At some point, everyone needs to take the time to step away from the stresses of everyday life, to recharge and rebuild. Ministry is a calling, but it's not always easy, and clergy too need the chance to briefly escape the pressures that come hand in hand with the joy of serving their communities.
The Society of Mary and Martha run the Sheldon Retreat Centre in Devon, a Christian community offering retreats to clergy and/or their spouses/partners, especially at times of stress, crisis, burnout or breakdown. We have been privileged to provide an Organisation grant to the centre for many years now, to support their ongoing mission to provide safe space for rest, reflection and recovery.
How we've helped
In three years, Clergy Support Trust has supported:
- over 120 week-long residential visits
- including 240 one-to-one support sessions
- with over £150,000 in funding
"Sheldon provides a safe space - peace and quiet in beautiful surroundings, with gentle support and solitude, yet not isolated. A womb-like feel, healing and restorative, without having to explain anything."
- An anonymous guest
With stress, crisis and burnout posing a very real threat to clergy wellbeing, we are grateful to be able to support this secluded haven on the edge of Dartmoor.
As well as opportunities for private retreats throughout the year, Sheldon runs a programme of led retreats and R5 (read, rest, retreat, relax, recuperate) weeks. Some resources are exclusively for those in ministry, while others are open to everyone.
An Organisation grant, unlike some of our other individual grants, is a grant awarded to an organisation or, in some cases, a diocese, where multiple clergy households may benefit from the grant.
These grants can support anything from retreat centres to activity days, care homes to sheltered housing, and even projects like Family Max, an afternoon of campfires and tobogganing for clergy children in the Diocese of Bath and Wells.