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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).
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