Submitted by george.somers@… on

A Clergy Household Support Officer for the Diocese of London and a clergy spouse, Sara and her husband, Graham have had a relationship with Clergy Support Trust for many years.

As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours, and when car repairs, dental fees and school expenses all came round at once, Sara and her family were confident that the Trust could lend a hand.

"When our kids were little, I was a full-time mum, so money was very tight. My husband was always quite on top of what support was out there and what we could apply for. We've known about Clergy Support Trust for probably 10 years or so."

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Sara and Graham, stood inside a church. Stained glass windows can be seen behind them.

"A whole bunch of things all happened at once..."

"Our kids were growing super fast and one of them needed a new bed, and one of them needed a new bike. Everyone had to go to the dentist, and that adds up when there's five of you. Music lessons to pay for, school meals, all these things.

We were also going into the winter, when the prices just skyrocketed for gas and electricity. Vicarages are often not always the easiest to heat and to keep warm. We got to January and we were like 'we just can't pay this, we don't have the money.'

Having an Emergency grant was amazing, to just tick us over that little bump without causing too much stress."

Emergency grants

Quality time together as a family

"We've had a Wellbeing grant every year for five or six years now. It's been amazing, because it means we can have a proper holiday. We're not extravagant by any means; we usually just get in the car and schlep it off to France, and we used to camp.

I think, as clergy families, it's really, really important to have a holiday outside of your parish. You cannot holiday at home in this job, and the grants from Clergy Support Trust have enabled us to do that without having to stress too much or think 'oh my gosh, how are we going to afford it?'.

It's amazing and so generous that you can apply for that every year."

Wellbeing grants

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Sam, Graham and their children, stood in their back garden in the rain, under colourful umbrellas.

"There's no need to feel embarrassed about needing support."

"We're all in this same boat together. Clergy stipends are not that high, especially when you live in in central London, where the cost of living is really high.

There's no shame in it. I think it's so important to break down those barriers of saying it's okay to apply for help with your finances, especially if it means you can do the things that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do."

Last year, we supported over 2,700 Anglican clergy households, with 6,800 grants. The demand for our services has quadrupled in the past four years, and continues to grow. We're only able to walk alongside clergy and their families with your help.

If you feel able to make a donation through the link below, to help us continue to serve the people who spend their lives serving others, it would be very greatly appreciated.

 

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