Over the years, something has been bothering me a great deal……
Unfortunately, it came up again after my meeting with a retired clergy and his wife.
When we were in our other parish, I came across a handful of clergy including Curates who spoke about their vocation as a lucrative business. They were home owners and went into great detail to boast about the extra income they get from renting out their houses while they live in Church houses and how THIS was the main reason for them coming into the ministry! Non stipendary female clergy were often the culprits.
I feel sad and angry when I hear this because becoming a clergy is a vocation. It is unlike any other salaried job. The Mhinisteir started from zero and as we get older we realise that we do not have a house for retirement. In any case, we do not have the funds for it!!!! However, we firmly believe that God will provide for us when the time comes.
For this reason, It was a real encouragement meeting this retired Vicar and his wife. They are both young ( early retirement) and very disabled. They have gone through a lot of trials together. They too couldn’t afford to buy a retirement home. However, the Lord has graciously provided them with a roof over their head and they are very content. For all their sufferings they never complained once unlike one of the young clergy we heard of who is unhappy that they don’t get 4G where they live!!!!