Richard Bromley 

This is the third time I have written about Brexit and the two previous issues are minor irritations but seem like they can be overcome. Here you can read parts one and two.

We are looking to recruit a new chaplain in Switzerland when we were informed by the Archdeacon who has worked diligently to get this right that now that the UK is no longer part of the EU or EEA, they are treated as a third country with regards to recruitment.

This means that any new person seeking to be employed in Switzerland as a chaplain in an ICS church needs to pass language exams, both written and oral, before a work permit will be granted. They need to earn a salary that is in line with a Swiss Reformed person and significantly higher than the stipends set by the Church of England normally. We also have to make sure that we have done our best to recruit someone inside Switzerland then inside the EU and only finally then can we think about third countries which is the rest of the world including the UK.

This is a significant change and while we have been very keen that chaplains learn the language, we have been able to say that we expect a new chaplain to learn the local language upon arrival, we now have to recruit people who are fluent to a certain level.

While all the posts that we have are full-time posts, the fact that clergy who are part-time can no longer be recruited from a third country, such as the UK means that a number of churches are going to struggle. The implications of Brexit for recruitment firstly in Switzerland but then in other countries are only now becoming clear to us.

On the bright side, it does give clergy from the Church of Ireland and huge advantage if they are from the South. They are able to move freely without the language requirements and different financial requirements which way benefit them.