New arrangements for housing retired clergy announced

ConsultationWe announced the new arrangements for our CHARM Rental Scheme at General Synod on Monday 14th July 2014 and here are links to the full Consultation Response document and the Press Release.

The changes do not affect the CHARM Shared Equity or Mortgage Schemes, or Supported Living or Nursing Home Schemes, also provided by the Pensions Board.


We shall regularly update our residents and here is a link to the most recent Newsletter sent in October 2014.

The CHARM Scheme

The Church's Housing Assistance for the Retired Ministry (CHARM) Scheme came into operation in 1983 and the Board is able to assist beneficiaries vacating tied housing with retirement accommodation via the Shared Ownership Scheme, the Rental Scheme, the Supported Housing Schemes, or Manormead Care Home (with Nursing), as follows:

  • Retired Clergy, Deaconesses, Licensed Lay and Church Workers, and Church Army Officers;
  • with at least five years qualifying pensionable service under Clergy Pension Measures;
  • with insufficient financial resources to purchase a property outright; and
  • their Spouses, Civil Partners, Widows and Widowers.

Non-Stipendiary Ministry (NSMs), members of other Religious Orders and Lay Pensioners, with a minimum of five years service, are eligible for the Supported Housing Schemes and Manormead Care Home (with Nursing).

Retirement housing is not provided 'as of right', but may be offered having regard to the resources available to the Board and each applicant's circumstances. It is not the purpose of the Scheme to assist those who have some resources of their own, either in the aquisition of a larger property, or with their wider financial planning, by freeing capital for other purposes.

Housing Schemes available

There are three categories of housing assistance available, each of which is described in more detail within this section of the website:

In addition, the Board administers Manormead Care Home (with Nursing) for those who require full Nursing Care, including two Dementia Care Wings.

Sanctuary Maintenance

Since 2011, the Board has worked in partnership with Sanctuary Maintenance, who provide a wide range of maintenance services for the Board's property portfolio: information about Sanctuary Maintenance is available on this link.

Eligibility Criteria

In April 2010, the Board introduced changes to the Eligibilty Criteria by increasing the minimum service required for the Rental Scheme from five years by one year every April, until the required service is 15 years in 2019, so the minimum service required is currently ten years. Years of qualifying service are determined by an applicant's service on their date of retirement; even if they subsequently apply to the Board for housing later in their retirement.

However, this increase does not apply to the Shared Ownership Scheme, the Supported Housing Schemes, the Care Home, or early retirement due to Ill Health, where minimum service required remains at five years.

Elegibility was also extended to Clergy with a minimum of five years Stipendiary service plus House for Duty service that matches the minimum service requirement; and eligibility for the Supported Housing Schemes and the Care Home was extended to those ordained with Non-Stipendiary Ministry service and applicants from other Religious Orders with the minumum of five years service required.

The Board also extended eligibility to the Supported Housing Schemes and the Care Home to all individuals who receive a pension from the Board, including their spouses/civil partners, with the minimum of five years service required. However, those with Ministry service will always take priority over Lay applicants on the waiting lists.

We would encourage applicants to contact the Board one year before the intended retirement date to establish eligibility for retirement housing.

Shared Ownership Scheme

The Shared Ownership Scheme was introduced in 2008; its aim is to make home ownership an affordable option for retiring clergy and other beneficiaries who cannot afford to purchase outright on the open market. The Board purchase the property and then grant a 99 year lease to the shared owner. The minimum share that applicants can purchase is 25% of the property's value; and rent is payable on the Board's share of the property.

Service charges are also payable, which smooth the costs of maintenance and repair, so there are no unexpected bills. Additional shares in the property can be increased at any time in the future (staircasing) up to owning it outright; or you can sell the share that you own when you move. The maximum contribution from the Board is currently fixed at £150,000. Documents about the Shared Ownership Scheme are available.

Rental Scheme

Applicants unable to purchase their own property may be eligible to rent a property provided by the Board under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement. Following the Consultation in 2013, the Rental Scheme is currently under review. The revised Scheme will be launched in April 2015 for prospective new applications.

A summary of the outcomes of the Consultation and the broad changes being made can be found here and revised guidance will be available in early 2015. In the meantime, if you have any specific questions about your own circumstances, please contact the Housing Department.

Supported Housing Schemes

With accommodation specifically designed for the needs of elderly people, the Board provides modern, purpose designed Supported Housing Schemes around the country for its beneficiaries, built to the highest standards. Accommodation is in the form of self contained flats within a caring Christian community, which enables residents to live an independent life, but still have the comfort, support and security of having fully trained staff on hand if needed, together with the companionship of others.

The Supported Housing Schemes are (please click on links for more information):

We have produced a DVD that brings to life what is on offer at the Board's seven Supported Housing Schemes and Care Home (with Nursing): please click here for details of the DVD. Furthermore, for those thinking about future options for retirement accommodation who would like to find out more by visiting one of our Supported Housing Schemes, we are currently offering the opportunity of a Free Overnight Stay at one of the Schemes.

Manormead Care Home (with Nursing)

For those beneficiaries who require Nursing care, the Board administers a Care Home with full Nursing which is able to accommodate 34 patients, mostly in their own rooms, but with a number of shared rooms for married couples. Please click here for up-to-date details about Terms of Admission and Current Vacancies.

Please click here for further information about Manormead Care Home

The Nursing Home now includes two Dementia Care Wings - please click here for Information and Terms and a link to the Dementia Care Wing page.

If after reading the Retirement Housing Booklet, you have any specific questions applicable to your own circumstances, please telephone the office:



Shared Ownership

Rental Properties

Supported Housing Schemes

Manormead Care Home (with Nursing)


The Church of England Pensions Board's Retirement Housing page offers links to external websites for the convenience of its viewers. However, the Board is not responsible for the content of external websites and the provision of links does not imply endorsement.

For general information in respect of care and housing advice for older people, you may wish to access this link to: