First step towards Covenant for Clergy Well-being

07 November 2017

Plans for a new deal between clergy and the wider Church of
England – modelled on the ideas behind the Military Covenant – have
taken a step forward after a panel was established to begin

The Church of England’s Appointments Committee has set up a
group, made up of members of General Synod, both lay and ordained,
alongside others with expertise in areas such as health and
education, to draw up a Covenant for Clergy Well-being.

It is being produced in response to a vote in the General Synod
in July of this year after a debate which heard of the impact of
stress, isolation and loneliness on clergy’s lives and

The debate heard how the Military Covenant recognises that the
nation relies on the sacrificial service of those in the armed
forces and in return has a duty to support and value them in
practical ways.

Although the parallels with the Church are not exact, Synod
heard how a similar pattern of mutual commitment could be
recognised in the Church.

The working group will begin work later this month and aims to
bring proposals for such a Covenant back to this Synod by July

Canon Simon Butler, who led the debate on well-being in the July
Synod on behalf of the House of Clergy said: “Such was the interest
in serving on this Working Group and the strength-in-depth of the
insights and skills offered to the Appointments Committee that we
could have easily populated the Working Group twice over.

“This can only bode well for our work in developing a Covenant
for Clergy Well-being that draws on all that the church is learning
about how attending to the well-being of the clergy is vital to the
mission and ministry of the whole church.”

The Appointments Committee sought expression of interest from
members of Synod before appointing the group.
Notes to Editors:
The members of the Working Group are:
The Revd Canon Lisa Battye, GS member, until recently Area Dean of
Salford and a former nurse
The Revd Canon Simon Butler, Prolocutor, the Province of
Canterbury (and group convenor)
Ms Debbie Child, Joint Diocesan Secretary of Leeds Diocese
Dr Simon Clift, GS member and Consultant in Occupational
The Revd Preb Simon Cawdell, GS member and Convenor of Diocesan
Clergy Chairs
Ms Jan Korris, Trustee of St Luke’s Healthcare for the
The Revd Preb Alan Moses, GS member and Vicar of All Saints
Margaret Street
The Ven Pete Spiers, GS Member and Archdeacon of Knowsley &
Mrs Jacqueline Stamper, GS Member and former senior manager in
Higher Education
The Rt Revd Dr John Thomson, Bishop of Selby & former Dir of
Ministry in Sheffield Diocese
Dr Yvonne Warren, GS Member and psychotherapist
The Rt Revd Karowei Dorgu, Bishop of Woolwich
The Revd Canon Dr Margaret Whipp, Lead Chaplain, Oxford University
Hospitals NHS Foundation
A background paper provided to members of Synod ahead of the
debate can be found here:

Further details of the Military Covenant, and the Armed Forces
Covenant which followed it, are available here: