Licensed clergy and Licensed Lay Ministers in the Oxford diocese are encouraged to take a three-month sabbatical for every 10 years of ministry. 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.

Before taking a sabbatical you will need to seek the agreement of your Area Bishop, your Area Dean and your Incumbent (if applicable). Please also speak to your Area Sabbatical Adviser, whose will be able to guide you as you make your application and as you seek to make the most of the time. Applications should be made to the sabbatical committee by the end of May in the year preceding the sabbatical. Although the bulk of applications are made at this time, the committee is also happy to consider applications at its December meeting if received before the end of November. Please note that this application window is not indicated in the current policy document.

Full details for taking a sabbatical and an application form are in the Sabbatical Policy.

For potential sources of funding for your sabbatical, please see Funding your CMD.

Shorter periods of study leave

Those who are enrolled on a substantial course of study, writing up a thesis or dissertation, or completing a book, might wish to request a short period of study leave to complete the work. Stipendiary clergy wishing to take a short study period should seek permission from their Area Bishop.