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Increase in numbers of unpaid clergy

Increase in numbers of unpaid clergy

Religion News Service has an article by G. Jeffrey MacDonald on the recent trend of unpaid clergy in mainline denominations, with heavy focus on The Episcopal Church:

The unpaid cleric model is gaining traction among Episcopalians. In the mid-1990s, for example, the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming had few if any unpaid clergy serving its 49 congregations. Now, 20 priests in Wyoming – more than one-third – are unpaid.

The Diocese of Texas is also featured in the article, along with discussing alternative education, and discussing the positives and drawbacks.


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Peter Pearson

Perhaps it’s just me, but this seems unjust when so many are paid very, very well. Maybe we should do what they do in England and pay all priests the same salary and bump it up a little bit for bishops. I wonder if everyone would be willing to sacrifice for the sake of justice?

Ann Fontaine

Most of the Mutual Ministry clergy are unpaid and do not contribute to or receive pension or health care benefits from the church. They are part of a ministry team – that includes others trained in preaching, pastoral care, administration, etc. depending on the gifts they bring and the discernment of the congregation.

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