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Reform Magazine | April 23, 2024

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Moving on from the manse - Reform Magazine

Moving on from the manse

Anne Bedford looks at the issues facing ministers who retire after a career in the manse

Moving house can be fraught with delays, abortive offers and poor surveys. Even if all has gone smoothly, there comes the packing and clearing of cupboards, lofts, garden sheds. It can be a stressful time for anyone, but for ministers and church-related community workers, preparation for retirement means not only having to leave their congregations but also finding a new home of their own – rather than a manse provided by the church – sometimes for the first time.

With the changing face of ministry, some may have been able to make provision for themselves from other employment. Others may have inherited a property. But many have no such opportunity and help is needed.

Before 1972, when the United Reformed Church was formed, the Presbyterian Church of England had a fund for retired ministers housing while the Congregational Church had a residential care home, Fen Place. However, by 1979, the URC’s General Assembly accepted a moral obligation to provide housing for retired ministers and ministers’ widows or widowers. This meant a commitment to raise funds, and a national appeal was launched. The appeal maintained a high profile in the Church until the 1990s, when the URC’s financial position allowed low interest loans to be made to the Housing Society so that it was not standalone…

Anne Bedford is chair of the Retired Ministers Housing Society board


This is an extract from an article that was published in the February 2020 edition of Reform

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  1. Dear Beloved in Christ servant of most high God,Praise be to God!, I pray and hope God’s hand has been good unto you and the ministry God has called you in to bring a change in the lives for God’s people for his glory. Am Humbled and thankful to God to visit your ministry page on the web and we are touched by what God is doing in your ministry , moving the mountains and bringing hope to the lost soul, and the mantle in your life in this generation. We would like to be in contact with you and to be apart of your ministry with you for Gods glory. We hope to receive your mail and may God continue to bless you to be of blessings to us.We’re a small independent fellowship in Kenya we do meet under the tree to fellowship and share the word of God, conducting crusades, revival, house to house and door to door evangelism to reach unreached people in our community.and outside our community, and to where Our Lord can allow us to go purposely to to reach the lost soul and to spread this good news of the kingdom of heaven, and to share the joy and victory of our Lord jesus Christ. happy to hear from you and share keep in touch with.
    Yours in Christ,
    pastor Evans and the church.

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