Four out of ten clergy say they have been bullied in past year
NEARLY four out of ten clergy in the Scottish Episcopal Church say they have been bullied or harassed in the past year.
The figure emerged from an official wellbeing survey, conducted by the church, which will be reported to its general synod in Edinburgh this week.Church leaders vowed to take “whatever steps necessary” to tackle the problem.The survey found 39 per cent of the church’s paid clergy had felt bullied or harassed in the past 12 months.And the report said 90 per cent of the comments left as part of the survey confirmed “the existence of negative atmosphere, which can foster bullying and harassment”. The Rt Rev Andrew Swift, Bishop of Brechin and a member of the church’s personnel committee, said: “Bullying and harassment can never be regarded as acceptable within the church or anywhere else. “We are encouraged that clergy have felt able to participate openly and honestly in our survey. The survey results indicate many areas in which the level of clergy wellbeing is positive but they have also identified issues which need fuller exploration. The survey is a start of a process. We are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to address the issues which have been raised.“The wellbeing of our clergy is of paramount importance.”