Pastoral Resources for Clergy
‘Who Cares for the Carers?’ is the United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough’s pastoral support initiative for clergy. It equips clergy and provides resources for dealing with issues they face in ordained ministry.
‘Who Cares for the Carers?’ is a pastoral support initiative for clergy in the United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough. The initiative equips clergy and provides resources for dealing with issues they face in ordained ministry.
‘Who Cares for the Carers’ has been in place since 2017 following the completion of The Tanner Report which highlighted extensive research into issues associated with ordained life. It gives scope for encouragement of a fulfilled life on the part of clergy working alongside and in partnership with others, lay and ordained.
The package seeks to equip clergy, particularly those in their first incumbency, to draw together a number of approaches. This includes the publication of a comprehensive booklet setting out the role of clergy and committees which is widely available to help clergy create and maintain appropriate boundaries. Meanwhile, all concerned are referred to the resources made available on the Church of Ireland website around these issues and to the Dignity in Church Life documentation.
Arrangements have been made for the provision of counselling and a pilot mentoring programme has been established. This mentoring programme is aimed particularly at new incumbents who will be paired with established rectors to build a relationship of confidence and empowerment in the context of collaborative ministry and service. New incumbents will also be encouraged to consolidate their relationships with one another as a peer support group of critical friends.
Alongside this there is provision for a professional mediator who may be made available to clergy, both established and new, and on an entirely confidential basis.
A number of issues on the experience of those in ordained ministry were raised in The Tanner Report, which was compiled by a group chaired by the Revd John Tanner. Isolation emerged as a key factor in individual distress. Bureaucratic expectations, particularly when set alongside a very individual sense of calling, emerged as another key factor in loss of confidence, loss of direction and loss of professional self–worth. This can lead to heightened anxiety that radically diminishes happiness, both personal and domestic.
Alongside The Tanner Report, the Archbishop received reports from a group of clergy and a group of lay people. He has also consulted with the neighbouring diocese of Meath and Kildare and with the Diocese of Connor.