Revd Liz updates us on news from our Deanery and Diocese on how her post as Rector is now being funded as a full time post, and the implications this has for the future.
Since I became Rector, I have been paid half a stipend (salary) rather than a full one. Why? Not because the diocese thought the role only required someone on half time hours. They’ve always been clear this was a full time post. Rather it was that Charlton Benefice just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time…
Some years ago a problem was identified in the wider Church of England – that London and the South East attracted more paid clergy than many other parts of the country – often really poor parts, that struggled to attract applicants for posts. So a cap was placed on the number of paid clergy posts Southwark Diocese was allowed to fund. Every deanery (collection of churches in a particular area) had to lose a full time post, and in Charlton deanery, 2 posts that had previously been full time now became half time. Including ours.
It’s been a long wait for the benefice to be returned to a full time post (which has become possible because of other people moving on in the deanery.) I have always worked full time, but it will be good to be paid full time after 5 and a half years.
But even better news is that this change means that, when I retire, the post of Rector can be advertised as the full time post it definitely is, with appropriate remuneration for my successor. And it means that they will be able to carry out a full time ministry here, leading the mission of the church, without needing to find additional income to supplement their finances.