Clergy Terms of Service Information
All Clergy on Common Tenure are issued with a Statement of Particulars (SOP). The SOP details your rights and responsibilities as conferred by the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure and Regulations 2009. These pages are a reference point which sets out matters which are statutory and derive from the Measure and Regulations, and those which are matters of Diocesan policy.
Clergy either hold office:
- Under Freehold (existing Freeholders are able to transfer to Common Tenure or to remain as Freehold Incumbents for the duration of their existing appointment)
- Under Common Tenure
- As employees (of the LDF, or the Bishop in his corporate capacity, or some other body.) As such they are not covered by Common Tenure, and may be on different terms from other clergy in the diocese.
What follows is therefore applicable to those on Common Tenure, though freehold and employee clergy will also find policies and information in it which are relevant to them. If you are freehold or employed and are unsure whether a particular matter is covered within your terms of service, please contact our HR Clergy Partner, Cece Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org), or your Area Bishop.
For the purposes of correspondence, the Diocesan Office referred to is:
London Diocesan House
36 Causton Street
London SW1P 4AU
This is the registered office of the London Diocesan Fund (LDF).
The officer of the diocese nominated by the Diocesan Bishop under Section 3 of the Regulations to be responsible for the issue of Statements of Particulars is Cece Thomas.
You will receive correspondence about your SOP from Cece Thomas and from your Area Bishop.
1. Appointment and office
Details of your appointment and office are provided in your Statement of Particulars.
You should also have regard to:
2. Termination of appointment
The circumstances in which your appointment can be terminated are set out in your Statement of Particulars and in the Regulations.
Regulations 29 & 30 are the relevant sections of the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations 2009. The composite text of the Regulations can be found here.
3. Stipend & Allowances
Your stipend entitlement (if your ministry is stipendiary) is set out in your Statement of Particulars and in Regulation 11.
You will find resources on many aspects of Clergy Pay and Conditions.
The Stipend scales currently in force can be found in the Stipend scales, removal grants and fees article. The Scales are set annually by the London Diocesan Synod or its Standing Committee (the London Diocesan Bishop’s Council).
Any stipend or annual cost of living increases set by the London Diocesan Synod or its Standing Committee will normally take effect from the 1st April. You will need to submit your annual returns using MyView. The Diocese uses the information submitted through MyView to set individual clergy stipends at the correct level. It is therefore very important that all clergy submit their returns without delay.
Additional responsibility allowances (usually a stipend uplift of 10%) are paid to Area Deans, Deans of Women’s Ministry and other posts of responsibility.
No child allowances are paid in the Diocese of London.
The recommended scale of fees for priests undertaking occasional duty is set out in the Stipend scales, removal grants and fees article.
Housing allowances are not normally paid. If you are in receipt of a stipend and occupy your own house, and you are not provided with a house in which you are required to live for the better performance of your duties, you may be entitled to a housing allowance. If this is the case, it will be detailed in your Statement of Particulars. A tax liability may be incurred.
The policy on, and current rates of grants for, removal and resettlement can be found in the Stipend scales, removal grants and fees article.
The Diocese pays the following grants to clergy:
Removal Grants and Expenses
When moving into a vicarage or Diocesan property, the Diocese will pay reasonable removal expenses. Applicants are required to obtain at least three written quotations including insurance if required as this is not provided separately through the Diocese. (Please note that your household insurance may cover removals). One quotation should be from a national firm such as Britannia or Pickfords. Removal grants are normally limited to a single move and do not cover specialist items such as grand pianos, fine art or chandeliers. Removal grants of more than £5,000 need advance approval of an Archdeacon otherwise the grant will be capped to £5,000.
For international moves, the Diocese will meet the removal costs from the port of entry in the UK.
Grants are administered by Elaine Saunders at the Diocesan Office.
The Diocese pays a resettlement grant which is 10% of the National Minimum Stipend. This is in addition to any first or second appointment grant payable.
First Appointment Grant
The diocese pays a First Appointment Grant which is equal to 10% of the National Minimum Stipend to Training Curates taking up their first title post and is towards the cost of robes, theological books and any other equipment that they need for the new appointment.
First Incumbency Grant
The diocese pays a First Appointment Grant which is equal to 10% of the National Minimum Stipend to clergy taking up their first parochial appointment after training, whether that is as incumbent, priest in charge, associate or a second curacy. This is towards the cost of setting up home for the first time in a house of the size normally provided for an incumbent or post of equivalent status.
Locally Supported Ministry
No grants will be provided by the LDF. The responsibility for paying a removal grant rests with the PCC. Resettlement Grants should be paid by the GCC/PCC at the same rate as for centrally supported clergy.
Please note that removal and resettlement grants may be treated as taxable income in certain circumstances. Further information can be found on the Church of England website.
The LDF does not pay a removal grant for the move out of the parsonage on retirement. Clergy may be able to seek financial support from Area discretionary funds or external grant makers.
5. Other Benefits
There are no additional special benefits paid as of right to clergy in the Diocese of London. However, the Archdeacons have access to various funds and details of charitable bodies to which application can be made. Contact your Archdeacon in the first instance.
6. Other income
If you are in receipt of other income arising from your office (for example, sessional payments as a part-time visiting hospital chaplain), you must declare it on your MyView annual return.
7. Parochial and other fees
If you are legally entitled to receive parochial fees (normally only applicable to incumbents), this is specified in your Statement of Particulars. These must be declared on your MyView annual return.
The responsibility for ensuring that the working expenses of clergy and lay workers are reimbursed in full rests with Parochial Church Councils. Clergy and licensed lay workers who experience difficulty in obtaining reimbursement of properly incurred working expenses should, in the first instance, approach their Archdeacon.
The guidelines for reimbursement of working expenses are set out in The Parochial Expenses of the Clergy
Car, Motorcycle and Pedal Cycle Mileage Rates
Mileage should be reimbursed on the basis of the rates shown in the Stipend scales, removal grants and fees article.
- No mileage allowance, or other travel expenses, can be claimed in respect of travel from home to your designated place of work.
- PCCs may agree to pay staff at other mileage rates, but a tax liability may be incurred.
- Further guidance on the taxation implications of this is available here and click on bottom link in “resources” box.
If you are entitled to be provided with housing, your Statement of Particulars sets out your entitlement and both the duties of your designated housing provider and your duties in respect of your accommodation. Regulations 12 to 15 provide the framework for this
General information on diocesan housing can be found in the Clergy Housing support pages.
Heating, lighting, cleaning
All full-time clergy and stipendiary lay workers living in accommodation occupied rent and rate free, provided for the better performance of their duties as ministers of religion will receive, on completion of an annual return of expenditure on heating, etc., as a tax free part of their stipend, the cost of heating, lighting and cleaning of those parts of the house used by them for their official duties and occupied by them and their families and also the upkeep of the gardens similarly used, provided that there are sufficient eligible funds (as defined by the Inland Revenue) to make this payment. If difficulty is experienced in obtaining tax relief for this expenditure, please contact Elaine Saunders at the Diocesan Office.
If clergy are not entitled to heating, lighting and cleaning then they can apply independently via the tax return to the Inland Revenue, to claim a refund. This is the clergy person’s responsibility.
a) Heating and Lighting
Total expenditure on gas, electricity, oil, solid fuel, etc., can be claimed against tax, but an appropriate deduction should be made for the cost of any cooking (pro rata in the case of a cooker which also heats water).
The cost of materials and wages paid to a cleaner can be claimed against tax, but an appropriate deduction should be made if the cleaner also undertakes non-cleaning duties such as a cooking or shopping. Claims can also be made for payments to a spouse for cleaning if instead of employing an outside cleaner a spouse is paid for these services. However, proof must be available that the amounts paid are reasonable in the circumstances and that such payments have actually been made. Such payments need to be accounted for, where appropriate, when income tax returns are submitted. There is no benefit in paying a spouse if he/she earns sums from other sources, which will bring income above the single person’s tax allowance.
c) Garden Upkeep
Claims against tax can be made for petrol and oil for mowers, repairs to garden tools (e.g. overhauling mowers), tree surgery, and wages paid to a gardener (including a spouse, but see proviso under Cleaning above). Claims cannot be made for the costs of seeds, plants, turf, peat, fertilizer, new tools, landscaping works, garden furniture, paving, sheds or fencing.
“Double relief”: must not inadvertently be claimed; that is to say if the outgoings are met by the PCC wholly or in part, care must be taken to see that non-taxable relief of Stipend Fund payments is only claimed for the outgoings not covered by the PCC.
Houses which are Benefice Properties and houses where the Parsonage Board or the LDF is the relevant housing provider
The Diocese is responsible for the provision, maintenance and the insurance of these houses through the Property Department. Council tax and insurance will continue to be paid direct by the Diocese centrally, the cost of which will be included in the overall diocesan budgetary requirement. Claims on the building insurance policy are dealt with by the Property Department at the Diocesan Office. If an incident occurs such as a break in, malicious damage, storm damage, flood or water penetration, that may be part of a claim, please follow the procedure set out in the Clergy Housing support pages.
The Diocese will meet the cost of the tax and pay the relevant authority direct from the Diocesan Office. Demands should be passed on to the Finance Department at the Diocesan Office. Those who occupy their house as single occupiers should ensure that the council tax office is aware that this is the case, so as to receive 25% discount.
The Diocese is always grateful to receive voluntary contributions towards council tax from any clergy households where there is significant additional income. In cases where there are non-family members making a financial payment for residing in the property, those residents should also be making a contribution towards council tax.
It is the office holder’s responsibility to arrange for the insurance of the contents of the house. Details of claims for damage to the house e.g. broken windows should be passed immediately to the Property Department at the Diocesan Office.
Any matters needing repair should be brought promptly to the attention of the Property Department. If an emergency arises out of office hours, a contractor listed in the Minor Works Handbook or a reputable local contractor known to either the incumbent or a member of the parish should be contacted, and limited repairs undertaken to resolve the immediate problem. The bill should be forwarded promptly to the Property Department, to reimburse reasonable charges. Occupiers are reminded that there is no guarantee that contractors or tradesmen located by means of directories will make reasonable charges or provide satisfactory workmanship. All works costing £100 or under (including VAT) should normally be met by the PCC, or by the occupier.
When the survey is due the surveyor commissioned by the Property Department will give notification of the inspection and arrange a suitable time to carry out the survey. Following the survey a date for the actual repair work to be carried out will be agreed. All urgent repairs will be carried out within 12 months.
Under no circumstances should any part of the Parsonage house be sub-let before contacting the Archdeacon – it may result in serious legal problems. Archdeacons, the Diocesan Registrar and the Residential Property Manager are available to advise on all property and legal matters.
Leaving a Property
A pre-vacation inspection is undertaken by the Residential Property Manager prior to departure where the proper arrangements for hand-over are confirmed. The handover of keys should be arranged with the Property Department and churchwardens.
All items supplied by the Diocese, and fixtures and fittings should be left. Items paid for by the PCC should also be left, as they are the property of the benefice. The property should be left clean and tidy and free from any rubbish or unwanted furniture or possessions. If any fixtures and fittings are removed they should be replaced and the basic decorations should be made good in readiness for redecoration by the next occupier.
Meters should be read and the readings given to the church wardens or to the Property Department. You should settle the final bill and advise the suppliers to whom future bills should be sent. The Property Department will advise who this will be.
Elaine Saunders in the Finance Department should be notified of the date when the house is to be vacant.
Other Dwellings where the LDF is not the relevant housing provider
Accommodation for Licensed Full-Time Parochial Assistant Clergy
Where it is agreed that the PCC or a Trust will be the relevant housing provider, the PCC/Trust is responsible for providing suitable accommodation. The accommodation might be a house owned by the PCC/Trust or the PCC/Trust may rent a property from a third party landlord.
The responsibility for paying the Council Tax rests with the beneficial owner of the property. In the case of assistant staff living in a parish property, the account should be forwarded to the Finance Department who will arrange for it to be paid. When the property is vacant the PCC (in liaison with the Finance Department) must notify the local authority whether the house is to be held empty pending the appointment of a minister of religion, in which case no Council Tax is payable. Where assistant staff live in a diocesan property, the Finance Department will arrange for the tax to be paid. This does not apply to LSM or House for Duty priests appointed by the PCC. In these cases, the Council Tax is the responsibility of the PCC.
It is the parish’s responsibility to ensure that if accommodation is purchased or leased, it is adequately insured against damage or loss.
The cost of providing and maintaining parish property is the financial responsibility of the parish.
Parish Funded (LSM) Posts
Where additional posts, approved by the Area Bishop, are funded by a parish, the parish is responsible for providing housing for the post holder, and for all associated costs.
10. Ministerial Development Review
All clergy holding office under Common Tenure are required to participate in Ministerial Development Review (MDR). The details of the Diocese of London MDR scheme can be found under the Ministry section of the website.
11. Continuing Ministerial Development
The policy framework for CMD in the Diocese of London can also be found under the Ministry section of the website.
- New incumbents are required to participate in an induction programme.
- Policy on Clergy Study Leave is detailed here.
- Clergy in title posts undertake POT for 3 or 4 years. The POT policy is set out here.
12. Rest Periods, Leave and Time Off
Your entitlement to rest periods, leave and time off is detailed in your Statement of Particulars. For the purposes of accrual, the annual leave period runs from 1st January to 31st December. Leave should not be carried over to the next calendar year without written consent from your Incumbent, Archdeacon, or Bishop.
There is no statutory requirement to report annual leave. You may find it helpful to notify the Area Dean or the Bishop’s Office to let them know that you are away. They will also be able to suggest possible clergy for cover while you are away.
In addition to annual leave and public holidays (as appropriate), you are also encouraged to take an additional day off each month ensuring a regular pattern of two consecutive days off.
Retreats should properly be counted as part of your personal development rather than annual leave. The cost of retreats is not eligible for a CMD grant, but is a proper charge against expenses.
In addition to your normal entitlement, and in order to encourage a sabbatical principle of rest and spiritual refreshment, it is suggested that clergy take an additional annual holiday entitlement every seven years. Your entitlement in the seventh year would be increased by twelve days over and above the entitlement specified in your Statement of Particulars.
The Bishop may grant you an additional period of special leave in particular circumstances and for pastoral reasons.
13. Maternity, Paternity, Parental and Adoption Leave and pay
Your basic entitlements are detailed in your Statement of Particulars. For further information please see our London Diocesan Guide to Family Friendly Leave for Clergy.
This guide aims to answer questions that clergy and those working with them might have when they wish to take family-friendly leave.
14. Time off for public duties
Your entitlement is detailed in your Statement of Particulars. The entitlement allows you to spend reasonable time on public duties. In the event of any dispute about what constitutes reasonable time off for public duties, the Bishop will adjudicate.
Your obligations and rights if you are unable to perform your duties because of sickness are set out in Regulations 27 and 28.
You are required to inform the Area Bishop’s office if you are unable to perform your duties because of illness. These requirements are in order to ensure proper administration of and accounting for Statutory Sick Pay, and to ensure proper pastoral care.
In the event of a prolonged absence owing to illness, the churchwardens, Area Dean and Archdeacon should consult to ensure adequate pastoral care for a parish and the person, and the Archdeacon should monitor the situation and agree a process for the person’s resumption of duties.
Your entitlement to a pension is summarised in your Statement of Particulars.
The Church of England Pensions Board produces a helpful booklet, Your Pensions Questions Answered
17. Disciplinary, Capability and Grievance Procedures
Your Statement of Particulars specifies the disciplinary, capability and grievance procedures that apply to your office. Further information is available from your Area Bishop or the Head of Human Resources. The Diocese’s Bullying and Harassment Policy is available here and includes information on safeguarding.
Further details of the Codes of Practice and supporting advice that apply to the capability and grievance procedures, together with a link to the Clergy Discipline Measure, may be found on the Common Tenure website.