Archdeacon Paul Davies, of the Diocese of Guildford, writes:
‘My purpose for writing is simply to thank you, your team, and all your trustees and honorary consultants who make St Luke’s such a gift and blessing for the clergy they serve.
‘As a jobbing Archdeacon, I feel very humbled, inspired and privileged to work alongside clergy of the Church of England. They are remarkable people with extraordinary gifts who make such considerable sacrifices out of their love of God and those whom they serve – and this often comes at significant personal cost.
‘I believe that in many respects the context of ordained ministry is getting tougher. Whilst those who are called to this office still respond out of a sense of deep joy and total fulfilment, pressures from both outside the church and within it compound to make ministry in the 21st century exceptionally demanding. The care and support that St Luke’s provides in this context is more needed and valued than ever and I want to thank you for two elements of your work in particular.
‘First, for the reactive care and support that you continue to provide for individual clergy and their families at their point of need. You are currently supporting several of my clergy and they cannot speak highly enough of the care given by yourself and the honorary consultants they see. lndeed, we have experienced this within our own family.
‘Secondly, I am so inspired by your more recent proactive support to promoting clergy wellbeing and resilience. You rightly recognise, alongside the General Synod of the Church of England, that clergy these days are almost more vulnerable to psychological illness than physical illness. We are doing as much as we can in the Diocese of Guildford to address this and I have been chairing a group that has been leading on this work.
‘Once again, please accept my heartfelt thanks for all that you are and do at St Lukes. lt is so enormously appreciated by clergy on the coal face and us archdeacons who do our best to care for them. lt means a great deal and you need to know that!’
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