The Clergy Remuneration Review was carried out by the Remuneration and Conditions of Service Committee (RACSC) between January 2020 and June 2021, and was due to be discussed by Synod in July 2021, but was not discussed during that Group of Sessions.
RACSC acknowledged that the value of clergy remuneration has declined in real terms over the last 20 years as a result of inflation, changes in the pension scheme, and increases in National Insurance Contributions and energy prices.
The RACSC undertook a review of the clergy stipend system, which included conducting a survey of clergy and a consultation with dioceses. It also assessed the elements of the package against the key criteria for a good solution.
Chapter 1 contains an Executive Summary, Chapter 9 recommends changes to the remuneration package, and Chapter 4 provides an estimate of the package's value.
The review concluded that the clergy remuneration package was appropriate for most clergy, but was unlikely to be adequate for all. Additional support needs to be provided by the Church.
The existing package is still adequate, but the Church must commit to keeping the stipend in line with inflation.
The Archbishops' Council agreed a policy to increase the National Minimum Stipend for clergy pensions in line with inflation, but the review also recommended changes to the ill-health pension scheme, pension accrual periods and using CPIH as the basis for inflationary increases.
The synod take note debate provides members with an opportunity to respond to the report as a whole, but also to provide views on how best to support clergy with their own financial planning and awareness.
The value of the package, the stipend, the payment of council tax, and the pension package has been improved.
The Church is exploring options to help clergy get on to the housing ladder, and is considering setting up a diversity fund.
We shall be encouraging every diocese to have financial planning discussions with clergy, and an online financial wellbeing check should be set up for clergy to help with retirement planning.
The Church must maintain the overall value of clergy remuneration against inflation in the future.
The review report recommended that dioceses should continue to pay the usual stipend for incumbent clergy.
The NCIs and dioceses should work more closely with clergy charities in order to improve clergy support, and to remove the current maximum accrual rule within the clergy pension scheme.
16. Change the CEFPS rules so that the CEFPS definition of ill health retirement matches the pre-1998 scheme so that all clergy who apply for ill health retirement are eligible.
To monitor and consider further exploration of Collective Money Purchase pension schemes in the medium term. Provide clarity on housing provision for clergy not living in the house provided for the better performance of their duties.
RACSC has been considering draft guidance on housing, holding office on a part time basis and holding office without a stipend, and a group income protection scheme for clergy.