New arrangements for housing retired clergy announced

ConsultationWe announced the new arrangements for our CHARM Rental Scheme at General Synod on Monday 14th July 2014 and here are links to the full Consultation Response document and the Press Release.

The changes do not affect the CHARM Shared Equity or Mortgage Schemes, or the Supported Living or Nursing Home Schemes, also provided by the Pensions Board.



The CHARM Scheme

The Church of England Pensions Board is a registered charity that has operated the Church's Housing Assistance for the Retired Ministry (CHARM) since it came into operation in 1983. The objective of the Scheme is to assist beneficiaries vacating tied housing with retirement accommodation and the Board can help:

  • Retired Clergy; Deaconesses; Licensed Lay and Church Workers; and Church Army Officers;
  • who retire with at least five years qualifying pensionable service under Clergy Pensions Meaures;
  • with insufficient financial resources to purchase a property outright; and
  • their Spouses; Civil Partners; Widows and Widowers.

Retirement housing is not provided 'as of right', but may be offered having regard to the resources available to the Board and each applicant's circumstances. It is not the purpose of the Scheme to assist those who have some resources of their own, either in the aquisition of a larger property, or with their wider financial planning, by freeing capital for other purposes.

Housing Schemes available

There are three categories of Housing assistance available, each of which is described in more detail within this section of the website:

In addition, the Board administers Manormead Care Home (with Nursing) for those who require full Nursing Care, including the Dementia Care Wings.

Sanctuary Maintenance

Since 2011, the Board has worked in partnership with Sanctuary Maintenance, who provide a wide range of maintenance services for the Board's property portfolio: information about Sanctuary Maintenance is available on this link.

Eligibility Criteria

In April 2010, the Board introduced Changes to the Eligibilty Criteria by increasing the minimum service required for the Rental Scheme from five years by one year every April, until the required service is 15 years in 2019, so the minimum service required is currently ten years. Years of qualifying service are determined by an applicant's service on their date of retirement; even if they subsequently apply to the Board for housing later in their retirement.

However, this increase does not apply to the Shared Ownership Scheme, the Supported Housing Schemes, the Care Home, or early retirement due to Ill Health, where minimum service required remains at five years.

Eligibility was also extended to Clergy with a minimum of five years Stipendiary service, plus House for Duty service, that matches the minimum service requirement; and eligibility for the Supported Housing Schemes and the Care Home was extended to those ordained with Non-Stipendiary Ministry service and applicants from other Religious Orders with the minumum of five years service required.

Furthermore, the Board has extended eligibility to the Supported Housing Schemes and the Care Home to all individuals who receive a pension from the Board, including their spouses/civil partners, with the minimum of five years service required. However, those with Ministry service will always take priority over Lay applicants on the waiting lists.

We would encourage applicants to contact the Board at least one year before the intended retirement date to establish eligibility for retirement housing.

Further Information and Contact Details

Forms and guidance documents with detailed information about the Board's housing assistance are available on this website. However, for those making plans for retirement accommodation who would like to know how the Scheme may fit their particular circumstances, the staff in the Board's Housing Department are available to answer any questions and give more detailed information.