It is generally understood and expected that clergy care for others; however, one often forgets that clergy also need attention. Unless clergy take time to care for their own needs, they may not be as effective in supporting others. Even very competent clergy may suffer huge physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strain whilst trying to sustain their callings. Many clergy experience high levels of anxiety and stress and may burn out within the ministry because they have life's priorities out of balance. Among the key concepts impacting on clergy well-being are the need for balance and boundaries, the body’s need for adequate rest, the rationale for Sabbath and sabbaticals, and the appropriate use of time. Ordained clergy in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia were invited to participate in an anonymous online survey to investigate these issues as well as find out their understanding of self-care. Many participants acknowledged the importance of self-care and know what should be done, however, it is evident that many clergy work very long hours and don’t take enough time to rest, rejuvenate, and be restored. Some struggled with setting clear boundaries. Some did not have networks of support to assist them in their ministries.
Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand
St John’s Theological College in Auckland, New Zealand, Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand