Every ten years licensed clergy and lay ministers can take a three-month sabbatical. This sustained period away from normal duties promotes professional development and personal enrichment. A sabbatical will normally consist of three elements:

Renewal: This is the element of personal and/or professional development, which will normally take the greatest part of your three months. It will involve some element of learning, probably through study and theological reflection.

Retreat: The sabbatical should include some time set aside for you and your relationship with God. For many this will mean going on an organised retreat.

Rest: A sabbatical is not intended as a holiday, but the biblical pattern of Sabbath includes rest as a vital part of life. The three months will therefore include some time for rest and refreshment.

You will need the permission of your area bishop and the agreement of your incumbent (if applicable) or area dean for a sabbatical. You are also strongly recommended to speak to your area sabbatical adviser, whose experience will be invaluable in helping you to make the most of the time. Application should be made to the sabbatical committee by the end of June in the year preceding the sabbatical. Full details of how to go about this are found in the policy document.

Shorter periods of study leave

You might need a short period of study leave to concentrate on a course of study, write up a thesis or dissertation
or complete a book. It might also be used for the completion of coursework on a taught degree that includes regular short periods of study. For stipendiary clergy, permission for study leave is granted by the area bishop. No specific funding is available, but the grant-making bodies listed on the website may be able to help.

Full guidance on taking a sabbatical and an application forms may be downloaded: Sabbatical Policy 2020


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