Worker-priests: a short guide to the species
and its variants

First identified in the first century AD (cf. Paul, tent maker, self-supporting). Habitat badly damaged by the Constantine Accommodation and the bureaucratisation of ministry. Thought extinct in Western Christendom. Small colonies spotted in France in the 1950s. Environment remained hostile to expansion. Cross-breeding of necessity and theology resulted in various sub-strains within the Church of England, from the 1970s, including unpaid, self-supporting clergy whose focus is the altar on a Sunday ('hobbyist" clergy as one bishop likes to describe them) to the more rare em-ess-cees (MSEs) who seek to embody the office of priest, and to serve the Church, by a ministry expressed within the so-called 'secular' world of the working man and woman.

Definitions from NASSAM

A tentmaker is one who, by virtue of employment outside the church, is a proclaimer of the gospel without the monopoly of attention to church business that full-time parish clergy experience. A tentmaker is one with a voice that is both within and outside the ecclesiastical community.

A tentmaker is an ordained person who is actively engaged in a ministry that brings the church to the world and the world to the church by means of a career or job that not only provides a primary source of livelihood but also reaches beyond the institutional church to include a more diverse array of people.

And, more seriously...<to follow>

Faith adventure
MSE-ery is experienced as an adventure by many of its exponents; fresher than many 'fresh expressions' and riskier than roles exclusively within the church-as-institution. Though often tiring and sometimes lonely, it is never boring.