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Clerics hit by low morale

by
14 November 2014

by a staff reporter

ITV

Solemn: the fictional Canon and amateur-detective, Sidney Chambers, takes stock during an episode of the television series, Grantchester, in an episode broadcast last month ©​ ITV 

Solemn: the fictional Canon and amateur-detective, Sidney Chambers, takes stock during an episode of the television series, Grantchester, in a...

NEARLY a third of clergy rate their morale from "very low" to average, dreading the day ahead and ending each day with regrets, a new study suggests.

The research is included in a new book, Don't Lose Heart, which seeks to help clergy maintain their morale despite pressure and high expectations from parishioners. The survey questioned 350 clerics.

Clergy who reported low morale felt a sense of hopelessness and isolation; some said that "living in the shadow of the church" was a contributing factor. Constant media negativity towards the Church also contributed.

The book's author, Graham Archer, said: "Leaders who are positive, motivated, and good in heart will not only be far more effective in leading mission and ministry in their churches and communities, but are also more likely to continue in church leadership for the long haul."

His book, written in response to the findings of research into clergy morale commissioned by CPAS in 2013, urges clergy to give more time to God as the first step towards addressing negative emotions: "No one said they thought that quality time with God in prayer and Bible study had a detrimental effect on their morale."

It also calls for clearer boundaries to protect energy from being spent on non-essential tasks, including greater control over what goes into the diary, more support from senior leaders and peer groups, and physical exercise.

It draws inspiration from 2 Corinthians, in which Paul writes of the difficulties he faces, but maintains his vision.

 

Don't Lose Heart  and other titles in the Grove Leadership Series are available for £3.95 fromwww.cpas.org.uk/grove.

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