Chelmsford diocesan synod has formally approved a proposal to cut 61 stipendiary clergy posts by the end of 2021; a possible 49 more posts are to go if the financial situation does not improve.
The cuts come five years in advance of the original proposal for 2025, in the light of the pandemic. But plans have been in place since 2011 — when 47 per cent of stipendiary clergy were due to retire within the decade — to reduce clergy posts to the minimum sustainable number of 215 (News, 9 June).
A traffic-light system will operate, where posts “to be retained or filled if vacant” are classified as Green, and those “desirable and should be retained if finances permit” are Amber. Red posts are those “unlikely to be filled with a full-time stipendiary incumbent, and other options for enabling ministry should be considered.”
Benefices in the Red category which are unable to cover the average £80,180 costs of a full-time stipendiary priest will be invited to discuss alternatives, such as interim ministry, a self-supporting priest, or a licensed lay minister.
Chelmsford diocese to lose stipendiary clergy posts https://t.co/R1QQdAJgFk
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) December 7, 2020