For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield; but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the wild animals may eat.”  Exodus 23:10-11

‘Sabbatical’ is rooted in the ancient Israelite intention to let farmland lie fallow for one year in every seven. This instruction was not only good practice for agriculture, community provision and biodiversity, it articulated the deeper concept of ‘Sabbath’, the idea that timely rest and recreation are, in themselves, godly.

As fallow land reverts to its own God-given balance, a well planned sabbatical can give you freedom to be yourself and rediscover yourself to be loved and valued by God.

Sabbaticals are a gift of time and financial resource; they are not a right. In assessing sabbatical applications, we look for intentions that will bring renewal of heart, soul, body and mind, that will be a blessing, not only to the applicant, but also to their family, their ministry and to the communities around them.


What is available?

A period of sabbatical of up to three months for rest, retreat, recreation and renewal. Those going on sabbatical are expected to make arrangements for cover in their ministerial contexts so they are able to withdraw from them completely. A grant of up to £700 may be available to assist with costs associated with the sabbatical.

Who is eligible?

Sabbaticals are a gift. Clergy may apply who:

  • have been ordained deacon at least 7 years
  • have been in their current post at least 3 years
  • have not taken a sabbatical in the previous 7 years
  • are not within 2 years of retirement
  • if the clergy person is a Training Minister, the curate will have been in post for at least 18 months

How do I access it?

The first step is to fill in a sabbatical application form. A member of the Mission and Discipleship Team will arrange to meet with you to discuss your ideas. The application will then be sent to the Bishop to consider, and in due course, you will hear via the Mission and Discipleship Team whether your application has been approved. If you have applied for a sabbatical grant, this will then be considered.

Whom do I contact for more information?

Please contact the Mission and Discipleship Team at




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