Self Supporting Ministers (SSM)

Self-Supporting Ministers (SSMs) are ordained, licensed clergy.

  • SSMs generally offer their ministry on an unpaid basis (that is to say they do not receive a stipend) and would typically hold a Bishop's Licence as perhaps an Associate Priest or a Curate, although this is does vary. Clergy with Permission to Officiate (such as many retired clergy) are not generally considered to be SSMs.
  • SSMs (with some limited exemptions) are also able to claim a fee from the Diocese for taking weddings and funerals. This is not the case for other types on non-stipendiary clergy - so it is not the case that by not receiving a stipend, someone who is ordained automatically falls into the group of what are known as SSMs.

Ways to be a Self-Supporting Minister (SSM)

  • There are as many ways to be a Self-Supporting Minister (SSM). Some work full time in ministry, either in a parish context or elsewhere, some are part-time in the parish but may also have another significant commitment (caring for family members, voluntary work, etc), others have a full-time commitment outside of the church and can only take part in services and parish activities at weekends or in the evenings.

Self-Supporting Ministry Working Agreement

  • All SSMs need to have a Working Agreement, which makes clear what the commitment they can offer is and ensures that they have some time off.
  • SSMs are entitled to a Statement of Particulars, setting out the terms of their contract with the Diocese. SSMs who are licensed to a parish, but have a significant working context, also need to be supported by their parish. Whatever the details of an SSMs working life are, they are united as priests wherever they are doing.
  • You can download the Self-Supporting Ministry Working Agreement here. (Please note, this Agreement is currently being revised to include all SSMs, not just Curates, and this will be published once available).

Further Information

Page last updated: Friday 30th September 2022 3:13 PM
Powered by Church Edit