Common Tenure goes live

by Michael Ford last modified 31 Jan, 2011 04:51 PM

New support for clergy and stipendiary Licensed Lay Workers

Common Tenure goes live

The national CofE website

From February 1st most Church of England clergy will hold their Ecclesiastical Office under a new form of tenure. Common Tenure aims to help clergy by providing fair terms of service, support and development by ensuring a just framework of accountability; and by providing more security for clergy who do not currently have the Freehold.


Those transferring automatically will not become employees, and will retain their status as Office Holders, but will be afforded a range of employment rights, responsibilities and accountabilities. These include the right to be provided with a written Statement of Particulars setting out various matters such as:

·         entitlement to stipend and reimbursement of expenses

·         terms and conditions relating to rest periods and public holidays

·         incapacity for work due to sickness or injury

·         housing provision

·         access to a grievance procedure.

 Office Holders will be required amongst other things:

 ·         to participate and co-operate in Ministry Review;

·         to participate in Continued Ministerial Development;

The Bishop will have the right to initiate a capability procedure if he has concerns about the performance of an Office Holder under Common Tenure. This procedure is designed to be supportive. Only in the very last resort can an office holder be removed from office for incapacity, and in such a case he or she has the right to bring a claim for unfair dismissal in an Employment Tribunal.

When the legislation takes effect, all new appointments will be on Common Tenure. Most current licensed Office Holders (priests-in-charge, team vicars, assistant curates, residentiary canons on fixed term appointments) will automatically be transferred to Common Tenure. Appointments may generally be held until the age of 70.

Freeholders (including Team Rectors) will be invited at some point in the near future to indicate whether they are willing to move to Common Tenure, and if they do not, they will continue to hold their then current appointment on its existing terms.

The Diocesan Clergy handbook has been re-written to provide up-to-date information for all clergy.

More information can be found on the diocesan website by clicking here.


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