I am writing to you to let you know that at its meeting held on 3rd December 2021, Synod Standing Committee approved an increase to the minimum ministerial stipend of 2.25% effective from 1st January, 2022.
This decision was made on the recommendation of the Synod’s Stipends Committee. You may recall that an increase of 1.5% was provisionally approved at the August Synod Standing Committee meeting, to be confirmed in December. The reason for this change relates to the current level of economic instability brought about by the financial impacts relating to COVID-19.
In relation to the 2021 minimum stipend, Synod Standing Committee approved an increase to the minimum stipend of 1.3% from 1st July 2021. The minimum stipend had not increased on 1st January 2021, as is the usual practice, due to the uncertainty relating to COVID-19. There have been no increases in allowances since 1st January 2020.
After reviewing the economic data released by the Reserve Bank at the end of September 2021, the Stipends Committee felt it necessary to adjust the proposed increase previously agreed to the 2022 minimum stipend. The Theology of Stipends is founded on the principle of providing a living allowance to those in ordained ministry. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, provides indicative increases to the cost of living. The CPI for the September 2021 quarter was much higher than expected, and further increases are expected into 2022.
The Synod’s Stipends and Standing Committees acknowledge that congregations are challenged by increases in ministerial stipends, but recognise also that as the cost of living has increased, stipends should also increase.
As allowances have not been increased in 2 years, the 2.25% increase has also been applied to them.
Travelling rates have been increased by 10.4% in accordance with CPI ’Transportation.'
Please see the 2022 Ministers Stipends, Allowances and Charges Schedule A which can be downloaded from the Synod website at this link.
The Synod Standing Committee recognises the difficulty in accommodating these changes, not only in terms of affordability, but also at this time of year when budgets for 2022 have already been completed.
We thank you for your understanding and grace.
Yours in Christ,