This page features articles about the Clergy Support Fund Campaign that have recently appeared in the Catholic Press.
Diocese faces £4.5m shortfall for clergy support
by Megan Cornwell (The Tablet)
SOUTHWARK Archdiocese is facing a shortfall of £4.5 million over five years for its work supporting sick and retired priests, a letter to parishioners has revealed, writes Megan Cornwell.
There are currently 70 retired priests in Southwark but this is estimated to rise to 93 in 2018. The Diocese supports these priests through an annual contribution from each parish ‘but the increase in numbers will create more pressure on these costs’, a letter included in last week’s parish bulletin at Sacred Heart Church, Battersea, explains.
The Diocese is renewing its call for parishioners to make whatever contribution they can to a Clergy Support Fund to ensure that priests who have reached the retirement age of 75 and can no longer continue in their ministry or are too ill to serve in a parish, are adequately provided for.
Canon John Weatherill, Episcopal Vicar for Finance in the Diocese said the increased cost is being sought ‘on the basis of shared responsibility’.
‘Parishioners share the responsibility of caring for our priests’, added Canon Weatherill ‘After all, what is the Diocese if not its people? It is never wrong to ask people to give according to their means – a point that has been stressed throughout the Campaign.’
He said that if they failed to reach their £4.5m target they would continue to fund the care of priests from central funds which would mean ‘the Diocese has less to spend on its other work and activities, just like any household’.
Canon Weatherill said this was the first time that the Diocese had tried to raise money for this cause through such an appeal.
Article originally published by The Tablet on 3rd September 2016
© The Tablet