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Church continues to support retired ministers and their dependents

The Church of Scotland General Assembly is to hear a report on the continuing work being done to meet the housing needs of retired ministers, their widows, widowers and separated or divorced spouses.

The report is from the Church’s Housing and Loan Fund, which exists to provide either a house to rent or a house purchase loan for people who have previously lived in tied manses.

In 2006, 23 ministers, four widows and two separated or divorced spouses were given support. Of the ministers who retired in 2006, and who were eligible to apply, assistance was given in 37 per cent of cases.

The Trustees of the Housing and Loan Fund own 236 houses. Rents are charged at 40 per cent of market rent (70 per cent of fair rent for pre-1989 leases). Two standard loans and nine shared appreciation loans were made in 2006. Short term bridging support was made in five instances.

Net outgoings for the fund in 2006 were £163,908, realised and unrealised investment gains were £272,000, producing a positive net movement in funds of £108,092. Investments at market value and deposit balances at 31 December 2006 amounted to £5,282,162 The Trustees are pleased that in 2007 they will be able to further restrict the amount to be drawn from congregational contributions to £235,000.

• Full story at the Church of Scotland.

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