Clergy in the Ely Dioceses are working an average of 50 hours a week or more according to wellbeing survey

Diocese of Ely have published the findings of their 2016 wellbeing survey which shows clergy are wor

Diocese of Ely have published the findings of their 2016 wellbeing survey which shows clergy are working an average of 50 plus hours a week. - Credit: Archant

Around a quarter of clergy in the Ely Diocese work more than 58 hours a week and one in six rated their wellbeing as five out of 10 or worse.

The results of the Ely Clergy Wellbing Survey 2016 published last week reveal the enormous workload of the area’s clergy and sets out ways of addressing the issues raised.

The report is part of the continuing work on clergy wellbeing in the diocese and aims to find what encourages the “flourishing of the clergy and therefore the health of the church, and to take actions, where possible, to promote such flourishing.”

It follows a previous survey undertaken in 2014.

The results of that survey led to a number of actions under the leadership of Bishops Stephen and David and Canon Sue Whyatt.

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One of the follow-ups was for a repeat survey in 2016 with a more targeted focus on clergy perceptions of what helps/hinders their wellbeing.

In June last year the electronic survey was sent to all clergy in the diocese - including and Fenland.

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A total of 72 surveys or a third of the those sent out - were returned and the responses analysed.

Long working hours was one of the key findings. It found the average hours worked was 50 - meaning that half of the respondents worked 50 hours or more a week. A quarter said they worked more than 58 hours.

It also found that whilst the greater proportion of incumbents were men, a greater propostion of those who were unpaid were women - which the report said raises the issue of equality.

It also found that two thirds of those responding were in their 50s or 60s.

Two thirds of respondents rated their wellbeing at seven out of 10 or better, but one in six rated it at five or worse.

More than 80 per cent said their wellbeing was better or the same as in 2014, but one in six felt their wellbeing had deteriorated.

The report makes a number of recommendations to address these issues including encouraging clergy to take up training on a variety of skills including how to develop their role so they can have conversations with senior staff and PCCs regarding ‘sustainable workloads.’

Ensure clergy allocate time for family, friends, study and prayer.

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