Guidance on Patronage, Vacancies & Suspensions and Licensing of Clergy

The Patronage system still underlies the appointment of clergy to incumbencies within the Church of England. The system is sometimes difficult to understand, so we have included a note explaining some aspects of the system and as to how to transfer patronage rights between persons. The Registrar keeps the Register of Patrons and each patron needs to ensure that the information which the Registrar has as to contact details is maintained up to date. When a Patron dies, their Personal Representatives take over the right to act as Patron until such time as the will of the Patron has been administered and the patronage right has been transferred to a successor. It is particularly important that this is dealt with, since otherwise patronage rights may be lost over time

The note about Vacancy Procedures covers the procedure for the appointment of an Incumbent, that is, a Vicar or Rector or Team Rector. There are sections covering the steps to be taken by Patron, Bishop, and PCC. The note explains also how the system is different with certain kinds of parish and patron. The note does not cover the appointment of a Priest or Curate in Charge of a parish if the right of patronage has been suspended. However the note includes a section about the appointment of a Priest in Charge who is already serving in a benefice to assume the office of Incumbent.

Please note that the above guidance note has tracked changes in it. This is to demonstrate the changes to the vacancy procedure that came into effect on the 1st January 2020, as a result of the changes made to the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986. 

Page last updated: Wednesday 3rd August 2022 8:11 AM
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