St James House services also rated well with 93% of clergy saying they were either very or fairly satisfied with the quality provided. And the Growth Agenda is strongly supported with 93% saying they understand what it is about and a further 93% saying they support it. However slightly less numbers stated they understood their role in delivering it.
The survey did reveal some of the stresses of modern day ministry showing a high percentage of clergy who didn’t take their full holiday allocation and a quarter feeling uncomfortable about the level of stress in their role. The survey also showed a reasonably high degree of clergy feeling they spent too much time working. But sickness rates were relatively low.
Clearly the wellbeing of clergy is of extreme importance to our bishops and diocese. In a joint letter to clergy both bishops said “we recognise that modern ministry comes with many demands and pressures. We can’t eliminate everything but we are concerned to make sure that clergy are encouraged to manage their ministry, home and spiritual life as best they can – we will work hard to ensure that happens”.
Support networks are strong and valued by clergy across our diocese. 92% of clergy stated they felt affirmed by the bishops, 69% said they felt affirmed by their Archdeacon and 69% from their Area Dean. Clergy also felt well supported by churchwardens and PCCs with 83% saying they felt affirmed by those groups.
While the ratings for St James House are encouraging the survey showed some areas which we would like to be better on. We are looking at those areas to review the lessons we can learn and the improvements we can make. We aim to provide high quality services that make it easier for you in the parishes to exercise your ministry. We want to learn how we can improve.
Mike Eastwood, Diocesan Secretary commented “this survey is important and the senior clergy in our diocese and all of us at St James House take it very seriously. We’re still one of the few dioceses that look at this but I can’t think of any better way to gauge how the clergy feel and how as a diocesan office we are doing. The positive comments encourage us, the negative ones spur us to do better but fundamentally I am proud of the staff here and really proud to work for a diocese where so many clergy say they enjoy their ministry.”