The Archdiocese of Southwark has hit the halfway mark in its campaign to raise £4.5 million for retired and sick clergy.

The Clergy Support Campaign, which was started last year, has already raised £2.3 million. In Croydon alone, £330,000 was raised in the pilot campaign.

Jo Driver, campaign co-ordinator, said most of the money raised so far came from parishioners, but a “small part” was from corporate and major gifts.

The campaign was launched in response to a shortfall of £4.5 million because of a peak in retiring priests.

Mrs Driver said: “There is no immediate crisis, but if the diocese did nothing to respond to this financial challenge it might erode central funds which could, in turn, impact on other projects that Southwark may potentially wish to undertake in future years.

“Although not all retired priests need financial support -some having a partial pension from hospital or forces chaplaincy, or means of their own-, many need a little financial support to cope with day-to-day expenses in order to meet all the regular costs of living that any lay person might do.”

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