18 January 2017

Guest Speaker: Lost Voices of the Clergy Family

 Today we are excited to introduce our guest speaker: Rev Dr Brian Jones. Brian is from the UK and has done extensive research and work with pastor's kids (PKs). He contacted us recently to share his work and resources with clergy families here in Australia. His passion is to ensure that the stories of clergy families are heard and respected - right up our alley! We hope you enjoy his post below and take a moment to check out his website and PK social forum, which we've also added to our library. 
Exploring the impact of parental church-based ministry on clergy children

Lost Voices?
This series of blogs explores the impact of parental church-based ministry on their children, a rarely researched aspect of church life and practice especially here in the UK. Evidence suggests that the impact is real and is transmitted mainly (though not exclusively) through their experiences, how they are expected to act and behave and by feelings of excessive exposure to the public gaze stemming from their parent’s profile in the local community. The insights are grounded in credible data obtained through a Doctoral research programme overseen and validated by the University of Manchester, and are based on stories told by clergy children themselves from different contexts in their own words and writings.

Clergy children (used in a generic sense to include children of pastors, ministers, priests, vicars and pastors) have rarely, if ever, been afforded the opportunity to formally express their views and opinions on this crucial aspect of their lives, to the extent that they have been described as a ‘lost voice’ in the Church. Research indicates that if given the means and opportunity to do so clergy children are more than able to relate their thoughts and insights if they wish to do so.
The research (anchored in practical theology) was deemed to have made an original contribution to theology and practice, by helping to raise awareness of key aspects of their lived experience; affirming the importance of a person’s story in the task of theological reflection; recognising the contribution of children’s insights to faith and practice, and advocating best practice in terms of pastoral care and support. Outcomes have implications not only for the clergy child, but clergy parents, church congregations and denominational authorities.

The Blog can be accessed through www.dunrevin.com. Contributions and comments are welcome. An example can be found here: http://www.dunrevin.com/single-post/2016/10/04/MY-LIFE-is-like-an-open-book

Rev Dr Brian Jones, BA, MA (Theol), DpT (Manchester)

 www.australianclergyfamilies.com -- a community of support & encouragement

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