anglican focus

The news site of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland: nourishing and uniting our faith community

Clergy wellbeing

Reflections Reflections

Reaching for the rescue ring

“In the distant past when I was at theological college, I remember being told that most clergy are introverts – one of God’s little jokes. This means that our feelings can be buried deep and difficult for us to articulate, let alone understand or untangle,” says The Rev’d Canon Dr Marian Free

Features Features

The power of sharing stories

When Bishop Cam Venables had a skin cancer removed from his cheek in late July and subsequently shared about his experience online, the unexpected flow-on effects for other local Anglicans were significant – hear what Bishop Cam and others in our community have to say

"Your stress responses may be different to mine, but be attentive to them, and seek assistance and support as soon as you can" (The Rev'd Canon Sarah Plowman)
Reflections

Myth busting clergy mental health

“It is my practice now to see a psychologist six times each year, in between visits to my Spiritual Director. I also look out for the signs that I’m not coping – withdrawing or striving to be creative out of an empty bucket – and attend to them before they become a problem,” says The Rev’d Canon Sarah Plowman

Reflections

Are you an altruistic perfectionist?

“As a teenager, I didn’t tell anyone I was seeing a psychiatrist – I was far too embarrassed. Now, of course, I know just how healthy and normal it is to seek help and I would encourage anyone who is struggling to search out someone with professional expertise to give you the assistance you need,” says Bishop Jeremy Greaves

Reflections

Hero priests or communities of care?

“In an unsettled environment, there is much pressure on the ordained person to be the leader that provides continuity, stability and certainty. When clergy talk among ourselves, we often describe this style of an ordained leader as the ‘Hero Priest’…Can I suggest that it is in the tension between a desire for certainty and the reality that no such assurance is possible that our wellbeing problem lies?” says The Rev’d Michael Stalley in a new anglican focus series on ‘creating communities of care’

Features

Clergy are called to care for their people, but who cares when the carer needs care?

“There are both predictable and unexpected times when clergy will feel more depressed, anxious or stressed. A virus like COVID-19 and 2020’s associated stresses are completely new and unexpected, so the recent NCLS snapshot figures are not surprising,” say counsellor Marilyn Redlich and PMC Executive Director Stephen Harrison, who offer practical suggestions for addressing stress, anxiety and depression

Reflections

Learning to recalibrate

“My doctor recently advised me to reduce or even stop my running as I have dodgy and painful arthritic knees…So these last few months have been tough for me, as I work out what strategies I will embrace to manage stress and the unique demands of a clergyperson’s role…Too often we shoulder our burdens alone. Finding the right people to talk to is vital and being open about our very human struggles is also greatly important,” says Bishop John Roundhill, as part of a special anglican focus series on clergy mental health