Diocesan Policy Guidelines for Clergy

The Diocese of Lichfield

  • In Chad’s time the diocese stretched from the Welsh border to the North Sea; and from Northumberland to the Thames. Today Lichfield remains one of the largest in the Church of England.
  • The diocese serves a population of 2.097 million, the 5th largest by population in the country.
  • The diocese serves an area of 1,740 square-miles, the 9th largest by size in the country.
  • The diocese has 238 Benefices, 424 Parishes and 545 Churches.
  • The diocese has 502 clergy in active ministry 142 women and 360 men.
  • On average, each member of the clergy serves 3,660 people.

The diocese is headed up by the 99th Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Michael Ipgrave.

Diocesan vision and priorities

“Come follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad”

The vision, mission and ministry of the diocese is focused around the three priority areas:

Any proposed piece of work at diocesan level will be evaluated according to these criteria, and you are strongly encouraged to use them in your own ministry to identify priorities.

Developing Discipleship

In what ways does it develop discipleship? Will it help the people involved to deepen their experience or knowledge of God? Does it help to do the work of connecting faith and everyday life? Does it encourage us to become Christ-like in some way? Are we prepared for the fact that there may be a cost to this (Luke 14:27)?

Encouraging Vocation

In what ways does it encourage vocation? Will it help people to understand that God calls them? Will it offer ways for them to identify their specific vocation? Will it clearly honour and support all types of calling whether in the workplace, home or church? Does it provide space for a process of discernment?

Inspiring Evangelism

In what ways will it inspire evangelism? Will it give people confidence and opportunity to tell the Jesus story as they know it? Will it tell others directly about Christian faith and invite them to make a response? Will it be a clear expression of God’s love for individuals and communities? Will it bring you into contact with people who are not like you (ethnicity, education, income, etc)?

Our shared diocesan vision is:

"As we follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad, we pray that the two million people in our diocese encounter a church that is confident in the gospel, knows and loves its communities, and is excited to find God already at work in the world. We pray for a church that reflects the richness and variety of those communities. We pray for a church that partners with others in seeking the common good, working for justice as a people of hope."

Common Tenure

The Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure 2009 received Royal Assent on 2nd April 2009.

Regulations 1 – 33 of the Measure set out the provisions of the terms of service of persons holding office under Common Tenure. These can be accessed at www.commontenure.org

In July 2009, the General Synod gave final approval to the Ecclesiastical (Terms of Service) Regulations 2009. In February 2010, General Synod approved the Capability and Grievance Codes of Practice.

The Measure confers on clergy many rights and responsibilities which, in effect, reflect secular employment law. Within this new context we never lose sight of the historic values of ordained ministry. The Measure has not changed our fundamental assumption that priesthood has always been a call to holiness of life. We do not now re-invent ministry, nor simply assume that we must mimic secular practice. We reflect together not just on the changes that law and good process require, but on the theological insights that will always guide our understanding of ministry and our common calling to live in the hope of the Kingdom where we are all united. 

Rights conferred on clergy in the form of Common Tenure

The legislation confers new rights on clergy and some other ecclesiastical officers, including a right to be provided with a written statement of particulars setting out various matters, and among them:

  • the nature of the appointment
  • entitlement to stipend and reimbursement of expenses, and right to an itemised statement of stipend
  • terms and conditions relating to annual leave, rest periods and public holidays
  • incapacity for work due to sickness or injury including provision for sick pay
  • pension provision
  • housing provision
  • access to a grievance procedure;
  • Ministerial Development Review/Continuing Professional Development and capability procedure
  • maternity, paternity, parental and adoption leave, and time off to care for dependants in accordance with directions given by the Archbishops’ Council as Central Stipends Authority.
  • rights of appeal to an employment tribunal if removed from office on the grounds of capability
  • a right to spend time on public duties

In addition, office holders other than incumbents (principally bishops, archdeacons, cathedral clergy, team vicars, priests in charge and assistant curates) have the following:

  • the right to accommodation ‘reasonably suitable for the purpose’
  • the right to make representations about regulated transactions (i.e. the disposal, improvement, demolition or reduction of their house of residence)
  • the right to have the house of residence kept in good repair by the housing provider
  • access to arbitration where there is a dispute which cannot be resolved by the grievance procedures.

Ecclesiastical office holders, including diocesan bishops, are required by the legislation;

  • to participate and co-operate in the ministerial development review (MDR) at least once every two years
  • to participate in arrangements approved by the diocesan bishop or archbishop for their continuing professional development (CPD)
  • to inform the person nominated by the Bishop when unable to perform the duties of the office through sickness
  • to undergo medical examination where the Bishop has reasonable grounds for concern about the office holder’s physical and mental health
  • to be subject to capability procedure

In addition, the legislation requires office holders who are not incumbents;

  • to provide access to the house of residence to the housing provider on notice of inspection or of carrying out repairs
  • to notify the housing provider of works of repair that are required
  • not to make any repairs, alterations or additions to the house of residence without prior consent
  • not to use the property except as a private residence

The law affecting patronage and the appointments procedure remains unchanged. The Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 and Canons continue to apply to all clergy whether on Common Tenure or not.

The Canons

Canon law is the body of laws and regulations made by or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organisation and its members.

www.cofe.anglican.org/about/churchlawlegis/canons/Clergy should familiarise themselves with the provisions of the Canons, which they are obligated to follow in their ministry.

Diocesan Policy Guidelines for Clergy are also sometimes referred to as the 'Clergy Handbook'

Section 1: Appointment and Office

Statement of Particulars | Varieties of Tenure | Fixed-term Appointments | Medical clearance | Proof of right to work | DBS | Induction | Job/role induction | Licence/deed of appointment | role descriptions | person specifications

Section 2: Day to day arrangements

The Diocese of Lichfield Diocesan vision and priorities “Come follow Christ in the footsteps of St Chad” Developing Discipleship | Encouraging Vocation | Inspiring Evangelism

Section 3: Housing

Address | Rights and responsibilities of the office holder | Rights and responsibilities of housing provider | Disputes | Terms of occupation | Vacating the property

Section 4: Family Friendly Policies

Entitlement to statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay | Adoption policy and leave | Shared parental leave | Paternity leave | Dependants’ care leave | Childcare vouchers

Section 5: Annual and other leave

Annual leave | Rest periods | Compassionate leave | Bereavement leave | Funeral leave | Special leave | Public duties | Ante-natal care |

Section 6: Conduct and performance

Professional code of conduct for clergy | Social media policy | Bullying and harassment policy – dignity at work | Grievance procedure | Disciplinary procedure | The Complaints procedure | The formal CDM process | Capability procedure | Equal opportunities policy | Relationships with the media | Whistle-blowing

Section 7: Safeguarding

Safeguarding – Children (under 18) | Safeguarding - Vulnerable adults

Section 8: Ministerial development review and continuing professional development

Ministerial development review (MSR) | Continuing professional development (CPD) | Training | Extended study leave (Sabbaticals) |

Section 9: Managing change

Retirement | Redundancy | Dismissal | Appeals

Section 10: Health and well-being

Sickness reporting and sick pay | Cover arrangements | Ill-health leave | Medical examination | Co-operation | Informal support or conversation | Affirmation and accountability |

Section 11: Health and safety

Health and safety policy | Lone working

Section 12: Termination of office

Notice periods | Respondent I employment tribunal proceedings

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