Common Tenure

From January 2011 significant changes occurred in the way in which clergy hold office in the Church of England.  The Clergy Terms of Service Measure (usually known as ‘Common Tenure’) came into effect on 31 January 2011, and applies to all clergy who held office prior to that date but did not have the freehold and to all new appointments.

Those who held the freehold at the date of implementation were invited to transfer to Common Tenure but were not obliged to do so. They may opt in to the new arrangements at any point, but will automatically transfer if they resign an existing freehold office to take up a new office.

The legislation conferred new rights and responsibilities on clergy and other ecclesiastical officers. One of those rights was to be provided with a written statement of particulars for the office to which they have been appointed. You can find an example statement of particulars below.

Clergy on Employment Contracts

Some clergy do not hold parochial office, but are employed by the Diocesan Board of Finance or in a chaplaincy or advisory capacity. The Terms of Service Regulations do not apply to such clergy, although they will have similar rights and responsibilities conferred within their existing employment contracts. They are encouraged to participate in Ministry Development Reviews (MDRs) and Continuing Ministry Development (CMD) as appropriate to their circumstances and do remain subject to the Clergy Discipline Measure.

Diocesan Guidelines for Clergy

Since the measure came into being, the diocese has written the Diocesan Guidelines for Clergy, which are now available online. The guidelines contain both new and existing information which has been brought together to form one cohesive document. It has been developed to give advice and guidance in working arrangements for all clergy holding the Bishop’s licence.  However, some sections will apply only to clergy in receipt of a stipend or those on Common Tenure as it expands upon the rights and obligations conferred by the legislation and should be read in conjunction with the Statement of Particulars.

Further information regarding common tenure and a link to the Measure can be found on the Common Tenure website.

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