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On the receiving end of (passive) aggression

04 September 2015


From the Revd Nick Bromfield

Sir, — It seems amazing that there seems to have been no response to the report (News, 31 July) on what some clergy have to contend with from recalcitrant, rude, or rebellious parishioners.

You report that more than three-quarters of those surveyed by Oasis UK said that church members were regularly rude or (passive-) aggressive towards them, and reported being shouted at once a week, some “shouted at or spoken to aggressively 30 times a month” — that is to say, every day of the year.

This would not be tolerated in any other professional working environment. You might expect common tenure and clergy terms of service to have eliminated such long-term abuse and bullying, but it seems not. The misery behind some clergy homes’ walls must be colossal.

Aware that it does go on, as a Bishop’s Selector, I am always conscious of the need for candidates to have a robust sense of humour about their own weaknesses, but an even greater one about the antics of unpleasant parishioners.


The Rectory, Oakland Road
Harrow Hill, Drybrook
Gloucestershire GL17 9JX

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