The Church is blessed by the ministry of its clergy. Entering ministry is a profound recognition of calling and exercise of vocation in service to others. For stipendiary clergy, and their families, it comes with stipend and pension, and for many tied-housing, which enable ministry but often create different personal circumstances compared with contemporaries.
The Church of England Pensions Board is privileged to be part of the ministry journey - by overseeing the pension benefits set by the Church, and providing housing at retirement on behalf of, and financially supported by, the Church. In doing so, we also have a responsibility to consider whether the services the Board offers are affordable and will truly meet the needs of clergy and the Church, in the decades to come.
In that spirit, we are putting forward a proposal to rethink how the Church best supports future cohorts of clergy with retirement housing to enable choice and enable individuals to be in the driving seat of their retirement housing plan throughout their ministry journey.
Currently 1 in 6 retiring clergy need help with retirement housing, with a service (sometimes known as CHARM) that is almost entirely focused on one specific type of housing support, rental, at one specific moment in the ministry journey. This requires a huge and increasing investment from the Church and it is hard to imagine how this can continue as is. We think that there might be a better way: more suited to the diversity of ministry experience in the future and generationally sustainable for the Church.
Today, we are setting out our ideas to the Church, for a shift from just one intervention at one point in time to practical support, guidance, choices and services throughout ministry around future housing.
Join the conversation
We invite you to read more about our ideas, and to offer your views against some specific questions by 31 January 2024.
We welcome views from anybody connected with the Church – and we are particularly keen to hear from clergy in ministry today, ordinands, current retirees, clergy networks, Diocesan colleagues and those who support clergy in exploring vocation through to ordination, to curacy, into first post and later in life.
What will happen with your feedback?
How many of these ideas can be taken forward depends firstly on whether the ideas resonate and will genuinely help. Your feedback will help us determine this.
Moreover, specific proposals arising from these ideas will have to be considered and agreed as part of the national Church’s resource allocation decisions.
Finally, and importantly, none of these ideas imply change for those currently retired and living in Church provided housing.
Thank you for taking part.
If you have any questions about the 'Enabling Choice' discussion document or this notice, please contact us at [email protected].