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Self-Supporting Ordained Ministry

Peter ShepherdSSM Officer - The Revd Canon Dr Peter Shepherd
Homestead, Eastham Street
Clitheroe. BB7 2HY
Tel: 01200 425 053
Self-supporting ministers (SSMs) are precisely that: they are those clergy who do not receive a stipend from the Church, but have other sources of income. Most SSMs in this Diocese are parochially focused, supporting their parish priest as licensed 'honorary curate' or 'assistant priest'. A few SSMs, sometimes known as 'Ministers in Secular Employment' (MSE), find the primary focus of their ministry in their places of work; in this way they bring their priesthood to the service of the world outside the Church.
Some MSEs are also licensed by the Bishop to a parish, whilst some hold a general licence. SSMs who assist in a parish ought to have a Ministry Agreement with their Parish Priest; a checklist will be given to those serving their title by the DDO/Director of IME phase 2; a model is provided below for more experienced SSMs.
Peter was ordained as a teacher-priest in Chichester Diocese; he has always been an SSM and has assisted at St Mary Magdalene, Clitheroe since 1982. The Bishop appointed Peter as SSM Officer following his retirement as Head of Canon Slade School, Bolton, in 2006. He is responsible for all aspects of self-supporting ordained ministry (now including Ordained Local Ministry) from developing diocesan strategy to the pastoral care of SSMs.
Anyone who feels that God may be calling them to this kind of ministry is welcome to contact Peter for an initial discussion of what might be involved. Current SSMs are equally welcome to do so should they feel in the need of advice or support.
CHRISM (Christians in Secular Ministry) is a national organisation “for all who see their secular employment as a primary field of Christian ministry”. Their website contains useful contacts and links, as well as information about their publications (the Journal ‘Ministers-at-Work’ and their Occasional Papers).


Additional Information

Ministry Agreement guidelines

Vulnerability of Voluntary Ministry paper

Working Party Report and Recommendations

Information regarding Common Tenure

Guidance for Self Supporting (Ordained) Ministers

  Newsletter January 2016

  Newsletter May 2015

Towards a Strategy for Self-supporting ordained Ministry


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