This is a blog created by a clergy spouse (CS), for clergy spouses. It is mainly aimed at those married to Church of England (CofE) priests as this is the denomination I am familiar with, but all are welcome and I know there will be many issues which are common to spouses across the churches.
Being a CS can be very challenging. Whilst this will always be the case, even for those who love it, I have been both frustrated and encouraged at realising that things could be a whole lot easier with a bit of preparation and support. So I felt moved to create a space providing information and advice concerning CS life. I am gradually bringing together various sources of information which may be useful, such as Diocesan Clergy Handbooks, as well as sharing what I have learned from my experiences so far. As no one person can experience every aspect of CS life I am keen to post advice and wisdom from as many CSs as possible. If you have anything you feel you could contribute, large or small, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
However supportive your friends and family are, no one understands what your life is like the way a fellow CS does. I was many months into our curacy before I met a fellow CS and I think I may well owe her what is left of my sanity. Not because she had any revolutionary advice but because she was many more years into this life and found the same things hard. This made me realise that there was nothing wrong with finding things difficult. If this blog is nothing more than somewhere for people to be reassured that they are not alone in facing their challenges I will feel it is a job worth doing. However, if I can go beyond this and offer useful information and advice, that would be even better.
There are now three flourishing Facebook groups for clergy spouses from a variety of denominations and which include those who do not share their partner’s faith. These groups allow you to connect with other spouses and ask questions, express feelings, request prayers and share jokes which only other CSs will get. Please see the relevant blog posts for more information on how to join.
Just so you know a bit about me: I have been a CS for 5 years. My husband is now just over 18 months into his first incumbency. He trained at Cranmer Hall, Durham and we married shortly after his ordination. We were in an ex-mining village, in Tyne and Wear, for his curacy and have now moved to Portland, Dorset. Our family has gradually expanded, with two dogs (who cause a level of chaos disproportionate to their small stature) joining us a few years ago and then our first baby boy (same applies) in April 2013. We had our second baby in November 2014. Before the little men arrived I worked full-time and I am now a full-time mother.