AN organisation which provides help for retired ministers is celebrating its 60th anniversary.
The Methodist Ministers’ Housing Society has spent six decades providing homes for retired ministers, like the Rev Ann Sherratt.
Ms Sherratt, 61, has been a Methodist minister since 1987, but is due to retire from her position in Gloucester this summer.
She wants to move to Huddersfield, where she has friends, and contacted the MMHS to ask for their help to find a home.
Ms Sherratt, who was a civil servant before joining the church, said: “I was very keen to move to Huddersfield as I have friends who live there and there is a great community spirit in the area.
“When I explained this to the society they were most helpful. What was most reassuring is the society wanted me to find a house that best suited my needs and I could take my time to make sure I chose the right one.”
Every year, more than 70 Methodist ministers retire and many are in a similar position to Ms Sherratt. Many have not invested in their own homes, as they often move to serve different districts.
Leaving the clergy with little or no savings, they face difficulties finding a new home and have in the past had to move in with relatives or take on jobs which provide accommodation.
MMHS has 134 properties in Yorkshire alone and does its best to provide retiring ministers with a secure place to live.
Shelagh Morgan, chief executive of MMHS, said: “They can now enjoy their retirement living in a property which they have chosen and continue their ministry in a wide variety of ways in their community.”
Demand for the homes outstrips supply and so MMHS will spend its diamond anniversary year raising awareness of its work and trying to attract more funds.