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Clergy retirement age and continuing ministry

20 September 2013


From Stuart Chillingworth
Sir, - Now that there is a proposal the maximum age is to be increased for people serving on juries from 70 to 75, is it time for the Church to give some consideration to increasing the age when clergy must retire from being either diocesan or suffragan bishops, or incumbents of parishes, to 75? This would answer the recent case in the Liverpool diocese (News, 9 and 16 August).

Cheyne Court, 43 Glengall Road
Woodford Green, Essex IG8 0DN

From Julie Bacon
Sir, - After reading of the difficulties experienced by some incumbents in their relationships with retired clergy in their parishes (Letters, 13 September), I now feel I understand the reason for the emphasis given by training institutions to developing the skills of theological reflection - an emphasis that at times has felt like being hit over the head repeatedly with a hammer. Presumably part of its purpose is to develop more priests who understand that "their" ministry fits within that of the Church overall, and have the humility and discernment to recognise how this can best be lived out in their particular context, rather than demand what suits them (though lack of self-awareness and the broader picture is far from the sole preserve of the clergy).

My experience as a lay person of the ministry of retired clergy has been overwhelmingly positive.

JULIE BACON (Ordinand)
12 Grange Avenue, Ilkley
West Yorkshire LS29 8NU

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