Friday, April 6, 2012

Parting With the Parsonage

From The New York Times-

Sky-high housing costs “price pastors out of the market except for the largest congregations,” Mr. Tammen said. “If the person from God you want to call is in Minneapolis, if you don’t have a manse, you can’t call them.”

Another benefit to having a manse, he said, is that it allows members of the clergy to live in the community they are serving, sometimes on or right next to church property. Congregants “want to see them at the grocery store,” he said.

Episcopal churches with rectories are likely to keep them, said the Rev. Canon Shawn Duncan, the chief information officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, counting 29 out of 40 Nassau churches and 26 out of 43 Suffolk churches with rectories. “Nationally the trend is to have rectories in those areas that are expensive to live,” he said. The church contributes to an equity allowance for priests living in the rectory, with the goal that when they retire they will have a down payment for a house. Those that sell are typically shrinking congregations that no longer have full-time clergy, he said.

More here-

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