Calling Something that it isn’t

You may think that this is about the political situation, but it isn’t!

Our Diocese are reviewing Parish Share, the way in which money is collected for ministry in the Diocese, and more widely (as a rich Diocese we give to the Central Church to redistribute to poorer dioceses).  It is not a comment on my view of the rights or wrongs of either the new scheme or the old; instead it is a complaint about the way that it is described.

The new proposal describes itself as being split in two, what you get and what you give, and it is this description that has annoyed me.  The what you get is to include the cost of Archdeacons (and there are no doubt plenty of jokes to be made here), curates training, and other elements which are thought to be for the benefit of the parish.  So far, so good.  However, these costs are going to be allocated on the basis of what is called “core clergy”, that is those paid by the diocese from Parish Share.  Sounds fair?  Except, employed clergy paid directly by a parish don’t count, employed youth workers don’t count, SSMs don’t count, OLMs don’t count, LLMs don’t count – and all of these have been trained and incur support costs.

The implications are that a parish with one incumbent, and a parish with one incumbent, an associate priest paid for by the parish, a youth worker, two SSMs and two LLMs will pay the same for what they get – even though they are “getting” very different levels of support.

This post is about the fact that it is called “what you get” – it isn’t, and calling it that is misleading.

Let your word be “Yes, Yes” or “No, No”

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