Self Supporting Ministry and Ministry in Secular Employment
A Self-Supporting Minister (SSM) is normally required to serve his/her title in a parish other than his/her home parish. This ensures a wider experience of the Church in the formative years of a person's ministry. It also highlights the fact of deployability, which is one of the distinctive elements of this ministry. The two most frequent exceptions to this norm are where the greatest weight of ministry is in the minister's secular employment (MSE), or when there are very exceptional pastoral or personal circumstances which make it appropriate for the Title to be served in the home parish.
After the 4 year Title has been served, an SSMs future ministry is discussed and the curate may be deployed to where the ministry needs are greater. new role descriptions will be compiled. In all other ways, self-supporting clergy are treated in the same way as other stipendiary clergy.
Change of Focus
If any ordained person seeks to transfer in ministry to a different category – whether from the permanent diaconate to the priesthood, from the local category to the nationally deployable (whether self-supporting or stipendiary), from the assisting/associate category to the incumbent/leadership category, or to be designated in terms of Pioneer Ministry – there is a process of discernment and consultation to be followed locally and regionally, after which the decision lies with the Bishop. Note that, for those seeking to transfer from OLM/SSM to stipendiary or from OLM to SSM, they must have been ordained for at least three years. The agreement of the Pensions Board is always necessary if an ordained person is moving to incumbent status or any other form of stipendiary ministry.
Pastoral Care of SSMs / OLMS
SSMs are part of the same pastoral care structure as their stipendiary colleagues. Their incumbent has first responsibility for their care and support. The Rural Dean also has pastoral responsibility for SSMs in the Deanery. The Director of Ministerial Training, the Archdeacon and the Bishop are also available in cases of need.