Clergy and Ministers of Religion (of ALL faiths) sometimes face a crisis in their lives. They are only human after all. Because of their public profile and belief system, they are often expected to be immune to the stresses of life.
They are expected to live to a much higher standard than their parishioners – a simple speeding fine to most people means points on their license and a fine. There are some professions where this might have an effect of their work, in Religious structures there is an added layer of shame and a need to declare. Even at this low level disciplinary action may follow dependent on the level and circumstances of the offence.
The Other factor that affects Ministers specifically is that many , if not all of the major religious groups are very cautious about publicity. When the life or activities of a Minister is let lose within the media in a way that is in conflict to the image the Organisation wants to maintain, the level of care and compassion diminishes and the Minister can be left feeling unsupported and very much alone. When support is offered it is rarely confidential and much of what is said to those offering support is reported back to those in Authority.
It also a sad state of affairs that Clergy, and Ministers of Religion face a disproportionate amount of bullying and abuse from a variety of sources. Often it goes unnoticed, and unseen, and yet it can cause untold misery.
To the average person a church or faith community is seen as a place of love, peace an harmony. Many people turn to faith and those who represent it in times of difficulty – they seek solace, peace and love. Behind the smiles there are often tensions – tensions between Minister and those they lead and care for, and this can often be compounded by a lack of support by those in positions of authority in the wider church.
This can become all too much for the individual Minister – unhealthy tensions cause unhealthy stress, family pressures, at the extremes even relationship breakdowns, the need for outside intervention by way of counselling or prescription drugs. Even more disturbingly Ministers may other crutches to ‘get through the day”. Eventually something has to give, even if the decision is to withdraw from Ministry – the fall out can be catastrophic and long term.
We aim to be a confidential, safe haven to Ministers of any faith who find themselves in distress either due to allegations made against them, criminal activity or bullying from what ever source.
We aim to offer the following:
– Support, either by email or over the ‘phone.
– A forum, enabling Ministers, who wish to do so, to share their stories, and thus show others that they are not journeying alone.
– An opportunity to network.
– Anonymity and the assurance of confidentiality.
Please do visit the other pages on this site to see how we might help.