- To advance the Christian religion for the public benefit by supporting the continuing work of retired clergy of the Church of England in their local communities and more widely
- To relieve the needs of retired clergy by providing information, support and advice pertaining to housing, pensions and welfare and by encouraging Church of England leaders at local and national levels to support retired clergy in their care in order to ensure their mental and physical wellbeing.
- To support and encourage retired clergy.
Retirement often involves loss of support and companionship enjoyed in working relationships, but for clergy retirement may involve the additional loss of home, friends and the familiar surroundings of the places where they have ministered over a period of years. Through membership of the Association and the mutual support of local groups retired clergy are helped to keep in touch with each other and with the wider ministry of the church.
- To encourage retired clergy to meet
Most dioceses have one or more groups which enable retired clergy to meet together in order to stimulate each other in theological reading; to deepen their spiritual life; and to keep abreast of current political and social trends. Many such groups include spouses and widows or widowers in their activities. The Association supports and encourages such groups.
- To keep retired clergy up-to-date.
There is a regular mailing to all members, including letters from the President or Chairman, to encourage thought and discussion; bulletins from the Council, keeping members up-to-date with developments in the ongoing life of the church and informed about its activities and current concerns; and a regular ‘Occasional Paper’, written by a well-known theologian or pastor. Bursaries are available to retired clergy who wish to take up a study project.
- To represent the interests of all retired clergy at national level.
The Association constantly reviews arrangements for retired clergy at every level, in relation to their remuneration, pensions housing and terms of service, and strives to further their interests. Its Council is a point of reference for General Synod, and consults with the Pensions Board and the church Commissioners over retirement issues, and with the Ministry Division and the House of Bishops in matters relating to continuing ministry in retirement.
- To encourage and support bishops in their pastoral responsibilities.
Bishops vary in the ways in which they provide preparation for clergy approaching retirement and in the level of pastoral care once clergy have retired. The Association seeks to represent the needs and concerns of retired clergy to dioceses and to strive for nationally accepted standards.
- To become a community of prayer
Retired clergy are encouraged to use the opportunity that retirement brings to develop their spiritual awareness, and for a structured time of prayer. The Association invites members to pray on a regular basis for the world and its needs, the church and its mission and ministry, the Association and each other. The Association Prayer:
Lord, my support in ministry, may I be a support to others;
Lord, my strength in times of frailty, may I be a strength to others;
Lord, my companion in times of loneliness, may I be a companion to others;
Lord, my light in times of darkness, may I be a light to others;
Lord, my guide in times of confusion, may I be a guide to others;
Lord, my rock, my confidence and my joy,
protect me in despair and dismay,
that I may complete my pilgrimage
which began, continues and will end,
with hope, in you.
A Newsletter is published at least twice a year, normally in early Spring and late Summer. New issues are sent to Members on publication and previous issues can be accessed here.
Annual meetings take place each year, one in the southern province and one in the northern province.
Local meetings of the Association are held on a regular basis in a number of places across the country. If you would like details of the meeting nearest you and the contact person for that group, use the Contact us form.