Diocesan Office
St Nicholas Church
Boley Hill


24 St Margaret's Street

Tel: 01634 560000

Email: Diocesan Office


Tel: 01634 842721

Email: Bishopscourt















Bishop’s Guidelines








Foreword, by Bishop James


“The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds, which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit, it has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons. In the declaration you are about to make will you affirm your loyalty to this inheritance of faith as your inspiration and guidance under God in bringing the grace and truth of Christ to this generation and making him known to those in your care?”

Preface to the Declaration of Assent (Canon C15)

These words introduce the Declaration of Assent which is made by those being commissioned for ordained and lay ministries in our church.  They indicate the particular place which the Church of England inhabits in the life of this country.  Our heritage is that of the Gospel handed down through the generations, but also the heritage of our ministry and our buildings, together with a substantial role in the nation’s public life. Our ministry has a significant impact on the stories people tell each other of what it means to be a Christian in this country.

Within our heritage, there are elements which we share with Christians of other denominations and traditions, and there are those which are uniquely Anglican. Whatever our various traditions, we are bound together in fellowship - sacramental and synodical - and by geography. Each one of us who holds office, licence or authority within the Church of England has chosen to be part of this Communion, and with that choice have placed ourselves within the customs and laws of the Church of England and the responsibilities of being part of a national church.  Our baptismal vows make us part of the Church Catholic; our further promises, commitments or oaths indicate our decision to be part of the Anglican Christian tradition as expressed in our country and within the wider Anglican Communion.

For some of us what has drawn us is that very tradition, stretching back through our bishops and congregations to Augustine, and through Augustine back to the Apostles and our Lord’s Commission. For some of us it is the opportunity for mission found in an Established Church, a church which weaves herself through the life of individuals and institutions in this country in weddings, chaplaincies, country fairs and city centre churches. For some it is being part of the world-wide fellowship of the Anglican Communion. And some are drawn to the Church of England’s wealth of buildings – beautiful churches built to the glory of God – some to the heritage of poetry and music and liturgy that we share – the voice of prayer that carries the character of this church.

In this Church the character of being a member of something greater than the sum of its parts is expressed in our structures and hierarchies, our shared liturgies and common stories, in our networks of parishes within deaneries within archdeaconries within the Rochester Diocese, part of the province of Canterbury in the Church of England in the Anglican Worldwide Communion among the Worldwide Fellowship of Churches. It is not unreasonable, then - and may even be helpful - for the Bishop of the Rochester Diocese to try to draw together some of the threads of this identity and of the processes of this structure into something that reflects what it is to be responsible for the work and mission of the Church in this place among these people.

So these guidelines are not intended to be a rulebook, nor to be a complete encyclopaedia to the Diocese of Rochester and the Church of England. They are to be part of our shared understanding and local practice of what it means to be an Anglican in this place. I hope they form a useful handbook, providing answers to the most commonly asked questions. Many of these matters are deeply pragmatic: matters of money and housing and pensions and discipline; some of them touch on doctrine and the ancient practices of the church; some of this document rests on the responsibility each owes to the other, on our shared spirituality and on the care of the Bishop for his people. Wherever possible the reader is signposted to the guiding principles on which the Diocesan forms are based, and to sources of further advice and guidance. Within these pages are also listed the various resources available to you in this Diocese and in the wider Church. I have sought to make it a document of best practice and encouragement, rather than a series of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots”. However, in a document like this, there are inevitably some subjects on which clear instruction is both necessary and, I hope, desirable.

In short, it is my intention that these guidelines will help the clergy and officers of this Diocese to affirm your loyalty to [our] inheritance of faith as your inspiration and guidance under God in bringing the grace and truth of Christ to this generation and making him known to those in your care.

With my prayers and good wishes,




Called Together – Diocese of Rochester Framework



Foreword, by Bishop James. i

Called Together – Diocese of Rochester Framework. i


A1 Common Tenure. 1

A1.1       Freehold. 1

A1.2       Common Tenure. 1

A1.3       Qualified Common Tenure. 1

A1.4       Clergy who do not qualify for Common Tenure. 1

A2 Statement of Particulars. 1

A3 Role Descriptions. 1

A4 Stipend. 1

A4.1       How payable. 1

A4.2       Training curates. 1

A4.3       Incumbents. 1

A4.4       Tax district 1

A4.5       Local income. 1

A4.6       Expenses. 1

A4.7       Council tax, water rates and utility costs. 1

A4.8       Self Assessment 1

A5 Augmentation of Stipends. 1

A6 Grants. 1

A6.1       First appointment grants. 1

A6.2       Removal costs and expenses. 1

A6.3       Resettlement grants. 1

A6.4       Continuing Ministerial Development grant 1

A6.5       Car loan schemes. 1

A7 Parochial Fees - Ordained and Lay Ministers. 1

Other Publications about Parochial Fees. 1

A8 Parochial Expenses. 1

Other publications about parochial expenses. 1

A9 Termination of Appointment 1

A 10 Housing. 1

A10.1      The parsonage house. 1

A10.2      Quinquennial surveys. 1

A10.3      Interim repairs. 1

A10.4      Minor Repairs. 1

A10.5      Emergencies. 1

A10.6      Central heating. 1

A10.7      Trees. 1

A10.8      Improvements. 1

A10.9      Assistant Diocesan Secretary (Property) 1

A10.10    Sub-Letting. 1

A10.11    Interior decorations. 1

A10.12    Burglar alarms. 1

A10.13    Smoke detectors. 1

A10.14    House insurance. 1

A10.15    House contents. 1

A10.16    When an incumbent leaves. 1

A10.17    Housing for clergy spouses and dependants in the event of bereavement or marriage breakdown. 1

A10.18    The purchase of curate houses – notes for incumbents and PCCs. 1

A10.19    Housing Allowance. 1

A11 Annual leave. 1

A12 Rest periods. 1

A13 Special leave. 1

A14 Time off for public duties. 1

A15 Jury duty. 1

A16 Entitlement to maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave. 1

A17 Time off for dependents. 1

A18 Clergy Spouses. 1

A19 Well-Being. 1

A20     Lone Working – Personal Safety. 1

A20.1      Risk Assessment 1

A20.2      Minimise Risk. 1

A20.3      Living and Working in Areas of High Risk. 1

A21 Pastoral Care and Counselling. 1

A21.1      Burrswood. 1

A21.2      St Luke's Hospital 1

A21.3      Other counselling agencies. 1

A21.4      Counselling for parents. 1

A21.5      Separation and divorce. 1

A22 Sickness. 1

A22.1      Any Sick Leave. 1

A22.2      Sick Leave for 7 calendar days or more. 1

A22.3      Pastoral Care. 1

A22.4      Long Term Sick. 1

A23 Pension. 1

A23.1      Additional Voluntary Contributions. 1

A24 Retirement from Stipendiary Ministry. 1

A24.1      The Pre-Retirement Conference. 1

This  1

A24.2      Resource people. 1

A24.3      Housing in retirement 1

A24.4      Retirement on grounds of ill health. 1

A24.5      Financial planning for retirement 1

A24.7      Further guidance. 1

A25 Disciplinary Measures. 1

A25.1      Convictions for criminal offences. 1

A25.2      Matrimonial Orders. 1

A25.3 Safeguarding and Clergy Disciplinary Measures 2016. 1

A26 Capability Procedure. 1

A27 Grievance Procedure. 1

A27.1      Code of Practice. 1

A27.2      Dignity At Work. 1


B1 Public Worship. 1

B1.1       Versions of the Bible and the Psalms. 1

B1.2       Music in public worship. 1

B1.3       Orders of service. 1

B1.4       Vesture of the minister 1

B1.5       Assistance in the conduct of divine worship by lay persons. 1

B1.6       Visiting clergy and other preachers. 1

B2 Copyright 1

B3 Holy Communion. 1

B3.1       Who are to be admitted to Holy Communion?. 1

B3.2       The admission of baptised children to Holy Communion. 1

B3.3       The administration of the Holy Sacrament by lay persons. 1

B3.4       Hygiene and the chalice. 1

B3.5       Gluten-free bread and non-alcoholic wine. 1

B3.6       Public Worship with Holy Communion by Extension. 1

B3.7       Aumbries (reservation of the Sacrament) 1

B4 Holy Baptism.. 1

B4.1       Photography and video recordings. 1

B4.2       Requests for 're-baptism' 1

B4.3       Baptism registers. 1

B4.4       Parental Consent 1

B5 Adult Christian Initiation. 1

B5.1       Confirmation. 1

B5.2       Baptism, Affirmation of Baptismal Vows and Reception into the Church of England. 1

B6 Marriage. 1

B6.1       Who may be married in Church?. 1

B6.2       Who may conduct a wedding?. 1

B6.3       Permission to marry - banns or licence. 1

B6.4       Marriage, when one or both parties are divorced. 1

B6.5       Services of prayer and dedication. 1

B6.6       Music and decorations. 1

B6.7       Photography and video recordings. 1

B6.8       Marriage registers. 1

B7 Funerals. 1

B7.1       Who may come to the church for funeral?. 1

B7.2       Who may officiate at a funeral?. 1

B7.2       Burial in a Churchyard. 1

B7.3       Care of Churchyards. 1

B7.4       Crematoria. 1

B7.5       Burial of ashes in a churchyard. 1

B8 Ministry of Absolution after Private Confession. 1

B9 The ministry of Healing. 1

B9.1       Healing services. 1

B9.2       Ministry to the sick. 1

B.9.3      Resources. 1

B10 Holy Oils. 1

B10.1      The Oil of the Sick. 1

B10.2      The Oil of Baptism.. 1

B10.3      The Oil of Chrism.. 1

B11 Ministry of Deliverance. 1

B12 Ecumenical Relations. 1

B12.1      Informal arrangements. 1

B12.2      Local Covenants. 1

B12.3      Local Ecumenical Partnerships. 1

B13 Churches in Communion with the Church of England. 1

B14 Links with Other Dioceses. 1

B14.1      The Partner Diocese Steering Group. 1

B14.2      Our Link Dioceses: 1

B14.4      For more information. 1

B15 Interfaith Relations. 1

B15.1      Inter-faith Adviser 1

B15.2      Interfaith Groups. 1

B15.2.4 Bexley interfaith Forum.. 1

B15.2.5 Bromley Three Faiths forum.. 1

B15.3      Scriptural Reasoning. 1

B15.4      Interfaith worship. 1

B15.5      Interfaith vigils. 1


C1 Ordination Candidates. 1

C1.1       Exploration. 1

C1.2       Selection. 1

C1.3       The DDOs. 1

C1.4       Summary of the criteria for selection for ministry. 1

C2 Deacons. 1

C2.1       The distinctive diaconate. 1

C2.2       Clerical dress. 1

C2.3       Functions of the deacon. 1

C2.4       Preparing for priesting. 1

C3 Assistant Clergy. 1

C3.1       Nature of Appointment 1

C3.2       Assistant Curate in Training. 1

C3.2       Appointment Process. 1

C3.3       Finance. 1

C3.4.      Housing. 1

C3.5.      Time Off and Holidays. 1

C3.7.      Useful Publications. 1

C4 PTO Clergy. 1

C4.1       Ministry with Permission to Officiate (PTO) 1

C4.2       Seeking PTO for the first time. 1

C4.3       Renewal of PTO. 1

C4.4       Safeguarding matters. 1

C4.5       Other Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) 1

C4.6       Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy (2015 version) 1

C4.7       Remuneration for ministry. 1

C4.8       Parish, Deanery and Diocesan life. 1

C4.9       Specific Ministries. 1

C4.10      Retired clergy networks. 1

C4.11      Engaging clergy with PTO. 1

C4.12      Non-serving clergy. 1

C5 Licensing, Institution, Collation, Induction. 1

C5.1       Forms Of Service. 1

C5.2       The Process. 1

C5.3       Invitations. 1

C5.4       Rehearsal and on the Day. 1

C6 On the Professional Conduct of the Clergy. 1

C6.1       Gifts and Hospitality. 1

C6.2       Directorships. 1

C6.3       Further Resources. 1

C7 Safeguarding. 1

C7.1       Safeguarding Policies. 1

C7.2       Safeguarding Training. 1

C7.3       Visiting Clergy and Other Preachers. 1

C7.4       Additional Resources. 1

C8 Initial Ministerial Education (IME phase 2) 1

C8.1       Who is it for?. 1

C8.2       The Aim of the Curacy. 1

C8.3       In Summary, the Purpose of the Curacy is….. 1

C8.4       Resources/Handbooks. 1

C9 Ministerial Development Review.. 1

C9.2       Ministerial Development Review Procedure. 1

C10 Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) 1

C10.1      Main Elements of CMD. 1

C10.2      Director of Formation and Ministry. 1

C11 Spiritual Direction and Retreat 1

C11.1      Retreat Houses. 1

C12 Non-Stipendiary Ministry (Self-Supporting Ministry) 1

C12.1      Categories of Self Supporting Ministers (SSM): 1

C12.2      Who are classed as SSM?. 1

C13 Lay Ministry in Rochester Diocese. 1

C13.1      Ministry. 1

C13.2      Selection and Training. 1

C13.3      Robes. 1

C13.4      Expenses. 1

C13.5      Readers and Licensed Lay Ministers with PTO. 1

C13.6      Authorised Ministers. 1

C13.7      Working Agreements. 1

C13.8      CMD. 1

C13.9      Further information. 1

C14     Commissioned Youth/Children's Workers. 1

C14.1      Commissioning or licensing?. 1

C14.2      Diocesan involvement 1

C14.3      Diocesan responsibilities. 1

C14.4      Safeguarding. 1

C14.5      Funding. 1

C14.6      Parish Contribution. 1

C14.7      Parish managerial responsibilities. 1

C14.8      Resolving disagreements procedure/mediation. 1

C14.9      Uniform templates/contracts. 1

C14.10    Professional development 1

C14.11    Reference to employment pack. 1

C14.12    Contact the Diocesan Children and Youth Work Adviser 1

C15 The Fellowship of Diocesan Pray-ers. 1

C15.1      Archdeaconry Co-ordinators. 1

C16     Churchwardens. 1

C16.1      Canon Law.. 1

C16.2      Functions. 1

C16.3      Churchwardens Measure 2001. 1

C16.4      Further Resources. 1

C17     Employing Workers and Ministers. 1


D1 Diocesan Board of Education. 1

D1.1       The purpose of the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) 1

D1.2       DBE Committees. 1

D1.3       DBE Associate Advisers. 1

D1.4       Mission statement of the DBE. 1

D1.5       Triennial Aims of the RDBE (2015-2017) 1

D1.6       Strategic Intent (2015-2017) 1

D2      Church of England Schools and Academies. 1

D2.1       Background. 1

D2.2       Voluntary Aided (VA) Schools. 1

D2.3       Voluntary Controlled (VC) Schools. 1

D2.4       Academies. 1

D3      Religious Education (R.E.) and Church School Inspections. 1

D3.1       What is Religious Education?. 1

D3.2       Church school inspections (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools - SIAMS) 1

D3.3       The focus of a SIAMS Inspection. 1


E1 The Communications Team.. 1

E2      Confidentiality and Safeguarding. 1

E2.1 The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 1


F1 Cathedral 1

F1.1       Sunday Worship Times. 1

F1.2       Weekday Worship Times. 1

F1.3       Bank Holiday Worship Times. 1


G1 Repairs to Churches. 1

G1.1       The Quinquennial 1

G1.2       Training. 1

G1.3       Closing a Church for Repairs or re-ordering. 1

G2 Diocesan Church Repair Fund. 1

G2.1       How the Scheme Works. 1

G2.2       Membership. 1

G2.3       Building Inspections and Repairs. 1

G2.4       Payments Into and Out of the Scheme. 1

G2.5       Loans. 1

G2.6       Applying for a Loan. 1

G2.7       Making Withdrawals and Paying Contractors. 1

G2.8       Interest 1

G2.9       Accounting Treatment 1

G3 The Care of Churches & Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991, and Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015. 1

G3.1       Diocesan Advisory Committee (for the Care of Churches): The Legal Framework. 1

G3.2       What is the DAC?. 1

G3.3       When is a faculty needed?. 1

G3.4       How to apply for a faculty. 1

G3.5       Closing a Church for Repairs or re-ordering. 1

G4 Insurance of Churches. 1

G5 Value Added Tax (VAT) 1

G5.1       Refund of VAT paid on eligible repairs to listed churches. 1

G5.2       Construction of an annex to a church building. 1

G5.3       Aids for disabled persons on church premises. 1

G6 Churchyard Regulations 1981. 1

G6.1       Burial in the churchyard. 1

G6.2       The Chancellor's jurisdiction and the Incumbent's delegated powers. 1

G6.3       The extent of the incumbent's delegated authority. 1

G6.4       Management and maintenance of the churchyard. 1

G6.5       General 1

G7 Trees in Churchyards. 1

G7.1       Approvals for works to trees. 1

G7.2       Tree Preservation Orders and conservation areas. 1

G8 Closed Churchyards: Procedure and Liability for Maintenance. 1

G8.1       Procedure for closing a churchyard. 1

G8.2       Maintenance Of Old Burial Grounds (From the Department of the Environment) 1

G9 Parish Registers and Records. 1

G9.1       Care of historic records. 1

G9.2       Care of records under one hundred years old (including parochial registers) 1

G9.3       Inspection of registers and records in parochial custody. 1

G9.4       Further resources. 1

G10 Friends’ Schemes. 1

G10.1 Charitable Status. 1

G10.1 resources. 1


H1      Church and Diocesan Structures. 1

H1.1       Church Government 1

H1.2       Diocesan Structures. 1

H2      Charities and Other Financial Assistance. 1

H2.1 Dr Plume's Trust 1

H2.2 The Society of Mary and Martha. 1

H2.3 Mrs Frances Ashton's Charity. 1

H2.4 Henry Smith's Charity. 1

H2.5 Sons and Friends of the Clergy. 1

H2.6 Society for the Relief of Poor Clergy. 1

H2.7 The Rustat Trust 1

H2.8 Newton's Trust, (Widows and Unmarried Daughters of Deceased Clergy) 1

H2.9 Oxford Archdeaconry Clergy Widows and Orphans Fund, c/o the Archdeacon of Oxford. 1

H2.10 Queen Victoria Clergy Fund. 1

H2.11 Foundation of Edward Storey. 1

H2.12 The English Clergy Association. 1

H2.13 Buttle UK. 1

H2.14 Family Action. 1

H2.15 Tranquillity House. 1

H2.16 Christians Against Poverty. 1

H2.17 The Women's Continuing Ministerial Education Trust 1

H2.18 The Elizabeth Finn Trust 1

H2.19 Independent Age. 1

H2.20 Society for the Assistance of Ladies in Reduced Circumstances. 1

H2.21 Lawrence Atwell's Charity. 1

H2.22 Dr George Richards' Charity. 1

H2.23 Pyncombe Charity. 1

H2.24 The St George's Trust 1

H2.25 St Boniface Trust 1

H2.26 Cleaver Ordination Candidates Fund. 1

H2.27 Tax Credits. 1

H3 A list of Local Festivals and Commemorations. 1

H3.1 Adrian (Also Hadrian) 1

H3.2 ‘Martyrs of Our Own Time’ 1

H3.3 Æthelberht (Ethelbert) of kent 1

H3.4 Gundulf of Rochester 1

H3.5 Ernulf 1

H3.6 Joan Beach of Tonbridge and John Harpole of Rochester 1

H3.7 Isabella Gilmore & Anthony Thorold. 1

H3.8 Bertha of Kent (also Aldeberge) 1

H3.9 William of Perth. 1

H3.10 Ithamar 1

H3.11 Bernard Mizeki 1

H3.12 John Fisher 1

H3.13 Aksel Vooremaa. 1

H3.14 Hamo de Hythe. 1

H3.15 Edith of Wilton (also Eadgyth, Editha or Ediva) 1

H3.16 Paulinus of York. 1

H3.17 John Warner, 1

H3.18 Nicholas Ridley. 1

H3.19 William of Hoo, 1

H3.20 Justus. 1






This section gives comprehensive details of support resources for clergy and their spouses.






A1 Common Tenure

A1.1         Freehold

Under the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure 2009, clergy with the Freehold (including incumbents, team rectors, deans, archdeacons and residentiary canons not on fixed term appointments) were asked if they wished to transfer onto Common Tenure.  They remain on their existing terms, unless and until they agree to move onto Common Tenure (which they may do at any time) or leave their current post.


A1.2         Common Tenure

As from 31 January 2011 many clergy in the Church of England hold their Ecclesiastical Office under a new form of tenure. Common Tenure is part of a framework of terms of service that brings security, clarity and the opportunity for people to work together to encourage and support the clergy's ministry.

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

All clergy on Common Tenure have the right to a written Statement of Particulars which sets out the matters relating to the post they hold, such as stipend, location of house, leave provision, etc.  They also have a right to protection against unfair dismissal, with right of appeal to an employment tribunal, access to a grievance procedure and the right to redundancy in certain circumstances.  All posts are open ended until retirement age unless clearly defined as fixed term under the regulations (regulations 29 and 30).


A1.3         Qualified Common Tenure

There are two sets of regulations which enable the creation of temporary or fixed term appointments. Clergy - and other ministers/lay workers - whose appointment is of limited duration must have the fact recorded in their Statement of Particulars.


A1.3.1 Regulation 29 – posts held under Common Tenure may only be fixed term (or time limited) if designated as one of the following:


     Covering authorised absence (e.g. maternity/paternity leave; sabbatical)

     Posts held as Priest-in-Charge to cover vacancies ('interim ministries')

     Posts held by those aged over 70

     Training posts

     Subject to sponsorship or local funding

     Probationary posts

     Posts covered by Bishop's Mission Orders

     Posts designated as being held in conjunction with another office or employment

     Where the post holder has limited leave to remain in the UK.


Such appointments may be either


     for a fixed term (which may, however, be extended for a further period or periods indefinitely) or

     terminable on the occurrence of a specified event.


A1.3.2 Regulation 30 – Where the Mission and Pastoral Committee of the Diocese has invited the views of interested parties before submitting proposals to the Diocesan Bishop, the post may be designated under regulation 30 as an alternative to suspending presentation and appointing a priest in charge.  The post would be held subject to pastoral reorganisation and a priest in charge may be appointed on a limited term basis – if the priest remains in post for over 5 years the post becomes permanent.


A1.4         Clergy who do not qualify for Common Tenure

The following office holders fall outside the scope of the legislation:

     Clergy with permission to officiate;

     Non-stipendiary readers, deaconesses and licensed lay workers;

     Those whose ministry is the subject of a contract of employment (for example, chaplains and diocesan employees) unless the Bishop's License authorises them to exercise a wider ministry in the Diocese (in which case Common Tenure may apply to that wider ministry).








A2 Statement of Particulars

A2.1            The Statement of Particulars (SOP) is a factual statement of the basic terms and conditions of service that apply to the office holder of a particular office.

A2.2            Under the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure 2009 the bishop is required to nominate officer(s) to prepare the Statement of Particulars. The nominated officer for the Diocese is the Diocesan Secretary.

A2.3            All clergy on Common Tenure should be issued a Statement of Particulars within one month of the date from which the office holder took up office or moved onto Common Tenure.

A2.4            The information that must be provided in the Statement of Particulars is set out in the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure 2009. Further information can be found on the Common Tenure.






A3 Role Descriptions

A3.1           A role description is not mandatory under the Terms of Service legislation but it makes sense and is good practice in the context of making appointments, for the Ministerial Development Review process (see C9), and for grievance and capability procedures.

A3.2           Most dioceses have introduced role descriptions in parallel with the Statements of Particulars and a revised MDR process.  These role descriptions will be refined through the MDR process, ideally during the archdiaconal review.

A3.3           Eventually role descriptions will be revised when there is a vacancy.  It will also be good practice for the new incumbent to review it with the Archdeacon after about 6 months in office.

A3.4           In addition to the to the role description there are a number of other sources which define the role of the priest.

A3.4.1 The Ordinal, which describes the role of a priest in a number of different ways at ordination.

A3.4.2 Canon Law sets out Church of England legislation which governs the way a priest should carry out their role.

A3.4.3 The licence from the bishop.

A3.4.4 Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy (2015) is a more recent document, which provides guidance on acceptable conduct.


A4 Stipend

See also the Statement of Particulars.


A4.1         How payable

The stipend will be received by monthly instalments paid into your nominated bank account by the Church Commissioners.  'Payday' is always the last working day of each month and your stipend will be paid across to you then.   Income tax and National Insurance contributions are deducted at source.  The stipend level is determined by the Bishop's Council within the overall policy as set by the Diocesan Synod.


A4.2         Training curates

Curates are paid on a scale which is reviewed annually.  The stipend is always at least the level of the National Minimum Stipend.  Increments are due on the anniversary of ordination until the 4th scale point is reached, at which point the stipend can be reviewed.


A4.3         Incumbents

Incumbents' stipends are reviewed each year with effect from 1st April.  The stipend may not all be receivable through the Church Commissioners' monthly payment.  For example, fees for undertaking chaplaincy duties all count toward the basic stipend.  Clergy should not receive direct fees for weddings and funerals as these are income to the Diocesan Board of Finance.  For further information contact the Diocesan Finance Team (01634 560000).


A4.4         Tax district

The tax district which deals with the Church Commissioners' payroll is NE3, Wadley House, 25 Little Horton Lane, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD5  0TZ (tel: 01274 777444) and the PAYE reference is 929/C16.  You may find it beneficial to employ a financial adviser.   Some advisers specialise in clergy taxation so it might be helpful to make enquiries.


A4.5         Local income

If you are in receipt of any other local incomes (through chaplaincies et cetera) you should declare it to the Diocesan Finance Team. Shortly before the end of the tax year, each year thereafter, you should be contacted by the Diocesan Finance Team to ensure that information is up-to-date.


A4.6         Expenses

It is possible to claim certain expenses – not refunded by the parish – against tax (e.g. washing of surplices, maintenance of robes, clerical assistance and the purchasing of replacement prayer books).  It is important that the payment made, for every item for which there is a claim, should be at a reasonable rate for the job.

For officeholders, this is done through the Heating, lighting, cleaning and garden upkeep (HLC) Scheme for which expenses incurred and how they were reimbursed, the cost of heating, lighting and cleaning the official parts of the house must be declared.  It is very important that this form is completed and returned to the Church Commissioners promptly.  This will ensure you receive the appropriate tax relief and you may pay too much tax until the form is returned.

Clergy who are part-time are not eligible to receive the HLC allowance, but may still able to claim tax relief on any work related heating, lighting, cleaning and garden upkeep expenses through the Ministers of Religion tax return under other expenses.


A4.7         Council tax, water rates and utility costs

At the current time the PCC or benefice is responsible for meeting the Council Tax and Water Rates liability on houses occupied by parochial clergy.  Accounts will normally be sent to the property to which it relates and you should pass them to the PCC or benefice treasurer for payment.

In respect of training curacies, the responsibility for payment rests with the ownership of the house.  If it a diocesan owned house then the Diocese will meet the cost, if it a PCC owned house, then the PCC will meet the cost (and get a grant from the Diocese to do so).  Please pass to the relevant body to make the payments.

With regard to utility bills (gas, electric and telephone), the responsibility rests with the occupants, but clergy can claim some tax relief for actual costs incurred on the PSA/PUN form.


A4.8         Self Assessment

Clergy should refer to their financial adviser or accountant – there are specialist firms that deal with clergy expenses.  The Church Commissioners have issued advice for clergy regarding self-assessment and a copy of this can be obtained from them.






A5 Augmentation of Stipends

A 5.1 It is the responsibility of the Diocesan Board of Finance to ensure that all incumbents' stipends are made up to the Diocesan Minimum Stipend for incumbents after taking into account their income from the following:


·         Guaranteed annuities and personal grants

·         Parochial giving direct for stipends (including contributions towards the costs of heating, lighting and cleaning the parsonage house)

·         Easter Offering (an historic but largely defunct practice)

·         Fees (both church fees and non-church fees)

·         Income from chaplaincies and public and educational appointments (after expenses properly incurred in earning this income)

·         Income from local trusts


A5.2           The computation of income for augmentation purposes does not include:


·         Spare-time earning

·         Spouse's earning

·         Private income

·         Approved working expenses






A6 Grants

The Diocese pays the following grants to clergy:


A6.1         First appointment grants 

The Diocese will make a grant of 10% of the National Minimum Stipend to clergy taking up a first appointment to a living or to a post of similar status and to those taking up their first appointment after ordination.  The current amount available can be obtained from the Diocesan Office.

The grant may be used to cover such things as the cost of:

     Domestic goods (eg carpets and curtains) intended to replace items used at the old residence which are not suitable for use in the new residence;

     Ecclesiastical robes;

     Books for use in the conduct of services.


The First Appointment Grant will normally be paid automatically following your Institution or the date of commencement of duties.  An advance of up to £800 can be made for the purchase of robes, upon a request being made in writing to the Diocesan Office (email is acceptable).

A6.2         Removal costs and expenses

The Diocese is responsible for the cost of clergy removals (ie "the van") on taking up a full-time stipendiary post within the Diocese and the removal will be carried out in accordance with the corporate contract arranged by the DBF.  The contract includes a full packing service.  Any unusual requests will be referred to the Diocese for agreement.  The removal contractor will not ask you to pay any deposit for packing materials.

A6.3         Resettlement grants

The Diocese will make a grant of up to 10% of the National Minimum Stipend to a stipendiary person towards the cost of any necessary alterations to or purchases of furnishings and other expenses incidental to the removal, i.e. towards the cost of domestic goods intended to replace items used at the old residence which are not suitable for use in the new residence.  This usually covers carpets and curtains, but could also cover, for example, kitchen equipment or furniture (eg a free-standing wardrobe which replaced a fitted one).  The reimbursement of any of these costs is subject to receipts being provided to confirm the expenditure actually incurred. 

Therefore Resettlement Grant payments are paid after invoices or estimates have been submitted to the Diocesan Office.  This can be done in the weeks leading up to your move; scanned/emailed copies of receipts are acceptable.

A6.4         Continuing Ministerial Development grant  

Grants for CMD can be applied for from the Formation and Ministry Team at the Diocesan Office. These are usually identified as part of the MDR process.

A6.5         Car loan schemes

The Churches Mutual Credit Union (CMCU) is now offering car loans.

Many providers offer loans details of which can be found online. We are unable to offer investment advice or recommend a particular provider or product.

If you wish to consider CMCU, details of their products can be found at www.cmcu.org.uk

If you have a question relating to an existing car loan please contact Payroll Services at clergy.payments@churchofengland.org or 020 7898 1618


A7 Parochial Fees - Ordained and Lay Ministers

Please see Parochial Fees Guidance Notes located on the diocesan website under finance.

However it is worth noting that

     The incumbent’s fee is a thing of the past and no longer exists. All DBF fees should be passed to the relevant PCC, which will then make the appropriate apportionments to the DBF and retired ministers as necessary. Licensed clergy and LLMs do not normally receive fees.

     All relevant expenses incurred by the person carrying out the duty should be fully reimbursed.

     The duty fees are set as identified in the Diocesan Directory under the section "Clergy with Permission to Officiate" and also listed on the diocesan website.

Other Publications about Parochial Fees

"A Guide to Church of England Parochial Fees" was issued by the Church Commissioners and "Supplementary Guidance Notes for Clergy".  Copies of both these items, and the Table of Parochial Fees, are available (free of charge) from the Ministry Division of the Archbishops' Council.





A8 Parochial Expenses

See also the Statement of Particulars.

All parochial clergy are entitled to have proper expenses of office reimbursed in full by the PCC. They are not perks, but a part of the cost of carrying out the work. Some PCCs suggest that a lump sum be paid to cover all expenses, but this is unsatisfactory because actual expenses still have to be justified to the Inspector of Taxes and you could be liable for tax on the sum received. You are advised to make a monthly claim to the PCC Treasurer and a pro forma for doing this can be obtained from the Diocesan Office. The main items of reimbursable parochial expenses include postage; stationery; telephone; secretarial assistance; office equipment; maintenance of robes; hospitality; travelling expenses (including mileage around the parish, travelling from the parsonage).

Agreement should be reached with the PCC as to the true costs of all expenses and how they are to be met. The booklet also deals with circumstances in which payments can properly be made to a spouse. Curates will not incur the same level of expenses as an incumbent, but it is important, at the start of an appointment for a curate to find out exactly how their expenses will be dealt with i.e. what do they cover, how are claims to be made. The level of such expenses is to be agreed with the incumbent, who will see that they are reimbursed.


Other publications about parochial expenses

A booklet entitled "The Parochial Expenses of the Clergy" is published by the Central Stipends Authority, Ministry Division, 14 Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ (0207 898 1792) and a guide to clergy expenses is published on the Church of England website.



A9 Termination of Appointment

See also the Statement of Particulars.

 All clergy are required to give at least 3 months’ notice before resigning their appointment.  This period may be waived by agreement between you and the Diocesan Bishop.

Your term of office may be terminated only in accordance with the circumstances set out in Section 3 of the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure 2009.

In order to ensure continuous payment of a cleric's stipend, convention has it that the date of resignation is the day before s/he is licensed to the subsequent post.


A 10 Housing

See also statement of particulars.


A10.1       The parsonage house

The incumbent is required, for the better performance of their duties, to occupy the parsonage house.  Remember that the parsonage house is the incumbent's home and it is for them to decide how it is used now, even though it might have been used differently previously.  Remember also that it is the family home and we all need space, time and privacy.  The incumbent must not feel pressurised by how the house has been used in the past.

The Diocese is responsible for the provision, maintenance and insurance of the house.  The initial point of contact on any matter relating to the parsonage is the Assistant Diocesan Secretary (Property) at the Diocesan Office.

The care of the parsonage house is a joint venture between the Diocese and the occupant.  Essential repairs will be undertaken by the Diocese, but funds may not be available for less urgent work and parish assistance, either financial or practical, is always welcome.


A10.2       Quinquennial surveys

Every house is subject to a detailed survey every 5 years by the Assistant Diocesan Secretary (Property).  A copy of the report is sent to the incumbent.  The Assistant Diocesan Secretary seeks tenders for the repairs detailed in the report and arranges for the work to be carried out.  If the incumbent wishes any local contractors to be included in the tendering, please advise the Assistant Diocesan Secretary.

The incumbent can make representations to the Clergy Houses Committee (which is accountable to the Finance Committee) if s/he feels the Assistant Diocesan Secretary's report does not cover all the repairs considered necessary.


A10.3       Interim repairs

From time to time other repairs will be necessary, which should be arranged through the Assistant Diocesan Secretary, who will either instruct a contractor to carry out the work, or will authorise the repairs to be dealt with locally.


A10.4       Minor Repairs

Minor repairs anticipated to cost less than £100 may be put in hand without reference to the Surveyor and reimbursement will be made if requested.


A10.5       Emergencies

In an emergency the incumbent should still contact the Assistant Diocesan Secretary or, if out of normal working hours, contact a contractor directly to deal with the immediate problem, and inform the Assistant Diocesan Secretary at the first opportunity.

If a suitable local contractor is not known, or it is not possible to contact them, those on the list below are known to us, and offer 24-hour 7-days-a-week, emergency call-out at a reasonable cost.

The names and numbers of any other contractors that are known to be reliable, and the telephone numbers of relevant Local Authorities, etc, can be added as an immediate reference point if and when an emergency arises.  Avoid using unknown contractors, especially from directories like Yellow Pages.


A 10.5.1  Emergency contact numbers

(an up to date list can be found on the Diocesan Website)



J. A Childs                              0208-468-7877   (mobile – 07951 – 204399)

Calmore Construction              020 8290 1545     David Moore (Bromley/Beckenham area)

Lang Contractors                    0788 7598974       John Lang

M P Hare Ltd (roofing specialist) 07971 902631   Marc Hare

Barratt Roofing                       01892 730581



Lyons Electrical                       01634 - 290000   

Phaseline Electrical                 01634 890118      Paul Leitch

GB Maintenance                      07947 724784      Graham Bristow



GB Maintenance                      07847 724784      Graham Bristow (also does electrics)

IC'y Solutions                          07976 800975      Ian Crisp

Hot and Cold Flushes              07595 425164      Mike Bennett



Hyro De-Scaling                      01634 867297

CS Drainage                           07761 853780



Keven Watt                            07720 451919

Down to Earth                        01959 524623



Bell Glass                               01634 377776

Fleet Glass                             01474 323535



Peter Rayfield                         07725 – 265205 (mobile)

                                             01634 – 371367 (office)


Wasps and other pests/vermin

Clean Kill                                0800 – 0565477 (0500 821324 freecall)

Arrowguard                            01732 820444

or Local Authority


Boilers & Servicing

Stevenson Heating                  0208 - 4628822    (Bromley & Bexley) *

Gasco                                    01634 - 294446    (Gravesend, Cobham, Malling, Dartford)

P D Plumbing                          01634 - 328800    (Gill/Roch/Strood)

                                             (Paul Kramer Mobile 07767 – 796768)

Cube                                      08008766579

Mark Carter                            07940 240088

IC'y Solutions                          as above


* Out of hours: Stevenson's advise that a message should be left on their answer machine and an engineer will then contact them as soon as possible.


A10.6       Central heating

The contractors have instructions to carry out a service and gas safety check annually.  If you believe your boiler service is due, or overdue, please contact the contractor direct to make an early appointment.  The contractors also have instructions to respond direct to call-outs in case of breakdown or emergency.


A10.7       Trees

Trees listed on the quinquennial survey report or those subject to statutory approval such as TPO or in conservation areas may be lopped or felled only with the Assistant Diocesan Secretary's approval.


A10.8       Improvements

Any work undertaken to improve or upgrade the parsonage house must have the approval of the Finance Committee and the Clergy Houses Group.  The Finance Committee has only a very limited sum of money available for grants towards such work, so parishes are usually expected to fund the cost of the improvement, enabling the limited monies to be used where most needed. It is essential that a parish consult its Archdeacon as early as possible for guidance.


A10.9       Assistant Diocesan Secretary (Property)

The Property Team, headed up by the Assistant Diocesan Secretary, will be pleased to advise if there is a problem with the parsonage house – if in doubt ask!  The contact details can be found on the diocesan website or through the Diocesan Office 01634 560000.


A10.10     Sub-Letting

Incumbents should not sub-let any part of the parsonage house under any circumstances or grant any rights of way without first consulting the Diocesan Secretary.  It can lead to serious difficulties.

In practice, many sub-tenancies in parsonage houses are established inadvertently by allowing friends or others to occupy part of the house in response to some urgent plea.  In these circumstances, on no account should the incumbent receive money, either as a direct payment or towards the cost of heat and light, or it may be construed as the payment of rent and a legal tenancy will be created.


A10.11     Interior decorations

Ongoing interior redecoration is the responsibility of the incumbent but parishes are encouraged to assist wherever possible, particularly before a new priest arrives in post. Many incumbents find it convenient to have a programme of interior decorations, whereby at least one room is redecorated each year, and PCCs are encouraged to assist if possible.   Some grants are available in exceptional circumstances.


A10.12     Burglar alarms

These are fitted to the majority of parsonage houses.  An annual service and maintenance agreement is strongly recommended and this is the responsibility of the PCC.  If the parsonage does not have an alarm, a grant towards the cost of installation may be available.


A10.13     Smoke detectors

Two detectors, one on each floor, are recommended,

Although the Diocese has been upgrading to interlinked alarms with QI electrical works, battery operated units, as found in most DIY shops, are adequate. 


A10.14     House insurance

All parsonage houses are covered by a policy effected by the Diocesan Office with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office.

Briefly, the policy makes the usual provisions for loss or damage to buildings by fire, explosion, lightning etc and for subsidence or landslip, but excluding damage to paths, drives, fences and gates, unless associated with such damage to the building.

Provision is made for third-party liability cover for which the incumbent may be legally liable as owner, but not as occupier.

Please inform the Assistant Diocesan Secretary as soon as possible of any accidental damage to the parsonage house.


A10.15     House contents

Incumbents are responsible for making arrangements to insure the contents of the house which personally belong to them and should ensure that the policy makes provision for third party cover as occupier.

Any points arising under this heading or in connection with anything affecting the fabric of the house should be referred to the Assistant Diocesan Secretary.  The contact details can be found on the diocesan website or through the Diocesan Office 01634 560000.


A10.16     When an incumbent leaves

It is the incumbent's responsibility to leave the house clean and empty and to see that all rubbish is cleared from the premises.

Fixtures are the property of the benefice and must be left in the house.  Passing on curtains, carpets, etc to a successor is a private matter.  In some parishes the PCC will have bought the hall and stair carpets for the vicarage or clergy house and so, of course, they remain.

Services should not be disconnected (gas, electricity, telephone) as it costs money and can cause inconvenience having them reconnected, and they will be required in the vacancy.

Meters should be read before the incumbent leaves so that the extent of liability for gas and electricity is known.

A10.17     Housing for clergy spouses and dependants in the event of bereavement or marriage breakdown

The Bishop has a pastoral responsibility to the spouses and dependants of clergy in his diocese. Not only is there the care offered through the clergy spouses network (see A18) but also the diocese continues its care in the unfortunate event of bereavement or marriage breakdown. This means, among other things, a responsibility to ensure that spouses and dependants have a home to live in, at least in the short and medium term

This responsibility is normally discharged by the Bishop’s Visitor, who acts as a point of contact between the spouse and the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF), and provides advice and pastoral support. The main form of assistance is advisory and in the following areas:

·         helping the spouse to find private rented accommodation

·         providing the spouse with information on the level of government support

·         if the spouse chooses to buy a property, arranging for the Diocesan Surveyor to inspect it and give advice on any significant repairs.

During this difficult time, the Bishop aims to provide the sufficient care and support to a clergy spouse whilst wherever possible promoting their independence. 

A10.18     The purchase of curate houses – notes for incumbents and PCCs

Before purchasing a curate house, consultation must take place with the Director of Formation and Ministry who holds responsibility for the placement of curates, and with the Finance Director (it is, of course, essential that funding has been agreed and is in place).

If the parish is to be responsible for funding, under the Parochial Church Council (Powers) Measure 1956, the DBF will be the Custodian Trustees of the property with the PCC being the Managing Trustee.  The consent of the DBF to the purchase will be required and Under the Parochial Church Council (Powers) Measure, the PCC is responsible for all fees (legal and surveying) to be incurred in a transaction and the PCC must indemnify the DBF in this respect.

Following the purchase the property will be registered in the name of the DBF at The Land Registry.  Under the Parochial Church Council (Powers) Measure, the PCC cannot hold property in its own right.

The PCC will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance, repairs, insurance and council tax of the property (see also G2 – the Diocesan Church Repair Fund).

Whether the purchase is funded by the DBF, the parish or a mixture of both, a report and valuation of the property will be required and it should be carried out by a qualified surveyor.  Where the property will be owned or partly owned by the DBF, the Board's property adviser is appointed as surveyor.  It is recommended that the PCC appoints the DBF’s solicitor to act on its behalf.  S/he will already by advising the DBF and this can save on fees.

Once the PCC has found a suitable property, it should notify the DBF for its consent.  However, no offer should be made as this will be done by the Board's solicitor.  The offer will be made subject to contract following a favourable surveyor's report and valuation.

It is important to consider whether it will be necessary to spend any money on "ingoing works", for example, decorating and upgrading.  The kitchen is often one area in need of this.

When the PCC has identified a property which is thought suitable it should contact the Diocesan Office when the Diocesan Secretary or Legal Adviser will give further advice and set in motion the purchase process (subject to survey).

The PCC should not become too enthusiastic about a property before the Assistant Diocesan Secretary's inspection.

If all goes well and the purchase is completed, the Deeds to the property will be held in the Diocesan Office.  The DBF's solicitor will also draw up a Declaration of Trust setting out the various equities in the property and signed by all parties concerned, and this will be kept with the Deeds.

NB: All properties housing assistant clergy must be in the CRF in accordance with the Schedule of the Diocesan Synod (October 1973) - see G2 – the Diocesan Church Repair Fund.

A10.19     Housing Allowance

Where the PCC owns or part owns a property for the occupation of a curate, then an allowance will be paid monthly to the PCC throughout the period of occupation equivalent to £8,400 p.a. (for 2017) based on full ownership or a commensurate proportion depending on the % owned by the PCC.



A11 Annual leave

See also the Statement of Particulars.

The leave year begins on 1st April of the year in which you were appointed and annually thereafter.  You are entitled to the equivalent of 6 weeks leave, pro-rata in part-time posts, in each leave year and bank holidays (or time off in lieu).

In any ministry team, it is important that the structures are clear for arranging and reporting annual leave and ensuring that services are covered or cancelled appropriately. It is the incumbent's responsibility to ensure the cover is arranged for Sundays and principal feasts when s/he is absent on annual leave.

It is good practice to inform the Area Dean if the incumbent is absent.

Your days of annual leave may not be taken on:


     More than 6 Sundays per year

     Any of the Principal Feasts of the Church of England and set out in Canon B 6, paragraph 2.

     Ash Wednesday

     Good Friday

     The Parish's Patronal Festival







A12 Rest periods

See also the Statement of Particulars.

You are entitled to an uninterrupted rest period of 24 hours in each period of 7 days and should take sensible amounts of rest during the rest of the week. The Bishop recommends that clergy consider taking at least 36 hours off, uninterrupted, in order to enable travel to family and friends who are further away.

Your weekly rest period may not be taken on:

     A Sunday

     Any of the Principal Feasts in the Church of England as set out in the Canons and Common Worship<