November 2020 Deanery Briefing – 7:30pm Wednesday 11 November

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Mental Health and Faithfulness in an age of anxiety

Enabling safe conversations about mental well-being
with Rev Rob Merchant

Rob Merchant

Covid-19 has touched each of us in one way or another and coping with the restrictions imposed to combat the pandemic has brought the issue of mental well being for both clergy and laity into sharp focus.

Long before the current pandemic we have been concerned about the mental well being of clergy and laity and the debilitating impact on their health and ability to function effectively in their ministry when things start to go wrong.

Often those affected are uncomfortable or ashamed to admit to being unable to cope and suffer in silence.

  • So how do we recognise the signs that something is not right
  • How do we create safe environments to enable folk to explore the issues affecting their mental well being?
  • What support can we offer?

During our evening Rob will draw upon his own experiences of living with a long-term mental health condition as a result of developmental trauma, to explore how we can enable safe conversations about mental well-being. The evening will involve reflection, top-tips, honesty, story, and most importantly, hope.

Revd Rob Merchant is Tutor and Director of St Mellitus College, Chelmsford; his additional responsibilities in the life of St Mellitus College include Dispersed Learning, contributing to ministerial formation and teaching, and Safeguarding.

Upon leaving school Rob worked as a care worker supporting people with learning disabilities. Since ordination he has served in a number of different ministerial contexts from multi-parish rural to single parish urban as an incumbent and as an associate priest, he has also worked in academic research and management.

Rob’s passion is to see people flourish in the ministry to which they are called, in whatever walk of life. He is married to Tamsin, who is Vicar of St Mary’s Hornsey Rise where Rob serves as Associate Vicar.

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