Self Supporting Ordained Ministers (SSOM)

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

  • SSOMs 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 SSOMs.
  • SSOMs (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 of 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 SSOMs.

Ways to be a Self-Supporting Ordained Minister (SSOM)

  • There are as many ways to be a Self-Supporting Ordained Minister (SSOM).
  • 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.

The Bishop's Adviser for Self-Supporting Ordained Ministers

  • The Bishop's Advisor on SSOM is Amanda O'Neill. Amanda can be contacted on
  • Amanda holds monthly Zoom calls for SSOMs, providing a place to meet with other self-supporting ordained ministers, with the emphasis of the group being on supporting and giving each person space and the confidence to speak.
    • SSOM Zoom calls take place on the 20th day of each month, from 7pm-8pm
    • For details of SSOM Zoom calls, upcoming events and training opportunities that may be relevant to your role as an SSOM, along with useful ideas and resources for your ministry, please subscribe to the Mission and Ministry weekly email. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Self-Supporting Ordained Ministry Working Agreement

  • All SSOMs need to have a Working Agreement, which makes clear what the commitment they can offer is and ensures that they have some time off.
  • SSOMs are entitled to a Statement of Particulars, setting out the terms of their contract with the Diocese.
  • SSOMs 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 SSOMs working life are, they are united as priests wherever they are doing.
  • You can download the Self-Supporting Ordained Ministry Working Agreement here

Further Information

SSOM Vacancies

The latest vacancies for SSOM roles within the diocese of Ely can be found here.

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