“Because he was of the same trade, Paul stayed with them and they worked together – by trade they were tentmakers” Acts 18:3
Not all clergy work full-time and are paid (what we call stipendiary clergy); a large number of our clergy in Chichester are self-supporting.
As a recognised calling in the Church of England and under a variety of titles, a priestly ministry offered by those who receive no payment from the Church of England has been around for more than 50 years.
Self-supporting minsters may continue in their paid employment, may be retired on a pension or be financially supported by their partner.
Those who offer this ministry receive the same training and qualification as those who work in stipendiary (salaried) posts. Invariably, in Chichester people undertake their training part-time on one of the pathways offered by St Augustine's College in Kent, St Mellitus College in London, the Portsmouth Pathway (part of Ripon College Cuddesdon) and Sarum College. You must be no older than 55 at the start of training.
Like stipendiary clergy, once ordained, self-supporting ministers serve as assistant curates in a parish (a 'curacy'), usually for 3.5 years, and are expected to leave their home parish to complete their training. The location of their ministry thereafter is carefully determined in consultation with the Bishop, the archdeacon and the Director for Apostolic Life.
As with all part-time professionals, the progression of responsibility towards increased authority is harder and access to more senior roles more difficult. There are some self-supporting ministers who are incumbents, some who are diocesan officers, and there is some flexibility in movement between paid and unpaid roles within the church in parish and in the Diocesan administration.