Steve’s Sabbatical

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What is a sabbatical?

Recently, I asked our Vicar Steve to talk about his upcoming sabbatical during May, June and July, what it is and what’s involved.

He said it can be a time for study, rest or travel, a time of refreshment.

What is a sabbatical designed to achieve?

“Most clergy lead busy lives, available and on call even when not working. Personal needs and aspirations easily get pushed aside by the demands of the role or the needs of others. Bigger projects, wider perspectives, can lose out to the round of day to day responsibilities.

The Diocesan scheme for Sabbatical Leave recognises that for those who have been in ministry for some time a serious block of time spent away from their post and its immediate demands can be a source of enrichment, new experiences and energy, different perspectives and fresh vision… Normally every seven years for those in full-time service”. (Carlisle Diocesan Website)

What will we be doing during the sabbatical?

Gloria and I are both looking forward to recharging our batteries.

*A Sabbatical Project: Writing a book on Marriage “Marriages are Made in Heaven”.

I love writing but a busy parish life makes it difficult to get down to the amount of research and writing required. Having the opportunity of three months for a sabbatical will enable me to move things towards publication.

*Holiday with my wife Gloria for a time for rest and reflection. ‘All work and play really does make Jack a dull boy’ and there’s nothing worse than a dull clergyman and I have no intention of becoming dull!

*Visiting family and friends.

Month by Month: An idea of Activities each month:

May a week’s family holiday in Garstang visiting friends, June in London staying at my former college Oak Hill researching at Lambeth Library and visiting parliament with Gloria to meet our local MP and visiting grandchildren and July in Cambridge University for a few days researching. During the three months I am planning to be cycling in the Lakes as often as possible and in between writing the book.


I am very grateful for this opportunity of a sabbatical and thankful to God for those within St Johns London Road parish and our partners at Houghton and Kingmoor parish who have made this possible by their kind support and prayers. I’m also thankful for family who have helped with financial support. I also managed to get a Ministry Bursary Grant from Ecclesiastical Insurance as well as help from the Diocese and St Georges Trust. Steve Donald