.
Long hours, parish pressures and the increased responsibility clergy face, often leads to them feeling stretched and weakened. Through difficulties like the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis, the public often turn to their parish clergy for support. St Luke’s is there to support clergy when they’re suffering a mental health crisis themselves.
We recognise the importance of clergy wellbeing, especially during these challenging times we face. A three-year, Community Impact Grant of over £85,000 will help St Luke’s to provide a range of initiatives that will give clergy - from the beginning of their ministry journey right through to being a senior minster - the skills, tools, and resources they need to recognise mental health needs in themselves and their community.
Clergy will have the opportunity to attend resilience training, mental health first aid training, Flourishing Clergy workshops and Enabling Conversations support sessions. St Luke’s hopes this proactive approach will reduce stress, strengthen psychological health, and give clergy the long-term support they need to prevent a mental health crisis. If a crisis does hit, St Luke’s is also able to provide one-to-one psychiatric and psychological support.
With our help, the charity aims to reach 400 clergy members throughout the three years of workshops and initiatives, which in turn will help countless people in the wider community to address their own mental wellbeing.
Jan Korris, MBACP [Reg Snr Accred] St Luke’s Advisor and Trustee, said: “When mental ill health hits it not only reverberates within the family, friends, and community, but can undermine the priest’s very core of faith and calling. Many describe a sense of shame and failure, but burnout is depletion, a loss of inner resources and a sickness of the spirit when it can no longer respond to the demands of will.”
Andrew Bass, Senior Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: “We’re delighted to support St Luke’s to reach more clergy with the tools and resources they need to look after their mental health. The pressures of the pandemic and current cost of living crisis have led more people looking for mental health support from their local church. St Luke’s is helping clergy to look after their own mental health first, so that they are equipped to help other people in urgent need.”