Sunday, 31 May 2009

Young clergy face life on the dole after Church of England loses £1.3billion

The Church of England is turning away trainee clergy for the first time in history after £1.3billion of its investments were wiped out in the financial crisis.

Up to a dozen graduates of theological colleges will miss out on their ordination next month and may end up on the dole as there are no parish jobs for them.

The Church has previously given all graduates placements in parishes as curates, which they need before they can become ordained as priests.

But now, to the anger of senior clerics, a spending squeeze means the number of junior clergy posts has been reduced and some trainees may quit the Church.

The unprecedented situation comes after the Church Commissioners, who manage the Church’s £5.7billion assets, announced it lost £1.3billion last year as share and property holdings plunged.

One college principal, the Rev Richard Turnbull, of Oxford’s Wycliffe Hall, called the jobs crisis a ‘tragedy and a travesty’ and said he and colleagues would protest strongly to bishops.

He said: ‘The Church of England agrees these individuals are called to the priesthood.

'It agrees that they have been fully and successfully trained. It says they are ready for ordination as priests. Then it just walks away.’ Read more
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