St Peter's Church, Church Lane, Hargrave, Cheshire CH3 7RN



Churches and clergy across the country are to join in a nationwide discussion, the ‘Big Conversation’, aimed at improving the care and wellbeing of ministers.

It follows the recent welcome of the Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing at General Synod. Now General Synod has asked that the whole church reflect on the questions it poses over the next two years.  Hence, the ‘Big Conversation’.

The Covenant commits all parts of the Church, as well as individual clergy, to sharing responsibility for the welfare of ministers and their households.

Recommendations include promoting awareness of stress and the dangers of burnout as part of training for ordained ministry. Also, there will be new resources for licensing and induction services that highlight the care and wellbeing of clergy. The Group also recommended more pastoral supervision for clergy through coaching or mentoring.

The Revd Canon Simon Butler, who headed the Working Group, said: “The care and wellbeing of the clergy is crucial to the health of the Church at worship, in mission, and in pastoral care.”


We need our hedgerows back – urgently. They are part of ‘nature’s toolbox’ to help us reduce our carbon emissions.

That was the recent message from the CPRE countryside charity which points out that there were twice as many hedges in England before the Second World War.  Since then thousands of kilometres of hedges have been ripped up to make way for new housing and motorways, and to merge and enlarge fields.

The 2007 UK Countryside Survey found that there were 600,000 kilometres of managed and unmanaged hedgerows in the UK, with the vast majority of them in England.

This was a significant decline on the same survey from 1984, when there were about 680,000 kilometres of hedges across Great Britain. That is a reduction of 80,000 kilometres, or 50,000 miles. To put that another way, we have ripped out about 57,000 times the entire length of Britain (874 miles).

No wonder, then, that the CPRE’s report, Greener, better, faster: countryside solutions to the climate emergency and for a green recovery, calls for millions of pounds to be spent on new hedges. It says: “By planting more trees and hedgerow, restoring peatlands and moving toward a more sustainable way of farming, we can use nature’s toolbox to capture greenhouse gases from the air, while revitalising our natural environment.”



Page last updated: 17th August 2020 9:09 AM