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
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
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