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Vicars to campaign for contracts of employment

2nd Jan 2001
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Clergymen in the Church of England have no contract of employment as custom has decreed that they are "employed by God". Now, with the help of the MSF union (to which clergy, priests and ministers from several churches belong) a group of vicars are considering a campaign to change their status by creating a legal contract of employment.

Several vicars feel vulnerable because their employment, tied housing and working requirments are at the discretion of their bishop. Ministers can be summarily dismissed and have no legal protection of employment. Although ministers receive payment each year, this is classed as an allowance and not a salary. Similarly, their free housing is also regarded as part of their living allowance.

The Church of England claims that if the situation were to change, the church would be unable to afford to higher payments likely to result from any review.


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