In her Ad Clerum on 16 July 2022, Bishop Ruth shared the following message with clergy:
"We are experiencing a significant cost of living increase and so I want to particularly address those concerns. Stipendiary colleagues will be aware that in common with most dioceses, we raised the stipends this year by 2%. We recognise this does little to meet the increasing financial burden of rising food and fuel bills. We were able to make this small gesture, as a result of the diminishing percentage of pension costs that we as a diocese have to bear. However, we are aware that many of you will be struggling to meet expenses in your own family budgets this year.
"As a result of such concerns across the national Church, the Archbishops’ Council has established a hardship fund. Each diocese has been allocated an amount based on its stipendiary clergy numbers. Our diocese has received £64,000. In addition, there is also a government scheme for Council Tax rebates in bands A-D which the DBF can claim on some of our parsonage houses. We anticipate that this latter will be around £2,000. The combined amount of £66,000 will be available for any of you, stipendiary or self-supporting, to claim as you have need. We appreciate that this may be only a small way of alleviating some financial concerns and want to reassure you that we want to help you in any further ways necessary.
"We know that financial pressures can put additional strain upon families and relationships so I also wanted to make you aware of the services that are there to support you in such circumstances. Please make use of the support of our wellbeing adviser, Sally Waters or if you would value a conversation about spiritual direction contact one of our spiritual directors."
Grants available for clergy in the Diocese of Bath and Wells
Diocese of Bath and Wells Hardship Fund
There may be additional funds available in each archdeaconry. Please contact your archdeacon for further information.
Clergy Support Trust
The Clergy Support Trust offers support to Anglican ordinands, clergy (serving and retired) and their families in times of need. Visit the Clergy Support Trust website to find out more.
Wynne Willson Scholarship Fund
The Wynne Willson Scholarship Fund offers financial assistance to help meet the educational needs of any children of clergy in the diocese who are at school or in higher education.
The Trustees of the Fund are concerned about the needs of children who missed schooling during the pandemic and who are faced now with catching up on their studies, especially those who are soon to sit examinations. As such, the Trustees wish to prioritise the needs of those children by offering grants to help with the cost of extra tuition or coaching.
Grants of up to £200 are available and will be disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis, until the funding currently available is used up.
Please email email@example.com, PA to the Archdeacon of Wells for further information and an application form, or call 01749 685147.
The Henry Smith Fund
The Henry Smith Charity is an independent grant making trust. The Charity was founded in 1628 by Henry Smith, a businessman working in the City of London.
It offers clergy individual funding. The purpose of The Henry Smith Fund grants for clergy is to assist parochial clergy in financial need at a time of crisis or acute need, where this could be detrimental to their ministry. The need may arise from family circumstances (e.g. a family with children and only one income), unusual or emergency expenditure which strains family finances (e.g. illness, disability, expensive car repairs) or simply the need for a family holiday after a period of stress and exhaustion whether through personal issues or the challenge of ministering in difficult parishes. In order to benefit from a grant, clergy must fit within the criteria. More information is available on the Henry Smith Charity website.
The Pyncombe Charity offers grants for Church of England serving clergy (holding the Bishop’s licence), or their family members who live with them, who are in need. Retired clergy and grants towards educational expenses are not eligible.
Forms are sent to each diocese in January. Trustees prefer to deal with all applications in May although exceptional emergencies may be considered at other times. Individuals must apply directly but their form must also be signed by their diocesan bishop.
For further information on eligability and how to apply for a grant, please contact the charity secretary above by post at Haverbrack, Ash Priors, Taunton, Somerset TA4 3NF or email firstname.lastname@example.org.