8 March 2024

Spring Newsletter 2024

Dear friends and supporters,

Hello and welcome to our 2024 Spring newsletter.

We are in Lent, a time of reflection and introspection. Here at St Luke’s, we have been looking back at the past year and reflecting on the fantastic opportunities that have opened to us through major funding grants, more on which below.

We have also continued to receive more referrals for psychological support than ever before. We understand the NHS waiting lists are long, but we hope that these figures are also an indication that clergy are taking a deeper interest in their own mental wellbeing.

We want to continue to help everyone who asks for help, but this comes at a cost, which we are working hard to address. We  look forward, with hope in our hearts to a bright 2024 where we will continue to deliver exceptional care and support to clergy and their families with the help of our kind and generous supporters.

Finally, do ensure you read about our fundraising concert being held at Temple Church on the 16th May.

What the clergy say about St Luke’s

‘This workshop is a great thing to be doing, I felt if nothing else it showed that the clergy person is valued, by allowing them to focus on themselves for a session’
In this issue:
Reflections on 2023

The past 12 months have been very exciting for St Luke’s as we have successfully partnered with three major funders, allowing us to continue to deliver exceptional preventive activities for clergy.

With all the programmes we run, our underlying aim is to change the culture of the Church of England (and Church in Wales) to ensure they proactively encourage clergy to understand and prioritise their own well-being. We want to see pastoral supervision, mental health first aid training [MHFA], reflective practice and resilience workshops be the accepted and promoted ‘norm’ for clergy rather than the exception.

We are therefore delighted to share with you the news that our friends at Benefact Trust, The Henry Smith Charity and the British Army share and support these aims.  To this end, St Lukes has received a combination of three-year and five-year grants with a total value of £2,131,000.

The Henry Smith Charity: A specially designed five-year programme of one-to-one pastoral supervision for clergy. As well as regular supervised sessions where clergy reflect on their ministry practice, the programme will also be offering places on accredited training courses to suitably qualified people, to build capacity for the future. The whole programme will be assessed by an independent evaluator.

Benefact Trust: Supporting five aspects of our wellbeing menu including MHFA, resilience training workshops, and “Enabling Conversations”, which fosters the conversations between clergy and laity envisaged as part of the Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing. The Benefact Trust is also kindly contributing towards our psychological care and treatment for clergy and their families.

The British Army: The Footsteps pastoral supervision programme began in Oct 2022 to provide regular pastoral supervision sessions for Army Chaplains. The project provides an opportunity for reflection, in a confidential environment that is designed to be both supportive and challenging. We are pleased to share that we now support 35 army chaplains in receiving sessions with experienced and accredited supervisors.

The recognition of the importance of our work shown by these organisations is very much appreciated. We are particularly grateful for the time and effort that key individuals have made to set these programmes up.

With this funding we can continue to support clergy, from the beginning of their ministry journey right through to being a senior minister, with the appropriate skills and tools to recognise mental health needs in themselves and the people they serve.

Helping in a time of crisis

At St Luke’s we are a fan of a slightly rebellious lawn – buttercups, speedwell, dandelions and daisies, the splash of colour adds joy and delight, and makes the lawn more interesting.

We are often asked for help with the diagnosis of clergy or their children who might be neurodivergent.  Neurodivergence can bring with it issues that affect how people function in society. But often we find these people have a deeper sense of empathy and compassion for others.  It can also bring great creativity, joy and delight.  Would ‘The Arts’ be as vibrant and healthy if it were not for a little (or a lot of) neurodiversity? Musicians, poets, painters, writers, comedians etc – their creative expressions and storytelling have united people across different generations and civilizations with the sensitivity and beauty of their work.  Neurodiversity has much to offer society. If flowers want to sprout on a pristine lawn, bucking the regimental stripes, that’s OK with us.

Problems can arise if efforts to fit in to meet others’ expectations have a negative impact on mental health and rather than a few delightful wildflowers, we are left with a bad case of Japanese knotweed. This plant can run amok, poking through tarmac, stifling other plants and upending paving. Left unchecked, without professional intervention, the knotweed problem can even begin to weaken foundations.

If you have a touch of knotweed in your garden, it will take work to get it sorted. But you don’t have to do this work on your own.  You can educate yourself on the plant’s nuances, understand it better and begin to shore up your defences.  It is recommended to chat with your neighbours.  And if it gets bad, get the professionals in for some 1-2-1 help.

St Luke’s is here to help you look after your mental health and keep the knotweed in check.  We promote resources where clergy can share their experiences of ministry as well as building self-awareness and learning skills and techniques to manage the stresses of being in ministry. We also offer help with diagnoses for individual clergy, their spouses and children up to the age of 18, along with 1-2-1 psychological counselling.

If you think your ‘mind’ garden is getting out of hand – speak to your diocese and ask them to contact St Luke’s to find out more about our preventive approaches to caring for clergy.

Focussing on First Aid training in Mental Health

Artwork by Beach for Humantalk.  Copywrite Humantalk Limited

We are delighted to have funded three Mental Health First Aid Workshops through generous donations at our Lambeth Palace event and are now working with dioceses to organise a further three workshops. The funding for these workshops has been received from our friends at the Benefact Trust, and the workshops provided by Humantalk.

The feedback from our earlier workshops shows the participants were able to apply their learning and feel confident about their appropriate interactions as ‘first responders’ for people in their community who may be affected by mental ill-health. This has been of huge benefit to them personally in reducing the stress involved in dealing with potentially difficult situations as well as being a direct benefit to their congregations and communities.

Ben from Humantalk gave this quote:

“At Humantalk, we are delighted to partner with St Luke’s to deliver more training in Mental Health First Aid for curates within the Church of England. So often clergy are called upon to help those struggling with their mental health and MHFA training equips curates to start building in appropriate models of support early into their ministerial development. As well as providing a very practical framework through this training we also work closely with participants to ensure that this approach fits a variety of pastoral contexts and theological perspectives. Thanks to the generous support of Benefact Trust and the dedication of St Luke’s in supporting clergy well-being, we are looking forward to continuing to help more clergy in more dioceses this year. It’s a privilege to be part of this important work.”,

If you are interested in attending a workshop please contact your diocese.

Springing into 2024

Temple 2024 Event & Spring Concert


Thursday 16th May 2024

In order to raise vital funds for our work, the Chairman and Trustees are delighted to be presenting a charity concert to be held in the heart of medieval London.

The evening will begin with a concert by ‘friend of St Luke’s’, Ronald Corp OBE and the New London Orchestra. Ronald Corp is one of London’s most celebrated and creative musical directors. We will be experiencing a selection of glorious pieces by composers including Elgar, Mozart and Purcell. This part of the event will be held in the historic surroundings of the Temple Church.

There is then an option to continue the evening by having supper in the magnificent Georgian-style Inner Temple. Fine music, world-class catering and delightful company, all in the heart of London’s ancient legal quarter.

There are two types of ticket available: Temple Church concert only or a combined ticket of concert and Inner Temple special event. Please find details here http://www.stlukesforclergy.org.uk/temple-24-event-spring-concert


If you are visiting Westminster and find yourself with a spare half hour, please do get in touch with Tess to arrange a coffee and a chat in the new coffee shop at Church House due to open early summer. We want to get to know our wonderful supporters, so do come and meet us!

We hope you have enjoyed reading our newsletter and want to get involved with St Luke’s! Here are the many ways we would like you to help us: