Clerics pray for employment rights

The
clergy are getting fed up with frayed dog collars and cheap wine at evensong.

Those
who are members of the MSF union have called on it to start lobbying Parliament
for full employment rights and a minimum salary of £24,000 a year for its clergy
members.

Chris
Ball, national secretary of the clergy section of the MSF, said, "The
clergy do not have employment rights and it is completely inappropriate that
they receive a stipend.

"The
clergy should be salaried employees working for the church. The only security
they have is that of their office."

Under
section 23 of the Employment Rights Act, the clergy are not considered to be
employees and are therefore not entitled to those rights.

The
MSF’s lobbying comes in the wake of a Generosity and Sacrifice survey, which
found that nine out of 10 Church of England clergymen believe they are
inadequately paid and have to struggle to make ends meet.

The
Clergy Stipend Review group found that of the 6,295 clergymen in England
surveyed, only 9 per cent said their pay is "reasonable".

For
married clergy with a non-earning spouse and children, only 3 per cent believe
their pay is adequate and 17 per cent said they are struggling to pay bills.

An
average annual stipend for clergy is £16,900, assistant and suffragan bishops
and archdeacons are paid £25,000, with the Archbishop of Canterbury on £57,000.

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