You are here Resources Diocesan Handbook Diocesan Policies and Guidelines C. The Ordained Ministry
Menu

Diocesan Policies and Guidelines

C. The Ordained Ministry

The teaching and discipline of the Church of England is set out in Canons C 1 – C 28

C1  Bishops

(a)  In accordance with the Ordinal and the canons, the diocesan Bishop is the chief pastor and father in God of all the laity and clergy of the Diocese.  He is to exercise this office by teaching sound doctrine, by the example of his life, and by promoting love and peace between all people, whether or not they are members of his Diocese.

(b)  In the exercise of this responsibility:

  • he is the principal minister of the sacraments, rites and services of the Church, with the duty and the right of leading divine worship and of preaching the Word of God in all the communities of the Diocese;
  • he sponsors candidates for training for the ministries of the Church; he ordains and licenses priests and deacons to minister the word and sacraments, and authorises other ministers to assist them in accordance with the canons;
  • he visits communities to learn of their opportunities, resources and needs, to encourage them in their worship and mission, and to correct what he finds amiss in their life.  See G2.

(c)  He has the duty of providing so far as is possible for the spiritual care of all who, having no other bishop, claim membership of the Anglican Communion within the geographical bounds of the Diocese.

(d)  He has canonical authority over all places and persons belonging to his Diocese, and may exercise this authority in person or through those whom he commissions to act on his behalf. Each suffragan bishop, vicar general and archdeacon receives the Bishop's commission for his work.

(e)  A suffragan bishop shares fully in the ministry of the diocesan Bishop throughout the Diocese, according to the nature of episcopal ordination and the commission received from him.  Honorary assistant bishops have a more limited share in that ministry, which they exercise at such times and in such places as the diocesan Bishop may request.

(f)  When a suffragan bishop or a duly commissioned assistant bishop visits a community, or has dealings with the clergy or lay officers of the Diocese, he exercises the full authority of the diocesan Bishop.

(g)  The suffragan bishop is ex officio a member of the Diocesan Synod, its Standing Committee, the Bishop's Council, and the Bishop's Staff Meeting, and a director of the Diocesan Board of Finance.

(h)  Any chaplain may invite one of the honorary assistant bishops to celebrate or preach in his chaplaincy.  Requests for confirmation (and adult baptism) must however be made to the diocesan Bishop. The costs of a visit by an assistant bishop must normally be borne by the chaplaincy. 

(i)  Where a chaplain wishes to initiate an episcopal visit – for pastoral, liturgical, ecumenical or other local reasons – it is of great help to the diocesan and suffragan bishops of the Diocese that the chaplain should first consult the archdeacon to discover what plans may already have been made within the relevant archdeaconry.  Thereafter the chaplain or archdeacon should write to the Bishop's chaplain on any matter involving the diocesan Bishop's diary, or in the case of the suffragan bishop to write direct. 

(j)  From time to time the diocesan Bishop commissions honorary assistant bishops to share with him and the suffragan bishop in episcopal ministry in the Diocese.  The assistant bishops (which include the serving Anglican bishops in Continental Europe – COABICE) may accept invitations from chaplains to confirm or preside at worship without further recourse to the diocesan Bishop.  (A chaplain who wishes to invite to minister in a particular chaplaincy any bishop in communion who is not already an honorary assistant bishop of this Diocese, should note that they should ask the diocesan Bishop to invite the bishop in question to minister as requested.)  Chaplaincies are liable for the travel costs and other expenses of any honorary assistant bishop whom they invite to minister in the chaplaincy.

C2  Archdeacons

The duties of archdeacons in the Church of England are set out in Canon C22.  Like the rest of the canons and ecclesiastical law of the Church of England, these apply with the necessary modifications within the Diocese in Europe (Diocesan Constitution §13).  These modifications include a different general emphasis, the exclusion of some rules that apply in England but not in this Diocese, and some additional duties.

(a)  The archdeacons share in the Bishop's oversight, and are full members of the Bishop's Staff Meeting, receiving its agenda and minutes. Each archdeacon attends in person one staff meeting a year at which the affairs of the chaplaincies in his archdeaconry are particularly discussed.

(b)  The archdeacons are also ex officio members of the Diocesan Synod and the Bishop's Council, and directors of the Diocesan Board of Finance.

(c)  Within his archdeaconry each archdeacon is subject to the authority of the Bishop, the principal minister.  He is responsible for the general oversight of the chaplaincies in his archdeaconry and has a particular care for clergy and other ministers and for church officers. He has certain duties during a vacancy in the pastoral charge of a chaplaincy.

(d)  The archdeacon is the president of the synod of his archdeaconry, and, with the lay and clerical vice-presidents, has responsibility for its agenda and meetings.

(e)  As a commissary of the Bishop the archdeacon has certain legal responsibilities, agreed from time to time for the better administration of the Diocese.

(f)  While the Bishop may hold visitations in person in any part of the Diocese, he may also commission the archdeacon to hold a visitation on his behalf.  This is without prejudice to the archdeacon's right to conduct his own archidiaconal visitations as he thinks appropriate, or his general duty to 'bring to the bishop's attention what calls for correction or merits praise' (Canon C22).

(g)  As a sharer in the Bishop's ministry of oversight, each archdeacon should seek to assist the members of his archdeaconry to play a full part in the life, mission, ministry and worship of the Church.  This will include a particular concern for co-operation with other churches and the quest for unity.

C3  Vicar General

(a)  A vicar general is a priest appointed by the Bishop to assist him in the administration of the Diocese.  His work differs significantly from that of the vicar general elsewhere in the Church of England where the office is held by a lawyer.

(b)  He is ex officio a member of the Bishop's Staff Meeting, a member of the Diocesan Synod and the Bishop's Council, and a director of the Diocesan Board of Finance.

(c)  He may act as commissary of the Bishop in the ways set out in §12 of the Diocesan Constitution.

C4  The Duties of Chaplains

(a)   In this Diocese a priest who has been instituted to the cure of souls in a chaplaincy has the duties and rights of the incumbent of a parish in the other Church of England dioceses, with such modifications as the different situation of this Diocese and of each chaplaincy may require.

(b)  The duties of a priest with the cure of souls are set out in Canons C24 – C25.

(c)  All priests and deacons who hold the Bishop's Licence are bound by the teaching of the Ordinal, the canons, the Declaration of Assent and their Oath of Canonical Obedience.

(d)  The Bishop expects all who hold his licence to play a full part in the life and mission of their deanery or archdeaconry, including its chapter and synod, to co-operate with the clergy of neighbouring chaplaincies and with the ordained ministers of other Churches, to take part in Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD); and to contribute, so far as they are able, to the common life of the Diocese.

C5  Days off, Holidays and Retreats

(a)  Chaplains have the right to take at least one day off (24 uninterrupted hours) each week, and should take the full allowance of holiday provided in the Conditions of Service (see D18).The normal provision is four weeks of main holiday, plus a week after Christmas and a week after Easter (including whenever possible a Sunday).

(b)  It is of great help in the Diocesan Office when chaplains inform the suffragan bishop of their annual holiday arrangements.  For reasons of security it may be advisable for chaplains to inform their churchwardens when they expect to be away for any length of time.

(c)  Cover during holidays

  • The responsibility for arranging cover during holidays lies with the chaplain.  Every effort should be made to ensure the presence of a priest at least on Sundays.  The archdeacon or the suffragan bishop may be able to help with these arrangements.
  • Once cover has been booked the dates and names should be sent to the Locum Ministry Administrator to be recorded centrally.
  • Chaplains should contact the Locum Ministry Administrator who holds a list of clergy who hold a Permission to Officiate in the Diocese - The Locum List. The clergy will be responsible for conducting services on Sundays, Principal Feasts and Holy Days, and providing some pastoral care. In this case the Chaplaincy Council is responsible for local travel and other expenses of office, but not for the cost of travel to and from the chaplaincy.
  • When an ordained or authorized minister living in the region travels to conduct services the council will offer at least travel expenses and hospitality.
  • In exceptional circumstances the Chaplain may wish to invite a minister known to them personally. In this instance the Chaplain must contact the Locum Ministry Administrator and gain the approval of the Bishop. The minister will then need to complete the necessary checks.
  • Any priest serving as a locum in the diocese is nevertheless expected to complete a safeguarding check and other necessary paperwork.  See section N.

(d)  Bishop's Permission for locum ministry during a chaplain's absence

  • Except in the circumstances provided for in the following paragraph, no ordained person may exercise any public ministry, nor may anyone (ordained or lay) be invited to preach unless he or she holds the Bishop's Licence or Permission to Officiate, or is covered by other provisions in this section or section E below.  Particular notice should be taken of §C7.
  • Canon C8 2(a) provides that ‘the minister having the cure of souls’ (in this Diocese the chaplain or priest-in-charge, or during a vacancy the churchwardens or archdeacon) may invite a priest or deacon, known to them personally or by sufficient evidence, and holding the licence of another bishop of the Church of England, to minister ‘for a period of not more than seven days [i.e., consecutive] in three months without reference to the Bishop.’
  • Any priest serving as a locum in the diocese under this canon are nevertheless expected to complete the child protection procedure.  See section N.
  • It sometimes happens that a priest of the Church of England (or a Church in Communion with it) is unexpectedly in the congregation when no provision has been made during a holiday. In such circumstances, churchwardens may make use of the provision in the preceding paragraph to invite the priest to celebrate the Holy Communion;  but only if the priest is personally known to them as (or has written and dated evidence that he is) a priest in good standing, or if they have received the archdeacon's specific permission. Such a regulation is, unfortunately, necessary to protect a congregation from anyone dishonestly claiming to be a priest in good standing.

(e)  Retreats

  • The Bishop hopes that the diocesan clergy will make a regular retreat and that chaplaincy councils will be able to contribute to the costs.  To avoid the expense of a special journey it may be sensible to add some days to a holiday.
  • Details of organised retreats in Britain can be obtained from —
    The Executive Officer
    The Retreat Association
    256 Bermondsey St
    London SE1 3UJ

    +44 (0)20 7357 7736
  • Members and offices of local Churches may be able to help with information about local religious houses or retreat centres.
  • Time spent in retreat at deanery, archdeaconry, Diocesan or General synods, on diocesan business authorized by the archdeacon or the Bishop, or on Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) approved by the archdeacon, does not count as part of a chaplain's holiday.

C6  Provision during the illness of a Chaplain

(a)  If the chaplain is ill it is the duty of the churchwardens to ensure that the archdeacon and the suffragan bishop are informed.

(b)  If the chaplain is incapacitated the churchwardens have the formal duty of ensuring 'that the services of the chaplaincy are maintained with reasonable frequency'. See Diocesan Constitution §31 (b)ii.  When there is no resident priest the archdeacon (or another priest appointed by him) will help to provide continuity in pastoral care.

See also B3 and C9(d).

C7  The Service of Institution

(a)  Institution is the form by which the Bishop shares the cure of souls with a priest who has been appointed as the chaplain or priest-in-charge of a recognized chaplaincy of the Diocese.  The institution is performed by the Bishop in person, or on his behalf by another bishop or priest. It always takes place during a celebration of the Eucharist, using the diocesan order of service available from the Bishop's chaplain and on the diocesan website.

(b)  The date, place and time of the institution are arranged by the assistant diocesan secretary, in consultation with the Bishop or his commissary for the service, the archdeacon, the churchwardens, the patron if any, and the chaplain-designate.

(c)   If the chaplaincy is an isolated one, the institution will probably take place on Sunday.  When there are other chaplaincies within reasonable travelling distance, a Saturday service makes possible the participation of the clergy and lay representatives of other chaplaincies, and of neighbouring congregations of other local Churches.

(d)   The churchwardens have the responsibility of sending out invitations.  In drawing up a list they should consult the archdeacon and the chaplain-designate.  A list of invitees should include —

  • every priest, deacon and reader licensed in the archdeaconry or deanery;
  • ordained and lay representatives of other Churches in the city or town, including the officers of any council of Churches or similar ecumenical body;
  • where appropriate, civic or diplomatic officers
  • all of whom should be provided with reserved seats, and, when appropriate, be invited to robe
  • the churchwardens, synod members, and / or other representatives of each chaplaincy in the archdeaconry or deanery;

(e)  The close family of the chaplain-designate should be provided with seats at the front of the congregation.

(f)  It is usual for a reception to be held after an institution so that the new chaplain may meet members of the congregation and other guests.

(g)  As at all episcopal services, the cash collection at an institution is divided between the Diocesan Development Fund and the Diocesan Ordination Fund.  This should be noted in any printed order of service.  See L4-6.

C8  Induction and Training

(a)  Director of Ministry  Induction and training for the clergy of the Diocese is part of the responsibility of the director of ministry.  He may be contacted at the Diocesan Office.

(b)  Induction  The director of ministry is preparing material for the induction for priests either coming new to the Diocese from another Church in Communion (whether in the Anglican Communion or outside it), or moving from one place to another within the Diocese.

(c)  Post Ordination Training (POT)

  • Those serving a first appointment (or 'title') in the Diocese, whether stipendiary or non-stipendiary, are required to have a three-year programme of training. 
  • The details will be agreed, before ordination, between the training incumbent, the ordinand, and the director of ministry acting on behalf of the Bishop.

(d)  Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD)

  • The Bishop encourages continuing ministerial development for all who are exercising a public ministry in the Diocese.
  • The Statement of Particulars for all ordained and licensed ministers serving in the Diocese must include the provision of time for Continuing Ministerial Development.
  • For all new appointments the Statement of Particulars must include the provision by the church council of an annual contribution (at present the local equivalent of £200) in respect of Continuing Ministerial Development for each ordained and licensed minister. This sum is paid into a CMD Fund held by the archdeacon to whom application for a payment towards a CMD project should be made by the minister.
  • The Director of Training may be able to advise and assist in the choice and provision of CMD opportunities.

C9  Bishop’s Policy and Guidelines for the ministry of Women Priests

These Bishop’s Guidelines have the assent of the Diocesan Synod, meeting at London Colney on 1 June 1995.

(a)  With effect from 1 June 1995 the provisions of the Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure 1993, the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993 and the Code of Practice (issued by the House of Bishops in January 1994) apply in the Diocese in Europe.

(b)  For the purposes of this policy, the term 'benefice' in the Measure and the Act of Synod applies to a duly constituted chaplaincies in the Diocese,  the term 'parochial church council' applies to a Chaplaincy Council, and the term 'incumbent' applies to a duly instituted chaplain. Similar language is to be interpreted in the same way.

(c)  The Church of England is a Church in which women may be ordained to the priesthood and, subject to the Measure, the Act of Synod, the Code of Practice, and these diocesan guidelines, no distinction is to be drawn at any level of diocesan life or organization between male and female presbyters.

(d)  The House of Bishops has affirmed 'that differing views about the ordination of women to the priesthood can continue to be held with integrity within the Church of England', and in the Preamble to the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993 the General Synod held that —

'it as desirable that all concerned should endeavour to ensure that:

(i)  discernment in the wider Church of the rightness or otherwise of the Church of England's decision to ordain women to the priesthood should be as open a process as possible;

(ii)  the highest possible degree of communion should be maintained within each Diocese;  and

(iii)  the integrity of differing beliefs and positions concerning the ordination of women to the priesthood should be mutually recognized and respected.'

(e)  The Bishop [Bishop Hind at the time of the Diocesan Synod’s assent to these Guidelines] is opposed to the legislation but is unwilling to make a declaration under §2 of the Measure (the effect of which would be to exclude the ministry of women priests from the Diocese).

(f)  The practice of the Diocese is set out in paragraphs 8 – 12 below.

(g)  In the event of any pastoral vacancy the Bishop will assume the willingness of a chaplaincy to accept a woman priest either as locum or as chaplain, and (subject to the conditions set out in §9 below) will shortlist, interview, appoint and license any suitable candidate.

(h)  This will apply unless the Chaplaincy Council has passed either or both of the resolutions referred to at §3 (1) of the Measure and set out in schedule 1 to the Measure.  The Resolutions that chaplaincy councils may pass are:

Resolution A 'That this Chaplaincy Council would not accept a woman as the minister who presides at or celebrates the Holy Communion or pronounces the Absolution in the chaplaincy.'

Resolution B'That this Chaplaincy Council would not accept a woman as  chaplain, assistant chaplain or locum tenens within the chaplaincy.'

Any Chaplaincy Council considering discussing or passing either or both of these resolutions must observe the relevant procedure as set out in the Measure.  Details can be obtained from the diocesan registrar or the suffragan bishop.

No chaplain, or during a vacancy the churchwardens and archdeacon of any chaplaincy, may act contrary to any such resolution if either or both has been passed.

Further, any chaplaincy to which a woman priest may be appointed must satisfy the Bishop as to the adequacy of its arrangements for providing a sacramental ministry acceptable to all at least on certain occasions.

(i)  1  The same procedures for the discernment, selection, training and deployment of candidates for ordination will apply to women as to men.

2  Any ordination of a woman as a priest will be by the Archbishop of Canterbury, either acting personally or through a bishop he nominates acting as his commissary.

(j)  No archdeacon unwilling on grounds of conscience to present a woman candidate for ordination to the priesthood or institute or license a woman priest will be required to do so.  In such cases either the archdeacon concerned or the Bishop will arrange a substitute.

(k)  The final decision about appointments to particular chaplaincies and the ordination of particular candidates in the Diocese belongs to the Bishop alone, who undertakes to act in accordance with the principles outlined in these Guidelines.

C10  Forms of Licence and Permission to Officiate

(a)  Bishop’s Licence

The Bishop's Licence

  • establishes a formal link with the Bishop, so a priest or deacon is not normally licensed to more than one bishop.
  • confers membership of the archdeaconry or deanery synod and rights of election to Diocesan Synod and General Synod.
  • is a prerequisite for membership of the pension scheme of the Church of England Pensions Board, except in the circumstances when the licensing has to be delayed and a temporary Permission to Officiate issued.
  • will only be issued by the Bishop when the child protection procedure has been completed.  See section N.

(b)  Licence as chaplain

The title 'chaplain' in this Diocese is used in ordinary conversation to cover a wide variety of legal status, from a visiting priest or deacon who undertakes holiday duty through to the full time, stipendiary pastor of a congregation that has been formally designated by the Bishop in accordance with §3(a) of the Diocesan Constitution.  In legal documents it has a more precise meaning.

The Bishop will license a priest with the title 'chaplain' when all the following criteria have been met:

  • the congregation has been formally designated a chaplaincy under §3(a) of the Diocesan Constitution 1995.
  • the post is full-time.
  • the Chaplaincy Council has undertaken to pay any pension contributions that are required and a full stipend at a rate agreed with the archdeacon.
  • the Chaplaincy Council is not receiving an annual grant, approved by the Diocesan Board of Finance, of more than one fifth of the stipend.

In all other circumstances the Bishop will licence the pastor of a congregation as priest-in-charge.

(c)  Licence as priest-in-charge

The Bishop will license a priest as priest-in-charge appointments —

  • that are part-time, retirement or non-stipendiary posts
  • where a congregation is being served or where the possibility of a new chaplaincy is being explored
  • in emergency circumstances
  • when presentation has been suspended.

Such appointments carry many of the same rights and responsibilities as a true chaplaincy, notably in matters of worship and chairmanship of the chapaincy council.

(d)  Licence as assistant chaplain

The Bishop may license a deacon or priest as assistant chaplain (with assistant curate status), whether the appointment is permanent, or time-limited, stipendiary or non-stipendiary.

(e)  General Licence

The Bishop may license a deacon or priest for a Diocese-wide or archdeaconry-wide appointment whether stipendiary or not.

In all other cases aBishop's Permission to Officiate is issued.

(f)  Bishop’s Permission to Officiate

The Bishop will give a deacon or priest his Permission to Officiate in the following circumstances:

  • retired clergy living in the Diocese or elsewhereand giving occasional assistance.
  • seasonal, and holiday locum clergy;
  • vacancy locum clergy - unless the Bishop appoints a Priest-in-Charge.
  • clergy who hold a licence of another Bishop.
  • clergy who hold the licence of another Bishop, whether in mainland Europe or elsewhere, and who regularly assist in the Diocese.

The Bishop'sPermission to Officiate is normally issued at the request of the archdeacon and/or the chaplain, rather than of the individual deacon or priest.  Such a request requires a letter of recommendation from the bishop from whom the priest / deacon holds a current Bishop's Licence or Permission to Officiate.

All priests or deacons for whom an application is made for the Bishop's Licence or Permission to Officiate are required under the House of Bishops' child protection policy (see N3) to complete a child protection Declaration and provide the relevant supporting documents requested.  Vetting will be carried out by the usual procedure.

C11  Archbishop of Canterbury's Permission to Officiate

(a)  Under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ordination) Measure 1967, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Permission to Officiate is required before any bishop in the Province of Canterbury may give his Licence or Permission to Officiate to a priest or deacon who has been ordained other than in the Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Church of Ireland or the Episcopal Church of Scotland.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Permission is sought for ministry in the Diocese in Europe because the Diocese is deemed part of the Province of Canterbury.  The Archbishop of York issues Permissions for his own province.  Thus, a deacon or priest to whom the Measure applies but who already holds the Archbishop of York's Permission must obtain the Archbishop of Canterbury's Permission for ministry in the Diocese in Europe.

(b)  The so-called Overseas Clergy Measure, therefore, applies to priests and deacons ordained in all other Anglican Provinces (and extra-provincial dioceses such as those in mainland Europe), other Churches in Communion (including the Old Catholic and Porvoo Churches), and the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

(c)  The suffragan bishop, who is happy to give further advice on the procedure at any time, deals on behalf of the Bishop with application for the Archbishop of Canterbury's Permission to Officiate.  A priest or deacon seeking the Bishop in Europe's Licence or Permission to Officiate to whom the Measure applies should ask for an application form from the suffragan bishop or assistant diocesan secretary. 

(d)  The application form requires all the following information and supporting documentation —

  • Full name and address.
  • date of birth.
  • copies of all Letters of Orders, or other evidence of ordination (usually a signed letter from the relevant diocesan registrar confirming the place and date of ordination and the name of the ordaining bishop(s).
  • A letter of recommendation from his/her Bishop indicating that he/she is in good standing.

C12  Deaconesses

The teaching and discipline of the Church of England is set out in Canons D1 – D3

Note that, under the canons, no woman may be admitted as a Deaconess unless she had been accepted for training before 16 February 1987. Therefore no new candidates may be considered. 

For women deacons see Canon C4.

C13  Candidates for Holy Orders

The teaching and discipline of the Church of England is set out in Canon C4.

(a)  Diocesan Director of Ordinands

The duties of the diocesan director of ordinands currently form part of the director of ministry's responsibilities; and in each archdeaconry he has an assistant so-called archdeaconry director of ordinands.  He advises the Bishop with respect to candidates for ordination alongside the Bishop's examining chaplains and the diocesan selectors.

(b)  The leaflet A Summary of the Criteria for Selection for Ministry in the Church of England should be read by all persons concerned in this area. It is available from the director of ministry.

(c)  Impediments to Ordination

Canon C4.3 provides that 'no person shall admitted into holy orders who has re-married and, the other party to that marriage being alive, has a former spouse still living; or who is married to a person who has been previously married and whose former spouse is still living.'  It is followed by an exempting clause: C4.3A, which provides for the possibility of an application to the Archbishop of Canterbury for a faculty for the removal of this impediment.  However, the Bishop has directed that, because of the limited resources available in this Diocese, no applications for this faculty will be made.

(d)  Categories for ordained ministry

The categories for ordained ministry recognized by the House of Bishops of the Church of England are ―

  • ordained ministry (stipendiary and non-stipendiary)
  • ordained ministry (permanent non-stipendiary)
  • ordained ministry (local non-stipendiary)

(e)  Selection and training of candidates

The following is an outline of the stages of our diocesan procedure for selection and training of candidates for stipendiary and non-stipendiary ordained ministry (1 and 2 above).  A booklet on training for ministry in the Diocese is available from the director of ministry who is available to advise those who seek further information.  (The duties of the diocesan director of ordinands (DDO) are currently undertaken by the director of ministry.)

Outline procedure:

1 The process usually begins when a chaplain writes to the Bishop about a potential candidate for ordained ministry.

2 The DDO asks the chaplain to write a formal commendation of the candidate.  This is based on the Criteria for Selection for Ministry in the Church of England (see §(b) above).

3 If it is intended that the candidate should serve a title in the home chaplaincy, the church council is asked to confirm in writing that it would welcome the ministry of the candidate in that chaplaincy.

4 The DDO sends to the candidate a Diocesan Ministry Enquiry Form for completion.

5 The candidate is referred to the archdeaconry director of ordinands (ADO) and will him-/herself be responsible for making an appointment for interview with the ADO. Where there is no ADO, this interview will be conducted by the DDO, or by another person appointed to the task by the DDO.

6 Following this interview, a report (which will follow the Guidelines which will have been made available previously both to the interviewer and the candidate) will be submitted in writing to the DDO.

7 There will be a formal interview with the DDO (probably in London), which may be followed by a second interview if it appears that there are matters to be addressed over a period of time.

8 At the time of either interview the director of ministry will consider the training options open to the candidates and the implications of any alternatives identified.

9 The DDO prepares a report on the candidate for the diocesan Bishop, who decides whether or not to sponsor the candidate to attend a Bishops' Selection Conference.

10 Candidates whom the Bishop sponsors must attends one of the selection conferences organised on behalf of the diocesan bishops of the Church of England by the Ministry Division of the Archbishops' Council.

11 Candidates are required at this stage to complete a Declaration under the child-protection procedure which will be vetted in the same way as applicants for the Bishop's Licence or Permission to Officiate.  See section N.

12 Immediately following the conference the selectors forward a report to the Bishop, recommending or not recommending the candidate.

13 The Bishop accepts or rejects the selectors' advice, and writes formally to the candidate.

14 Arrangements for training are made for a candidate so sponsored.

(f)  Local ministry

When a candidate for ministry (ordained or lay) will be ministering within the life of the nominating chaplaincy (either as a non-stipendiary or local non-stipendiary minister) the following procedure will be followed as well as that outlined in §(e) above.

1  A chaplain and Chaplaincy Council who wish to nominate to the Bishop candidates for local ministry should set out in a formal document, called the Local Ministry Plan, the needs and opportunities of the chaplaincy and their proposals for local ministry.  This document should indicate which forms of authorized and/or ordained ministry are proposed (priest, deacon, reader or lay assistant), and should give the reasons for the choice.  A copy of the proposed Local Ministry Plan should also be sent to the archdeacon.

2  The Bishop will consider the proposal, and, after consultation with (among others) the chaplain and the archdeacon, may accept, modify or reject it.

3  Once the Bishop, the chaplain and the Chaplaincy Council have agreed a Local Ministry Plan, it becomes a formal policy of the chaplaincy and should only be changed in any significant way after consultation with the Bishop.  In particular it should form part of the Chaplaincy Profile which is sent to the Bishop (and the patron if there is one) in  the event of a vacancy. A copy of the Local Ministry Planas finally agreed will also be sent to the archdeacon.

4  At this point – but not before – the Chaplaincy Council may formally consider the names of particular people who are possible candidates for Local Ministry.

(g)  Candidates in Training

  • Candidates in training for stipendiary and non-stipendiary ministry are authorized as part of that training to conduct services and to preach under the direction of the chaplain.
  • Permission to assist in the distribution of the Holy Communion may be assumed if it is an occasional duty (eg, by a candidate during vacation from a residential college, or on an authorized placement) but, if it is to be performed regularly (eg, by a candidate on a non- residential course who continues as a regular member of the congregation) the Bishop's Permission should be sought from the archdeacon in the usual way. See B4 - Persons authorized to distribute Holy Communion: diocesan guidelines

At the time of printing the following publication was available from the director of ministry or the Diocesan Office:

Beginning public ministry in the Diocese in Europe: a guide to continuing ministerial formation for readers (in training and newly licensed) and newly ordained clergy (March 2000)

Share this page: