Church of England Diocese of Liverpool Altcar

Important information regarding Poppy

27 Apr 2020, 2 a.m.

There is important information that we have to share with you relating to Poppy.

The Diocese of Liverpool have been exploring every option available in these most testing of times to protect the future of our ability to sustain a flourishing Christian presence in all of our communities. This includes exploring careful and robust financial plans. You may be aware that many of St James’ House diocesan staff have been ‘furloughed’ under the government job retention scheme. From next Monday 27th April we are asking a voluntary group of stipendiary curates from across our diocese to be part of this government job retention ‘furlough’ scheme for a fixed term of 4 weeks.

Poppy has agreed to be part of this pilot group of furloughed ordained ministers. This is happening because it is necessary to explore and understand the impact of taking an absolutely key group of people out of frontline ministry so that if similar measures had to be taken in the future, when the situation would undoubtedly be more acute, we will know the best way to do this to serve and protect all ministers, lay people and churches.

It is important to stress that this is in no way a value judgement on any individual’s ministry or the particular needs of a parish. Curates have been asked to help with this because the technical, legal status they have makes it possible and that these curates are willing to be part of helping bring to bear essential insights that will benefit the whole diocese and beyond in the future, in ways that is not possible without this pilot.

Please be reassured that this is not in any way about ‘laying people off’. This is only happening because it will help us to be in a position to guard against this in the future. Together we hope and pray fervently that this will be the only time this needs to happen. Those who have agreed to be part of this will be supported personally, as a group and will not be financially disadvantaged in any way.

As a diocese we would like to publically thank this group of curates for being willing to serve us in this way with grace and generosity which is most humbling.

Please pray for them during this time when they will not be able to be involved in any public ministry as they continue to pray for you.