With the Clergy

Just back from two days with our clergy in a nice hotel in Kinross. We’ve been looking at the possibility of a balanced clerical lifestyle. As I think about that, I can’t decide whether it is an oxymoron or not. I’ve always believed that there is in the clerical lifestyle much inherent balance – it’s just that people of passionate commitment tend not to be all that balanced about anything.

Anyway, we did a bit of that .. some great music… were scared witless about diet and exercise .. and looked at the clergy-vestry relationship

And lurking around in the background is the current debate about clergy being bullied. Have I known clergy to be bullied? Yes. Have I known clergy experience abusive relationships in a congregation – short of bullying? Yes. And of course I have been in situations where clergy have acted in ways very close to bullying.

I can’t say that I fully understand how or why this happens. But clearly to have passionate or idealistic people functioning in a situation where boundaries and expectations are not clear leaves everybody vulnerable. That’s why we are putting considerable emphasis on the need to provide training and clergy and vestry members together.

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