Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How Does the British Methodist Church Calculate Clergy Salaries?

I e-mailed Richard Hall with that question, and this was his response:

There is basically a fixed stipend for us all, with an extra allowance to colleagues in London (because of the extra cost of living there) and small extra allowances for the Superintendents and District Chairs. But to all intents and purposes the stipend is flat across the connexion. The newly ordained are paid the same as those with 20 years experience, those who minister in small rural situations and those who lead ministry in large suburban churches. No 'career structure' at all.

I guess that there's no career ladder across the pond. It's an interesting idea, and would certainly discourage maneuvering with the Cabinet for high-paying churches or bishops punishing opponents by sending them to low-paying churches. That, and the system seems a whole lot more focused on doing the work of God. What do you think? Would the system work in America?


Michael said...

I don't think the system would be accepted in the US, but I see no reason why it could not work. I know that many do not agree with me but when a pastor of a church is knockin' down 100K with a free home, that's overboard. No way this person can be a shepherd of the flock, humble and sharing in the burdens of the overwhelming majority of his or her flock.

Anonymous said...


"knocking down" 100K ? Don't know where you live, but that's pretty much what it costs to live in the good 'ole USA anymore.

I have no problem with a church/ministry paying that salary and the housing if a pastor is indeed providing quality leadership and the church has a budget to provide such a salary and the salary is made known to ALL of the congregation.

I do not think, however, Pastors should be "rewarded" with larger churches/larger salaries simply b/c they have been pastoring for a certain number of years or have been "company men" in the eyes of DS's and Bishops.

Anonymous said...

I'm not really anonoymous, I'm Ivan Walters, but don't fit in the other categories. I had often thought about a similar system in the US Methodist Church. I know in our conference (SC) there is a set minimun salary for newly ordained pastors out of seminary. That would be retained. However, for every year of ministry there would be a small, but automatic salry increase. Thus the highest paid ministers would be those with the most senority, not those appointed to head large churches. Salaries would be paid by the conference, not the church. Now I can see the downside of this in that the salary stick could not be held over the pastor's head by the SPRC. But this plan would end salary disparity.

Michael said...

Anonymous (no name),

I don't know where YOU live or what you read, but a sizable number of Americans get by on far less that 100K and they pay for their own housing and they do not have guaranteed employment, let alone guaranteed salary increases. In fact, a huge chunk of American labor is completely dependent on the good will of their employers.

These are the people whom 100K + pastors cannot minister to because they cannot identify with them. At best, they might remember how it was getting started but not all circumstances can be so easily categorized.

I say all this as my own observations of pastors who are in that category. They make big money, they hang out with big people, and they cannot (or will not) relate except to those in their own "class". They present themselves as "executives" who cannot be bothered with the "little people". I'm sure not all are like this, but one I've met thus far is like this.

Michael said...

Correction: EACH one I've met thuse far is like this (meaning more than one).