By the beginning of the nineteenth century some circuits owned houses for their preachers, but the majority were still housed in lodgings. Those in Methodist property were greatly inconvenienced by being expected to provide lodgings to any travelling Methodist. By the beginning of the twentieth century, most ministers (except probationers) were housed in fully furnished manses. After World War II provision of soft furnishings was abolished; the existing linen, crockery and cutlery was given to the ministers then in residence and they were required to provide their own in future. Eventually all manse furniture was sold at generous prices to the ministers and circuits provided only carpets, cookers and curtains from then on.

In earlier times, the requirements for accommodation to be provided for deaconesses (and later deacons) were considerably less demanding, but nowadays the minimum standards of size and condition laid down by the Conference for the provision of manses for deacons and presbyters are equivalent.

Generally speaking a minister (whether presbyter or deacon) is required to live in the manse which is provided by the Circuit or other such body, with permission to live in his or her own house only being granted according to strict criteria.

Entry written by: DRF
Category: Subject
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