Melbourne’s Anglican Synod will this month consider the high numbers of vacant parishes which have fueled concerns about its ministers burning out.
The career span of ministers and the potential negative impact of heavy non-pastoral workloads will also be on the agenda.
Training bodies such as Trinity College told The Melbourne Anglican that increasing administration demands were causing frustration and burnout among clergy.
Retired vicar the Reverend Dr. Ian Savage said unrelieved burnout had presented a major challenge for him during the final decade of his career.
He admitted being dispirited and depressed and felt his position had become untenable.
Trinity College Ministry Education Centre director, the Reverend Dr. Fergus King, said the high non-pastoral workload included compliance work which had become a major issue for ministers.
Some of it was brought on by requirements in the wake of historical sexual abuse scandals.
There are 37 vacant parishes in the Melbourne diocese.
Ridley College Anglican Institute dean the Reverend Canon Dr. Rhys Bezzant said it was of huge concern that parish priests were so busy.
Dr. Bezzant told The Melbourne Anglican the increasing workload was among the many impediments that made Christian ministry harder to do and the job unattractive.
“The idea that they would spend time and effort and perhaps finances in raising up the next generation from within their own parishes just falls off the edge,” Dr. Bezzant said.
Dr. Bezzant and Dr. King have put a motion to the Synod asking all clergy and bishops to nurture future clergy.