Who cares for the carers? Is it possible for the families of public figures to have private lives? How does it feel to be a vicarage child in the 21st century? The authors tackle an area of enormous importance for the Church: the stresses of clerical family life, with implications which range from the nature of the appointments system and the principle of tied accommodation to the way in which the Church supports its clergy and their families. More than simply a critique of the current situation, however, this book makes some specific recommendations, thus offering a valuable resource to the Church and, potentially, well beyond it.
Essential reading for clergy and prospective clergy and their families, all those responsible for their training, appointment and welfare, and anyone with an interest in the health, wellbeing and future functioning of the Church.
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About the Author
Jean Burton worked initially as PA to a City director, a diplomat and the Editor of the Sunday Times. Counselling clergy and their families was then part of her work as a diocesan social worker. After training as a systemic family therapist, she joined the NHS in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health team. Her private practice has specialised in issues of work/family stress and an employee assistance programme.
Twenty years as a member of the bishop's committee for the care of clergy families in two dioceses, and her work consultancy with clergy highlighted the hidden stresses faced by all family members.
Chris Burton was commissioned into the Black Watch and was a Chartered Accountant in the City before being ordained. He served in diverse parishes in Southwark, York and Birmingham before becoming Team Rector of a large ecumenical parish in Harlow.
Table of Contents
PART 1 SETTING THE SCENE Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 The Structures of the Church of England (including the Parish System, Patronage, Freehold and Appointments, the Stipend and Tied Housing)Chapter 3 Professional Support Systems PART II BACKGROUND, METHODOLOGY AND FAMILY STRESS Chapter 4 Background Perspectives (including Wider Perspectives on Professional Stress: Families of Public Figures eg Local Authority Elected Councillors, the Police, the Armed Services; Issues for Clergy Families in the USA)Chapter 5 Stress in a Family Setting Chapter 6 Setting up the Research PART III The First Family Interviews: The Curacy Stage Chapter 7 Moves, Accommodation and Education Chapter 8 The Public View of Curates (including Finding a Curacy, Pressure to Conform, Loss of Personal Identity, Days Off or Time Away, Expectations)Chapter 9 The Cost (including Finance and Health)Chapter 10 Reflections on Issues at the Curacy Stage PART IV A Pause for Thought Chapter 11 The Double Bind and the Accommodation Syndrome Chapter 12 Independence, a Secure Base, the Doughnut Principle and Expectations PART V THE INCUMBENCY STAGE Chapter 13 The Incumbency Stage - I Moves and Education (including The Need for Co-ordination and Planning and 'Children Sacrificed')Chapter 14 The Incumbency Stage - II Finance and the Public Role (including Ennui and Support)Chapter 15 The Incumbency Stage - III The Clergy View of the Job and its Impact on the Family; and Days Off (including The difficulty of relaxing, Conflicting Expectations, Idealism, Intrusion and Isolation)Chapter 16 The Incumbency Stage - IV Conflict and Health (including The Job comes First, The work must be done and what price success; Motivation; Denial; Children's illness; Wives' illness and the public role)Chapter 17 The Third Interviews PART SIX RESPONSES AND CONCLUSIONS Chapter 18 The Response of the GroupsChapter 19 Reflections and Dilemmas Chapter 20 Recommendations A Final Reflection for the Whole Church