Self-Supporting Ministers

We celebrate our Self-Supporting Ministers (SSMs) in all their many and varied roles and callings: they are a rich part of the diverse ways this diocese serves our people.

Bishop Graham shares his vision for SSMs.


What is self-supporting ministry?

Self-Supporting Ministers have undertaken theological training and are ordained as deacons and then priests; they might serve full-time or part-time in the parish, they might combine this with paid employment in a workplace or have voluntary roles in the community, they might be chaplains full-time or part-time.

Theological training for Self-Supporting Ministers is usually on a regional course, but is sometimes residential.

Each individual Self-Supporting Minister works within the parish system, yet follows their unique vocational path, led by God and licensed by the Bishop.

It is wise practice for licensed SSMs (this title includes OLMs) and their incumbents to discuss and draw up a Working Agreement. This will take into account the variety of ministry and work undertaken by the SSM, both within and beyond the parish, to the glory of God and the growing of his kingdom.
This document ( SSM Working Agreement) is the framework we recommend for doing that.


Supporting Self-Supporting Ministers

The Bishop of Thetford has responsibility for the Diocesan Ministry Team which includes:

  • The Revd Canon Keith James, Director of Ministry
  • The Revd Dr Michael Fox, Diocesan Director of Ordinands & Initial Ministerial Education (DDO and IME2)
  • The Revd Canon Susanna Gunner, Spirituality & Discipleship Adviser (part-time)
  • The Revd Susan Hemsley Halls, Authorised Worship Assistants Co-ordinator (part-time)
  • The Revd Charles Read, Licensed Lay Ministry Training Coordinator (part-time)

For information and support in connection with this type of ministry, please contact the Revd Carol Pritchard, Bishop’s Adviser for SSM on or 07759 801622.


Exploring a vocation in self-supporting ministry

To explore a vocation in self-supporting ministry, please go to the Vocations area.

You might then have an initial conversation with the Revd Dr Michael Fox, Bishop’s Officer for Ordinands & Initial Training (BOOIT), or go straight to a Vocations Advisor, many of whom are or have been Self-Supporting Ministers or Licensed Lay Ministers.