Clergy Health, Medicals and Leave
The Bishops are keen to see that clergy avail themselves of good and regular medical advice and specific support is available. Clergy are first and foremost responsible for their own wellbeing. It goes without saying that the Diocese wants to support clergy in maintaining their mental, as well as physical health and the Diocesan Counsellor (Sue Haycroft 01372 461061) can offer counselling for clergy, or members of their families, to assist them in coping with the demands of their working lives. The Director of Ministerial Training can also assist clergy in finding courses which can help address professional challenges, such as time management. When health care issues arise, consultants at St Luke's Hospital are available to clergy and their immediate family on referral from a GP. Such a valuable resource also needs to receive regular support from parishes to make its ministry feasible.
It is sometimes helpful to have a full medical examination, particularly for those over the age of 50. This can be an expensive undertaking and the National Church is looking into the provision of an occupational health programme. At present, if an Incumbent thinks a full physical examination would be helpful, then s/he should write to the Bishop of Guildford requesting a medical and instructions on how to arrange one will be given. The Bishop would be grateful for a Priest to make some contribution to the cost of this examination, which varies in price. The results of the medical are entirely confidential to the patient and his/her GP.
Moreover, if illness or costs related to caring for family members are undermining personal finances, there are charities who will seek to assist if contacted. The Bishop's Chaplain can offer further advice.
In the event of sick leave for a period longer than seven days being taken, any doctor's note should be sent to the Deputy Diocesan Secretary at Diocesan House as soon as possible. The Church Commissioners' Clergy payment section will then contact the patient directly. For extended periods of illness, please contact your Archdeacon or the Diocesan Secretary to discuss the Diocesan Long-Term Sickness policy.
In the case of maternity/paternity/adoption leave being needed, contact should be made with the Deputy Diocesan Secretary at Diocesan House to discuss options and to obtain forms that are required for stipend costs to be reimbursed.
Parental leave is a right available for parents of children up to the age of five, which entitles a certain number of days of paid leave. For further information, contact the Deputy Diocesan Secretary