Balancing full plates: Ministry and wellbeing in pandemic times
In the third of a series of articles on maintaining good mental health, Laurence Wareing asks how it has been for ministers during the pandemic – and what now?
One of the things that might be said, but rarely is, about church ministers during the Covid pandemic is that they have been ‘front-line workers’. That’s an emotive and not always entirely helpful phrase, and one that most ministers would resist bandying around; yet it is likely that, at precisely the moment their normal resources and strategies for ministry shuddered to a halt in March 2020, most ministers found their roles of caring and leading in greater demand than ever. Somehow they had to get out there and do their job, whether they were ministers of Word and Sacrement or local church leaders overseeing congregations, or serving communities in other contexts.
Either way, the task was ‘to keep everyone together’, says Pam Tolhurst, a local church leader in Gillingham, Kent; while at the same time recognising that everyone’s experience of lockdown and Covid was different – not least for ministers themselves. It was, she says, very demanding…
Laurence Wareing is Content Editor for Reform
This is an extract from an article published in the May 2022 edition of Reform