Supernumeraries' Gifts and Needs Group

When ministers ‘sit down’ we have to make significant adjustments to the way we relate to ourselves, our families, our church, and even to God. We are still ministers but may be dismissed as retired and have come to a full stop.

On Sept 1st we find ourselves deprived of the role we have occupied perhaps for many years and become just another person turning up at church on Sunday morning wondering what the next day, week, or year will bring – if anything. The fellowship of colleagues is no more and, as we get older, we can feel isolated and un-cared for.

Some supernumeraries will recognise this picture; others will tell you that life is as full as ever it was. Many supernumeraries in the Southampton District are valued as we serve in our local churches, help neighbouring circuits when there is a shortage of active ministers, get involved in our local community, or enjoy caring for grand-children. Others will say how much they value the care they receive from ministerial colleagues both active and retired; some get together with other supernumeraries; some have found a new lease of life as we explore new avenues of service.

The District Supernumeraries Gifts and Needs Group was set up in 2016 in response to a concern that at least some supernumeraries felt under-valued, under-used, and un-cared for.

  • We visit all newly retired supernumeraries in the District to offer a welcome, listening ear, and encouragement. Without putting any pressure on them we offer them the opportunity of making known to the district any gifts or skills they would like to make available. We make it known that this opportunity is open to any supernumerary. The offers made so far are listed below. We are sure there are more who have much to offer and who could be added to this list.
  • We try to make sure that those supernumeraries who, with the passing years, have become more frail are cared for. Many supernumerary colleagues in the same circuit, and indeed the superintendent and other active colleagues, are active in this caring work. We feel sure, however, that there are still some who feel isolated and un-cared for.
  • Many supernumeraries find fellowship in their local church, with active ministerial colleagues, and, for example, in Spectrum groups. We also note that many value the opportunity of meeting with retired colleagues who share the same life experience and we try to encourage this where possible.

The current members of the group are: David Read, Rosie Baker, Margaret Jones, Cecil King, Tom Stuckey, Peter Howson, Robert McBain, and John Walker. More are welcome either to join the group or to talk with us about encouraging activity and care in the circuits where they live.

Fresh Ways Hub (formerly Fresh Expressions)