Clergy, Class and Wellbeing

Dr Sharon Jagger (York St. John University) and Dr Alex Fry (Bournemouth University) have completed a project funded by the Church of England looking at the experiences of working-class clergy and the impact of class on wellbeing. The final report was published on 5th October 2023 and can be accessed here.

Alex and Sharon, aided by Rebecca Tyndall, interviewed 50 clergy who self-selected and self-identified as working-class. The recommendations in the report arise from the stories shared about how working-class heritage and habitus conflicts with the dominant middle- and upper-class culture of the Church, diminishing belonging and creating a sense of alienation. The report’s recommendations are largely oriented towards the various levels of the institutional Church, with an acknowledgement that more work is required to understand some of the complexities of class and classed experiences.