Do Clerics Receive a Salary?

None of the clergy in the Church receives salaries. Neither is there a retirement plan provided by the Church. Clerics must be able to support themselves, and before being ordained, if they have a spouse, the spouse agrees that he/she understands this arrangement.

Clerics can make their congregations aware of financial issues such as not having enough funds for emergency plumbing or electrical work, or building supplies needed due to storm damage (these are just some examples). Still, they are not permitted to outright say they (the priest or bishop) need funds for themselves. Members practice tithing, almsgiving and free will offering, but they are never pressed to do so. Everyone knows their responsibilities in making sure the house of God, widows and orphans are taken care of.

Clerics, in visiting the homes of members, are also not permitted to ask for money (either as gifts or loans) for their visits or for spiritual services. Should a member see that a cleric is in need of something, the member should attempt to obtain the item for him, but only if it is not a tremendous burden on himself. Members who are more affluent than others within the congregation will often provide useful gifts to their clerics, but again, they are in no way obliged to do so and they should not expect spiritual/religious favours or favouritism in return.

Clerics in the Church of Jerusalem do not earn vacations as if they worked at a factory, however, upon learning about a cleric’s hard work and exhaustion, the Patriarch or Bishop may grant him a short sabbatical to obtain the rest he needs. You will often notice that a sabbatical usually turns into a “working sabbatical” where the cleric is still doing some spiritual work. If the cleric should wish to take a vacation he may do so during his sabbatical but he may be called upon at any time for emergencies. He is required to keep in touch with his bishop.