The Property and Finance Committees in conjunction with Personnel have conducted considerable discussions and research to determine the best manner to insure attractive housing for future pastors. As a result of this effort, the Property and Finance committees unanimously recommended to Session, and Session unanimously approved, the sale of the manse with the net proceeds from the sale to be set aside in a separate “housing assistance fund” for future clergy.
- The key factors leading to this decision include:
- Pastors increasingly want the flexibility to choose their own housing and to build equity. Needs vary, for example, from those of a single person to a family with five children.
- The manse is 50 years old with increasing annual maintenance costs and potential major expenditures needed.
- Rental to non-clergy over the next several years would cost at least $13,000 yearly in additional property taxes and rental management fees.
- In a survey of eight area Presbyterian churches, four own manses and four do not. However, none of the eight have clergy living in a manse.
- Pastor Emily has indicated that she sees no scenario in which her family would have need of the manse.
- A housing assistance fund provides all of the security that we seek in assuring available housing for future pastors but with the flexibility sought by today’s pastors. It is a superior option for a pastor compared to the constraints of manse ownership.
An informational meeting will be held today, Sunday March 31, following worship for anyone interested; after worship on April 7 we will have a congregational meeting to vote on the sale of the manse.
Additional information is available in the interim from Jeanne Grillo. Ed Pierson and Anne Moore (Property Elders) and Gregg Johnson and Paul Mamalian (Finance Elders) would be pleased to answer questions in the interim.