The breakdown of marriages and civil partnerships is always difficult, but it can be especially so for clergy families. Clergy undertake a public ministry, and it is almost always the member of clergy who needs to remain in the housing when provided with a church role.
The diocese recognises the need to support clergy families in such circumstances, and bishops and archdeacons are always available to provide or arrange pastoral support for either or both spouses or civil partners. However, if preferred, confidential provision is also available without the involvement of senior clergy.
Two Bishop’s Visitors appointed by the Bishop of Manchester are available for practical support to the spouse or civil partner of a member of clergy. This is entirely confidential, and the Bishop’s Visitors also have knowledge of a range of charities which can help financially. Any clergy spouse or partner is welcome to contact a Bishop’s Visitor directly:
Any member of a clergy family may also contact the Inter-Diocesan Counselling Service, which is also confidential and is able to offer counselling on relationship breakdown.
Broken Rites is an independent, international group offering mutual support and information to separated and divorced spouses and partners of clergy.