A new report detailing how clergy have fared in the Covid pandemic has been published as part of the latest findings from the Church of England’s Living Ministry research programme.

Clergy Wellbeing in a Time of Covid: Autonomy, Accountability and Support, sets out how clergy have reported on their levels of physical, mental, spiritual, relational and financial wellbeing during the pandemic. The study also reports on respondents’ perspectives relating to autonomy, accountability and support.

A second Living Ministry research report, ‘You don’t really get it until you’re in it – meeting the challenges of ordained ministry’ analyses interviews with 61 clergy on their experiences at key stages of their ministry, including starting curacies and incumbent posts and later in their careers. 

Dr Liz Graveling, who oversees the research programme, said: “While our latest panel survey reveals widely varying experiences of clergy during the pandemic, it will be of little surprise that the biggest impacts on wellbeing were in the areas of mental health and relationships. 

“However, taken together and as part of a ten-year study, these reports tell us that strong connections with other people were crucial to clergy wellbeing before as well as during the pandemic and that both individual clergy and the wider church have a role to play in ensuring that ordained ministers receive appropriate personal and professional support as they face the challenges of their ministry.”

The Living Ministry programme is a 10-year research project into the flourishing of Church of England ordained ministers. The project, which launched in 2017, publishes regular updates on its findings for distribution among dioceses, theological education institutions and national church bodies.