Policy on authorisation for ministry in the Diocese of Lichfield for clergy from other parts of the Anglican Communion
- We warmly value the contributions of priests and deacons from the wider Anglican Communion who find themselves in a position where they can offer ministry in our diocese.
- As a diocese we are also keen to build on our existing partnerships with our Companion Dioceses and other links around the world.
- Any clergy ordained overseas wishing to minister in the Diocese of Lichfield will require:
- Archbishops’ Overseas Permission to Officiate (OPTO) in addition to diocesan authorisation. OPTO applications are processed by the Bishop’s Chaplain.
- Proof of eligibility to reside in the UK under the UK Government visa system and Proof of Right to Work in the UK
Inquiries regarding stipendiary ministry
- ‘Stipendiary’ ministry here refers to all forms of remunerated clerical offices, including full and part-time paid ministries and House for Duty posts
- For clergy from the Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Ireland, applications for incumbency status posts in the Diocese of Lichfield are open only to those who: have completed a curacy and been signed off for incumbent status ministry; or have completed three years ministry in an incumbency status post; or have completed three years as SSM or assistant stipendiary (e.g. associate minister, resident minister) and received a recommendation for change of status.
- For clergy from around the Communion incumbent status posts will be open only to those with at least 3 years’ experience in full-time ministry (or a proven equivalent) and with a supporting statement from their current bishop stating their eligibility and suitability for incumbent status ministry. OPTO, proof of eligibility to reside and to work in the UK and successful safeguarding clearance will all be required.
- Clergy wishing to apply for assistant stipendiary or interim posts directly from around the Communion will require relevant skills and experience for the post applied for, and their current bishop’s recommendation for the particular post. OPTO, proof of eligibility to reside and to work in the UK and successful safeguarding clearance will all be required.
- Induction training and familiarisation with the Church of England and Lichfield diocesan context will be provided for all clergy when a new ministry commences. A mentor will be offered to all new incumbents.
- For applications made directly from the country of origin, permission to officiate (OPTO) will be sought for successful candidates after an offer has been made, and the offer will be subject to the issue of this, to proof of eligibility to reside and to work in the UK, and to successful safeguarding clearance.
- Candidates invited to interview will normally be expected to attend in person (except under exceptional circumstances). With regard to travelling to interview from the country of origin, the parish will pay travel expenses only from the point of disembarkation and back within the United Kingdom.
Inquiries regarding non-stipendiary ministry
- Clergy arriving in the United Kingdom and seeking opportunities for ministry in the Diocese of Lichfield, with no previous experience of ministry in the Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Scottish Episcopal Church or the Church of Ireland, would begin their ministry on a PtO basis authorised by the diocesan bishop on the recommendation of the relevant area bishop on receipt of a suitable reference from their previous bishop. OPTO, proof of eligibility to reside in the UK and successful safeguarding clearance will all be required. All those issued with PtO will be offered induction training and familiarisation into the Church of England and Lichfield diocesan context overseen by an incumbent chosen by the area bishop.
- With OPTO in place and after a suitable period of PtO ministry, overseas clergy can be licensed to NSM/SSM posts on the recommendation of the area bishop.
- The Bishop of Lichfield retains discretion to make exceptions to the above on a case-by-case basis.
- For these purposes, clergy from the Church in Wales, the Scottish Episcopal Church, and the Church of Ireland are treated on an equivalent basis to those from the Church of England.
21 July 2021