Clergy Discipline

Clergy Discipline Measure

The Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 ('CDM') provides processes for dealing efficiently and fairly with formal complaints of serious misconduct against members of the clergy.  It applies to all deacons, priests and bishops in the Church of England, even if they are not in active ministry.

If you wish to complain about serious misconduct committed by a member of the clergy, please see below for more information. 

If you have any general enquiries about the operation of the disciplinary procedures which are not answered on these pages, please contact the Legal Office.

You can find information about the Clergy Discipline Rules and Appeal Rules, the availability of ecclesiastical legal aid, the Code of Practice and other guidance, as well as to details of practice directions issued by the President of Tribunals using the left hand navigation.

The disciplinary process

A high standard of integrity and service is expected of our clergy.  Mostly that standard is met, but occasionally individual clergy can fall short of what is expected.  When this occurs there are different ways to respond.

  1. If it is a minor incident or instance of behaviour you consider inappropriate, you are encouraged to share your disappointment with the cleric concerned and resolve it together.
  2. If that is insufficient, you should speak to your area dean or archdeacon (your diocesan office will be able to tell you who this is).  Someone on the bishop’s staff will then speak to the cleric concerned, so that the matter can be dealt with and rectified informally.
  3. Only if the problem is more serious and may amount to misconduct which justifies disciplinary action will the provisions of the Clergy Discipline Measure (‘CDM’) be required.  The CDM provides a procedure for handling such complaints of misconduct.

At whatever level you are concerned, please be assured that your complaint will be taken seriously.

How to make a complaint
Who can make a complaint?
What happens when a complaint is made?
Registrar

The legal officer for a diocese who gives legal advice to churches and clergy on matters relating to their work, preparing legal documents for the diocese and more.

A diagram showing how the disciplinary procedures work is provided below, as are various documents which may assist you.

If you have any questions, please use the form below.