Sabbaticals & study leave

A man walks through a garden reading a book

Licensed clergy and Licensed Lay Ministers in the diocese are encouraged to take a three-month sabbatical for every ten years of ministry. This sustained period away from normal duties promotes professional development and personal enrichment. A sabbatical will normally consist of three elements:


This is the element of personal and/or professional development, which will normally take the greatest part of your three months. It will involve some element of learning, probably through study and theological reflection.


The sabbatical should include some time set aside for you and your relationship with God. For many this will mean going on an organised retreat.


A sabbatical is not intended as a holiday, but the biblical pattern of Sabbath includes rest as a vital part of life. The three months will therefore include some time for rest and refreshment.

The process

Before taking a sabbatical you will need to seek the agreement of your Area Bishop, your Area Dean and your Incumbent (if applicable).

Please also speak to your Area Sabbatical Adviser, who will be able to guide you as you make your application and as you seek to make the most of the time.

Berkshire Area Sabbatical Adviser
Buckinghamshire Area Sabbatical Adviser
Dorchester Area Sabbatical Adviser
Oxford Area Sabbatical Adviser

Sabbatical deadlines

All applications considered in the current year 2024 are to start the following year, 2025. There are 3 Sabbatical Advisory Committee meetings in 2024, deadlines are listed below. Applications should be sent to the sabbatical committee at

  • 20 February – midday 
  • 23 May – midday
  • 25 October – midday 

Sabbatical application

Full details for taking a sabbatical and an application form are in the Sabbatical Policy. For potential sources of funding for your sabbatical, please see CMD grants.

Ministry Bursary Awards

Running for over 30 years, the MBAs are open to all members of clergy from Anglican Christian faiths and provide financial support for sabbatical breaks and projects planned for 2023. The 2023 scheme is now open - applications must be made by 30 September 2022. Judging will take place in November, with awards being made in December 2022.

The purpose of a sabbatical is to make space for soulful rest and refreshment. Licensed clergy and Licensed Lay Ministers in the diocese are encouraged to take a three-month sabbatical for every ten years of ministry. 

Apply for an MBA

Shorter periods of study leave

Those who are enrolled on a substantial course of study, writing up a thesis or dissertation, or completing a book, might wish to request a short period of study leave to complete the work. Stipendiary clergy wishing to take a short study period should seek permission from their Area Bishop.

Page last updated: Thursday 29th February 2024 11:25 AM
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