Bit of a noteworthy day today in my research; I found some Australian resources for clergy wives! I thought they'd be worth sharing with you:
- The Lutheran church of Queensland is running a Clergy Spouse Retreat in September! Details at https://register.eventarc.com/24624/2014-pastors-wives-retreat.
- **Now Closed** I found an Australian website for pastor's wives: http://radiantpastorswives.com/ - a friendly, online resource for pastor's wives (started in 2009), based in New South Wales.
- The JohnMark Extension in Tasmania offers counselling for clergy and their spouses as well as a retreat cottage (beautiful!). Details at http://johnmark.net.au/jm/?page_id=292/.
- A survey results from Rowland Croucher - a pioneer in Australian clergy and spousal research (and a founder of John Mark Ministries). He conducted a survey through the GRID magazine. 80 responses were recorded with participants ranging from 25 - 70 years old. I thought it worthwhile to provide some of the details in this blog. Unfortunately I don't have the original paper (if you do, please send us the link!).
Of the 80 respondents:
- 25% considered themselves part of their spouse's 'call to ministry', naming it a 'shared call'.
- Nearly 25% experienced being the 'walking wounded' (see this newspaper article).
- 20% resented being 'married' to the church.
- Their husband's 'work-holism' was a problem for most of them.
- The most common negative mentioned was 'being in the public eye' with unclear role expectations and loss of their own identity.
- Most agreed it was difficult to near impossible to make good friends within their spouses church.
- Many respondents wanted churches to know that they are not part of a 'two for one' deal (pay the minister, get the wife!).
There are several other initiatives I'm hoping to keep putting up online for clergy spouses, but this is a start! **Visit our Library**