The Clergy Health and Well-being Service

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"A Bishop should be solicitous for the welfare — spiritual, intellectual, and material — of his priests, so that they may live holy and pious lives and exercise a faithful and fruitful ministry."

- Vatican II, the Decree on the Pastoral Office of the Bishops, paragraph 16


The Clergy Health and Well-being team:

The team Chair: Bishop Patrick

The Service Co-ordinator: Mrs. Frances Cordes

The Vicars General: Rev. Fr. Joseph Wheat and Rev. Canon Edward Jarosz

The Bishop's Chaplain for the sick and retired clergy of the Diocese in Ireland: Rev. Fr. John Martin

The Clergy Health and Well-being Service has been introduced as part of Bishop Patrick’s practical expression of his supportive care for the clergy of the Diocese of Nottingham. We hope this service will develop to benefit clergy in their training, ministry and retirement.

The service will look to support clergy in encouraging their good health and supporting them in ill health. It will also assist in supporting clergy back to ministry after illness and as clergy move from active ministry and into retirement.


Contacting the service:

By telephone:

  • the Bishop: 0115 9474022
  • Mrs. Cordes: 07340 776 495
  • Father J. Wheat: 0115 911 8266
  • Canon E. Jarosz: 01522 696838

By e-mail:

A quick contact would be Mrs. Cordes mobile telephone number (above); her e-mail account will also be regularly checked by a member of the health and well-being team (either Frances herself or one of the Vicars General).


Introducing the Clergy Health and Well-Being Service and Co-ordinator

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am pleased to write and inform you that after many months of work, the Diocese has appointed a Clergy Health and Well-Being Coordinator, Mrs. Frances Cordes, to support clergy in their ministry. She is employed for 15 hours a week and based at the Curial Offices.

She works alongside me and the Vicars General who form the central small team of the Health and Well-Being Service. They work closely with the Bishop’s Chaplain for Sick and Retired Priests living in Ireland, the Deans, and the wider team on the Clergy Health and Well-Being Committee chaired by Canon Michael Moore.

The Clergy Health and Well-Being role is wide ranging and includes responsibilities to:

  • Promote the health and well-being of all clergy - in training, in ministry and in retirement – offering support to individuals as and when necessary
  • Visit priests when they reach the age of 70 to follow up on the Bishop’s conversation about their future and then assist them in any transition.
  • Compile a health and well-being information and guidance portfolio to all clergy
  • Work with the Diocesan trustees to ensure relevant policies and procedures are put in place and kept up to date with legislative changes.
  • Support clergy at any stage of ministry or life when they encounter health problems.
  • Liaise with social work, NHS and other agencies to enable priests to access benefits and other services.
  • Work and liaise with the Bishop, Vicars General, and as necessary the Committee for Clergy Health and Well-being, Ongoing Formation department, diocesan administration and Deans, to provide for the health and well-being of the clergy.
  • Support clergy families to enable them to support their family member.

If any individual needs help and support from Frances, there are three ways in which this request can be made. Each is designed to ensure that her workload is manageable and that, if necessary, other more appropriate help can be offered first.

A Request can be made:

  • By the individual themselves directly to the Co-ordinator.
  • By concerned relatives or parishioners; ideally, this would go through one of the Vicars General to Frances, but the request can also go direct to her using the contact details below.
  • By a Dean, a brother priest, a member of diocesan staff who can also raise a concern. This must go through the Bishop or a Vicar General to the Co-ordinator. This will ensure that other appropriate support can and has been offered.

Confidentiality

Any request for support will be seen as a positive step. The Co-ordinator will only offer support to an individual with their explicit consent. Professional confidentiality will be observed at all times – only those who need to know will know. This information sharing will be restricted to the Co-ordinator, Bishop and Vicars General. The only exception will be in matters of safeguarding of the individual or others which in accordance with the law will be referred to the appropriate agency.

All of us have some responsibility for the health and well-being of our clergy as their ministry becomes ever more demanding. I welcome the appointment of the Clergy Health and Well-Being Co-ordinator to this new service and hope this will give us some real expertise and experience to support our clergy at every stage of their ministry.

Yours in Christ,

+ Patrick

Bishop Patrick McKinney.