Rev Rachel Dale, of The Watershed Benefice in Staffordshire - which also covers the churches St Andrew’s in Weston-under-Lizard, St Mary’s in Blymhill, Shifnal, and St Mary’s in Wheaton Aston, was given the grant by Ecclesiastical's Ministry Bursary Awards.
Rev Dale used the money to take part in a silent retreat, to study a theology of dementia, produce new materials for young adults on the autism spectrum and join local charity Link for Life on their trip to South Africa to support Christian charity Hands at Work in Africa with their work in vulnerable communities.
She said: “I was blessed that I was able to engage with large parts of my sabbatical before lockdown prevented travel at home and abroad and am incredibly thankful for that.
“I have taken the time to refresh my understanding of God’s calling and how others experience and engage with God. And, although I didn’t realise it at the time, I believe God was equipping me for some of the challenges we would face during the pandemic.
“I’m grateful for the support Ecclesiastical’s Ministry Bursary Awards has provided me and would encourage other members of the clergy to apply to the scheme to help find the time and space to reflect on their ministry, deepen their relationship with God, and return refreshed and renewed."