Support for clergy

The Clergy Handbook is a useful resource bringing together the various regulations, guidelines, policies and practices adopted in the diocese, to supplement the provisions of Canon Law and other regulations issued at national level.

Clergy Spouses

The wellbeing of clergy and their families has always been a key aspect of our life as a diocese. Clergy themselves have access to a range of resources specific to their professional needs and development, (scroll down to the ‘Wellbeing and dignity at work’ heading), but there are also networks of support available to spouses and their families, as well as the specific help that may be needed in times of difficulty.

Further useful links and downloads

The Diocese of Salisbury facilitates a Clergy Spouses Group to provide events, resources and contact points for all clergy spouses. We invite you to join this network so that you can keep up to date with relevant information. If you would like to join, please email your name and email address to

Broken Rites is an ecumenical, international organisation offering peer-to-peer support and information to separated and divorced spouses and partners of clergy and ministers.

The Bishop’s visitors to clergy spouses are: Sarah Musgrave and Hugh Privett
Widows and Dependents Committee

The Committee exists to support Clergy widows and widowers living within the diocese, whether or not their husbands, wives or civil partners served in this diocese. ‘Clergy’ includes Non-Stipendiary Ministers (NSMs) as well as Stipendiary Clergy.

A Bereavement Grant is made to each qualifying widow or widower as soon as possible after the decease of their partner. Grants for those in need can also be made at other times. This grant for widows and/or dependants of clergy will be up to £2,000. If you or someone you know would benefit from assistance following bereavement please contact: Each Archdeaconry has a Widows Officer and requests for assistance should be made in the first instance to your Officer:
Dorset Archdeaconry: Revd Malcolm Hill 
Wilts Archdeaconry: (cover) Revd Peter Matthews
Sherborne Archdeaconry: Revd Jane Culliford
Sarum Archdeaconry and Chair of the Widows and Dependants Committee: Revd Peter Matthews,

You can also contact the Chair of the Committee.

Wellbeing and dignity at work

Wellbeing is a distinctive strand within the Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) programme in the Diocese of Salisbury, which makes the diocese an attractive place for ministers and their families to live and work. Our aim is to promote the wellbeing of the whole person in their ministerial context.

Reflective Practice Groups

The aim of regular reflective practice is to develop long term, sustainable and creative ministry. Reflective Practice Groups bring ordained colleagues together in a confidential environment to enable development, change and an opportunity for ministers to learn from each other.

New Reflective Practice Groups are formed each September and run by professional facilitators from outside the authority structures of the church. They are designed to give time, space and attention to ministerial practice by addressing complex issues such as discerning priorities, promoting healthy boundaries and work/life balance.

For further details contact: Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) Resource Officer
Programmes and Events

We have a number of programmes and events which are wellbeing orientated. These cover the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of ministers and encourage a culture of care and support amongst colleagues.

The CMD (Continuing Ministerial Development) Brochure contains information on support for Ministry and Wellbeing, including information on Retreats, Quiet Days, Events, Courses and Spiritual Accompaniment.

For further information contact our Parish Support Team.
Confidential Care

Confidential care and help is available to clergy and their families who are experiencing difficulties which adversely affect their wellbeing. The service is run by independent, fully accredited practitioners. For an initial conversation contact: Sarah Pestell MBACP (Accred), BA (Hons) Psychology, Adv Dip Counselling, Counsellor and Psychotherapist. Tel: 07887615181,
Latest Wellbeing Survey results
Wellbeing Support Contact Points

• Confidential help and counselling referrals: Sarah Pestell: 07887615181
• Ministry of healing: Lucyann Ashdown : c/o the Bishop's Office
• Ministry of deliverance: Archdeacon of Sherborne
• Associate ministry: Bishop’s Adviser for Associate Ministry
• Wellbeing Group Diocesan Area Contacts
• Sherborne - Vacant
• Ramsbury - Ann Keating
• Dignity at work (including harassment and bullying): HR Manager
• Bishop’s visitor to clergy spouses: Sarah Musgrave and Hugh Privett
• Family-friendly policy guidance, HR Manager
•Spiritual director, who supports individuals with discerning how God is at work in the whole of life. Contact Julie Dunstan ( for details how spiritual accompaniment can be arranged.

Bullying and harassment - informal resolution

Every effort should be made to consider using informal means (including dispute resolution) before formal procedures are invoked. 

Sometimes people are not aware of how their behaviour is perceived or that it is unwelcome. 

Wherever possible, any complaint of bullying or harassment should be notified in confidence to the Rural Dean or Archdeacon even if proceeding informally. If neither is available, you could speak to the HR Manager or Sarah Pestell (Confidential Help and Counselling).

Informal resolution is where it has been decided (normally between the targeted person and the Archdeacon) that it may be sufficient to explain clearly to the person concerned that their behaviour is not welcome, is offensive or intimidating, or that it interferes with the person's ability to work effectively. 

The informal route may ensure that the alleged harasser or bully understands how their behaviour is unacceptable and ensure that it stops. The informal route prevents the matter from becoming public or escalating and making your situation more difficult. 

How can this be done?
• It may be done in writing.
• It may be done face to face.
• It may be done face to face.
• If the targeted individual does not feel they can face the alleged harasser or bully then they should discuss it with the Archdeacon to see whether another person could speak to the alleged harasser or bully on their behalf.
• If the targeted person does not feel they can confront the alleged harasser or bully alone then it may be possible to ask the Archdeacon to identify someone to facilitate the meeting.
• If the targeted person does not feel they can confront the alleged harasser or bully alone then it may be possible to ask the Archdeacon to identify someone to facilitate the meeting.

Hopefully action taken will stop any offensive behaviour. Once an outcome is agreed between parties, your rural dean or Archdeacon will monitor the situation as appropriate. 

Bullying and Harassment Contacts

If you think you are being bullied or harassed in your role you should first consider contacting your Archdeacon to confidentially discuss the matter.
• Archdeacon of Sarum
• Archdeacon of Wilts
• Archdeacon of Sherborne
• Archdeacon of Dorset

If the Archdeacon is not available, or if you feel that the Archdeacon is not the appropriate contact at this point, or you are unsure who to speak to you could contact any of the following for a confidential discussion:
Sarah Pestell (for confidential help and counselling)

The above contacts will listen to your concerns in confidence and provide information and advice as required on action you may wish to take and the support you may require. They will not make judgements on the situation.

Mediation is a completely voluntary and confidential form of alternative dispute resolution. It involves an independent, impartial person helping two or more individuals or groups reach a solution that's acceptable to everyone. 
Mediation is distinct from a facilitated meeting as outlined above:
•It is a voluntary process and there has to be will on both sides to reach a solution.
•The disputants (not the mediator) decide on the terms of resolution.
•The mediator does not offer advice or solutions.

It can be effective because it does not apportion blame and seeks to build a good working relationship going forward. 

It is not appropriate where pressure is being applied from other sources or where parties are distressed and not conciliatory on either side.

Further information on mediation services available in the diocese can be obtained by contacting the CMD Administrator.


Financial Support

The Henry Smith Charity - Grant

The purpose of this grants is to assist clergy in financial need at a time of crisis or acute need. Read more here.

Contact the Ministry Team

Your Archdeacon


Get in touch



Powered by Church Edit