1 thought on “Being parish priest was my most stressful job, says Justin Welby – Guardian

  1. This is an excellent accurate reflection by Justin Welby I think there are a couple of particularly valuable comments , which require much more discussion in order to serve the wellbeing of the clergy and the protection of the public. It sounds strange even to have to address the protection of the public ion this context in the same way as it sounds strange to talk about protecting the clergy. That is the state that the Church finds itself in however so it has to be addressed. The first problem as I see it is the employment status. The battle between employment and vocation status is a fierce one and there are advantages and disadvantages in both, but what there should be in both paid or unpaid employed or unemployed is equal status of communication and equal status in opportunity and equal value of opinion without fear or favour as they say. There has to be accountability and there has to be real independence of investigative procedure, with a real understanding of the real context of issues ie financial context power context ability and disability context as well as expectation context. It is true that the investigative procedure is a punishment in itself regardless of proof one way or the other, in a country where people are innocent untill proven guilty this is not good but neither is it good if through renal procedures people are not heard and lives changed forever for the bad. Basically the problem is the greatest work for God is done alone and without support for reasons of safety no one can know unfortunately it is the web of deceipt that can accompany this that leaves people vulnerable. That is why it is best to accept people as they are so they can live honestly as they are so God can do any life changing that has to be done. There are however great inequalities. for all sorts of reasons sometimes it’s the church building itself maybe not accessible you may think what’s that got to do with it well a lot actually inaccessible buildings leads the way to makeshift arrangements in order to meet spiritual need people take risk. These risk can have negative consequences, keeping safe whilst maintaining confidentiality whilst also gaining trust is a tightrope to be walked , well walk the tightrope but wear a harness apply the same principles of keeping yourself safe as you would to keeping any vulnerable person safe use third parties let someone know where you are and with whom we neutral places when alone not the church if your worried use the chaplains office in a hospital or the chapel in a hospital there is safety if you look for it, Think out of the box.Yet again I reiterate I care about this I understand the need for pastoral care and trust is a key element ,. That trust is broken when victims become a target rather than a person to be cared for in the same way as perpetrators have to take responsibility but only when it’s proven. The clergy can become targets if procedures are not in place but those procedures are to be preventative and not to be used to cover up wrong doing

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