Information for Ministers planning a sabbatical 

The District Sabbaticals Enabler is Revd Jenny Dowding and she is happy to support ministers who are planning their sabbatical. Please contact her at an early stage – ideally 12-18 months prior to the planned Sabbatical to allow for consideration by the District GLAD (Group for Learning and Discipleship).

Ministers in an appointment under the control of Conference are now entitled to take a Sabbatical after their first seven years of ministry and then subsequently every 7 years.  However, due to recent changes in Standing Orders, Ministers should refer to SO744 for full details.  Increasingly ministers who have broken service, service in other appointments or non-stipendiary appointments are considered for Sabbatical leave on a case by case basis.

“Sabbaticals are a gift from the Church to all presbyters and deacons and it is intended that they will do something different which will inform and perhaps enthuse them in their ministry” (from the leaflet “Sabbaticals in the Methodist Church").

Normally sabbaticals include some theological reflection, the opportunity for spiritual development & renewal and rest & recreation.

What others have said about their time on Sabbatical

  • I’ve lost three stone – and I’m told I look fifteen years younger.  That will do very nicely for me!
  • There are so many beautiful places in the UK where you can walk for half a day and not see a soul;
  • I feel stronger and fitter to deal with ‘church’;
  • I have new and different ideas in leading aspects of worship;
  • The real challenge is to maintain as many benefits of your Sabbatical as possible on return to ministry

The Methodist Church website has been updated with details regarding Sabbaticals.

You are advised to keep copies of all your expenses documentation before sending it to either the District Sabbaticals Enabler or Methodist Church House.

Ministers taking Sabbaticals are asked to complete the District feedback form at the end of their Sabbatical and return it to the enabler.

Download District Sabbatical Feedback Form (Word 2003 document)

Email Rev Jenny Dowding, the District Sabbaticals Enabler.