MORE than three-quarters of the clergy questioned in a survey
about their mental health would welcome help with managing
The survey of 492 clergy was conducted for St Luke's Healthcare
for the Clergy, in preparation for a conference next week on clergy
stress, to be attended by representatives from every English
More than half the clergy polled (53 per cent) reported that
they had received no training about stress. The 45-54 age-band
appears to be the most stressful. Only 10.5 per cent said that they
would decline help with stress, against the average across all ages
of 22.6 per cent. Male clergy were more resistant to help than
women: 24.4 per cent as opposed to 18 per cent.
The questionnaire also asked about clergy well-being. Given four
options, 37.4 per cent of respondents agreed that they were
"positive and energised"; 50.4 per cent said that they had "more
good days than bad"; 11 per cent said that they were "struggling";
and 1.2 per cent (six people in the sample) opted for "barely
coping, if I'm honest".
Asked if they had ever considered giving up their role in the
Church, 1.6 per cent said "very frequently", 6.5 per cent said
"often", 33.3 per cent said "occasionally", and 57.9 per cent said
"rarely or never". Again, the 45-54 age-band seemed the most
vulnerable: only 44 per cent ticked "rarely or never".
St Luke's is promoting a combination of stress-management
training and reflective practice, in which clergy take part in
structured, confi- dential conversations.
Question of the week: Are the 40s and 50s the most stressful
period in someone's life?