Common Tenure FAQs

The majority of clergy in the Church of England hold their Ecclesiastical office under Common Tenure. This is part of a framework of terms of service that provides clergy, who are not subject to employment law, certain legal rights and obligations. All clergy are subject to the same standards as outlined in the Clergy discipline measure and Guidelines for the Conduct of Clergy.

What is Common Tenure?
What was the purpose of this legislation?
Which post holders fall outside the scope of the legislation?
What happened to clergy retaining the Freehold?
Are clergy involved in pastoral reorganisation able to keep their freehold if they take on an extra parish and benefice if held in plurality?
What rights do office holders have under Common Tenure?
Can office holders be made redundant?
Can office holders raise a grievance?
Can office holders claim constructive dismissal?
In what circumstances is a bishop able to remove clergy from office?
Are clergy able to appeal to an Employment Tribunal against removal from office?
What is the position of incumbents who do not live in the parsonage house?
What are the rights of patrons under Common Tenure?
What responsibilities do bishops have under Common Tenure?
What is the relationship between the Role Description and the Statement Of Particulars?
What is the status of the Role Description and whose responsibility is it? What needs to be in it? Is it legitimate to change it over a period of time?
Can someone on Common Tenure be compelled to take on an additional parish or parishes, if this is supported by parishioners and diocese?
Is there a clear way of designating whether in a particular set of circumstances it is more appropriate to use the capability procedure or the Clergy Discipline Measure?
If a post falls within Regulation 29, how should this be reflected in the Statement of Particulars?
What is the relationship between the Statement of Particulars and the licence (where applicable)?
Does an office holder need to sign their Statement of Particulars to agree it?
Who should be the person nominated under Regulation 3 to issue the Statement of Particulars?
What is the significance of identifying a body responsible for the payment of the stipend?
What should be recorded in the Statement of Particulars about rest periods and annual leave?
What about annual retreats and sabbaticals?
What duties are covered by the right to time off for public duties?
Must there be two separate statements of particulars where two posts are held by the same person?
What entitlement to stipend does a part-time stipendiary office holder have?
What is the position of associate ministers whose stipend is paid by the parish?
What type of Statement of Particulars is appropriate for a priest or deacon exercising his or her ministry under a general licence?
What is the position of an office holder on Common Tenure who reaches the age of 70?
What responsibilities do office holders have under Common Tenure?