If you are a Clergy Spouse in the Diocese of Rochester, then this page is for you.
ROCS Connect (Rochester Clergy Spouses Network) exists to provide opportunities for clergy spouses to get together in a variety of settings to give both informal and more intentional opportunities to share both the joys and sorrows of being married to a clergy person.
Challenges facing clergy spouses
Many people have spouses whose work impinges on family life - shift workers, those whose work takes them away from home for days or even weeks on end, those whose work is especially physically or emotionally demanding, but being married to a clergy person has particular and peculiar demands all of its own.
- Not only is the family home often also a workspace (again, common to many) but there may well be the expectation that it is also a church meeting space, where hospitality is assumed and boundaries with family life can be hard to maintain.
- There may also be totally unfair or unrealistic expectations of some towards your own involvement in parish life and ministry.
- We live in an age where the vast majority of clergy spouses have careers of their own, where men and women are being ordained much later in life and so clergy spouses also have very different and varied involvement, if any, in their partner’s ministry.
Inevitably this means that there is also a huge variety of expectations on how the Diocese responds to and connects with those clergy spouses.
How the network can support you
Throughout the year we organise walks, pub meals, an open house for tea/coffee and retreat days.
If you would like to receive the regular email update about events, please contact Margaret Wooding Jones on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other support available
Even if you do not have the time or interest to be involved in ROCS Connect, the following resources may be useful to you:
Visit: www.clergysupport.org.uk, call 0800 389 5192 or email email@example.com
We can help with a range of services which St Luke’s for Clergy Wellbeing can fund up to specific limits.
In the first instance visit www.stlukesforclergy.org.uk
Sheldon Retreat supports people in ministry at times of stress/crisis and with resources for ongoing wellbeing. Spouses and partners are eligible on an equal footing. For retreats and other good space, including family holiday weeks see www.sheldonretreat.com/visit. One to one support is available on private retreats and R5 weeks. A home from home run by an experienced lay community who understand something of the joys and strains of living in a clergy household.
The Sheldon Hub is a free, confidential online space with forums for peer support and a growing reference library of useful resources. Register now for the day you may need it – because both role and email are validated for security the easiest way for spouses to join is an introduction from an existing member but other routes are available. www.sheldonhub.org. Please email Margaret Wooding Jones if you require validation.
Margaret Wooding Jones
Clergy Spouses Network Lead