Photo Credit: Anglican Church of Canada
[Anglican Journal, by Tali Folkins and Matt Gardner] Concerns about mental health are growing as the church settles into an often-stressful “semi-permanent pattern of living and working” as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Archbishop Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, told the Council of General Synod (CoGS) which met online from 6 to 8 November.
In her opening remarks on the first day of CoGS, Archbishop Linda said she was often being struck now, seven and a half months into the pandemic, by the creative ways people are addressing the challenges it poses. The online services being offered by many churches now, even after the resumption of in-person services, have benefited people unable to leave their homes as well as many who would not have entered a church, she said. And, she added, she sensed continuing hope and faithfulness in the church.
At the same time, she said, it’s clear the pandemic has been taking a toll on many people.
There remains a concern for mental health, as the isolation and loneliness are weighing heavily on families, grandparents, single people and any for whom physical connection is essential. I think particularly of families with children with special needs,” she said.
Clergy and bishops are feeling stress also, she said. Work takes longer with staff working remotely, and many clergy often feel pressure from not being able to deal as readily with pastoral concerns. Some church leaders, she said, “are, frankly, just overwhelmed with weariness and exhaustion.”
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