Clergy Wellbeing Gets a Boost with Benefact Trust Funding

St Luke’s for Clergy Wellbeing (www.stlukesforclergy.org.uk) has a long history of supporting the physical and mental health of Anglican clergy and their families. Today, St Luke’s focuses its charitable activity on mental health and wellbeing, assisting clergy to flourish in ministry for the benefit of their congregations and the wider community. The charity achieves this through providing workshops and services which are preventive and reparative. St Luke’s also advocates for improved mental health and wellbeing support – as the charity has a deep understanding of the challenges and joys of ministry.

St Luke’s understands the long hours, parish pressures and increased responsibility clergy face, which often leads to them feeling stretched and weakened. When the public experience a crisis they often turn to their parish clergy for support and the charity is there to support clergy when they suffer a mental health crisis themselves.

All its work is entirely funded by donations and grants from supporters, and St Luke’s is delighted to receive a three-year grant from Benefact Trust (benefacttrust.co.uk) who recognise the importance of clergy wellbeing. With the Trust’s help, St Luke’s will provide an arc of initiatives which will give clergy, from the beginning of their ministry journey in training right through to being a senior minister, the skills and tools to recognise mental health needs in themselves and the people they serve. Having the opportunity to attend resilience training, Mental Health First Aid Training, Flourishing Clergy workshops and Enabling Conversations support sessions, St Luke’s hopes this proactive approach will reduce stress, strengthen psychological health, and give beneficiaries the long-term support they need to prevent a mental health crisis.

However, when a crisis does hit, St Luke’s is able to provide one-to-one psychiatric and psychological support to clergy as the charity recognises the pressures that they are under and the demands on them 24/7.

With the help of Benefact Trust, the charity aims to reach 400 beneficiaries throughout the three years of workshops and initiatives.

Jan Korris, MBACP [Reg Snr Accred] St Luke’s Advisor and Trustee, said:

When mental ill health hits it not only reverberates within the family, friends, and community, but can undermine the priest’s very core of faith and calling. Many describe a sense of shame and failure, but burnout is depletion, a loss of inner resources and a sickness of the spirit when it can no longer respond to the demands of will.

Andrew Bass, Senior Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said: 

We’re delighted to support St Luke’s to reach more clergy with the tools and resources they need to look after their mental health. The pressures of the pandemic and current cost of living crisis have led more people looking for mental health support from their local church. St Luke’s is helping clergy to look after their own mental health first, so that they are equipped to help other people in urgent need.

Benefact Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities and awarded more than £22.8 million to churches, charities, and communities in 2022. Its funds come from its ownership of the Benefact Group.

St Luke’s is entirely funded by the generosity of its supporters. If you would like to become a Friend of St Luke’s and help with its vital work, visit the website www.stlukesforclergy.org.uk. You can also follow St Luke’s on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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