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Incumbents (Vacation of Benefices) Measure 1977

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Incumbents (Vacation of Benefices) Measure 1977

1977 No. 1

A Measure passed by the General Synod of the Church of England to make provision, including provision for the vacation of the benefice, where there has been a serious breakdown of the pastoral relationship between an incumbent and his parishioners or where an incumbent is unable by reason of age or infirmity to discharge adequately the duties attaching to his benefice, and for purposes connected therewith.

[30th June 1977]

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I1Measure partly in force at Royal Assent. Measure wholly in force at 30.12.1977 see s. 21(3)

Part IU.K. Institution of Enquiry into Pastoral Situation in a Parish

[F11 Code of Practice as to reconciliation.E

(1)It shall be the duty of the House of Bishops to draw up rules of guidance for the purposes of this Measure generally and, in particular, as to the steps which that House considers should be taken, where the bishop of a diocese receives notice of intention to make a request under section 1A of this Measure, to—

(a)promote better relations between the incumbent and the parishioners; and

(b)remove the causes of their estrangement,

and to promulgate the rules of guidance in a Code of Practice.

(2)The House of Bishops may at any time amend or replace a Code of Practice issued under subsection (1) above by a further Code of Practice issued under that subsection.]

Textual Amendments

F1S. 1 inserted (1.9.1994) by 1993 Measure No. 1, s. 1 (with s. 15) (the originally enacted s. 1 being renumbered (1.9.1994) as s. 1A by s. 2(1) (with s. 15) of that 1993 Measure); Instrument dated 25.7.1994 made by Archbishops of Canterbury and York

[F21A] Request for enquiry into pastoral situation in a parish.E

(1)A request for an enquiry under this Part of this Measure into the pastoral situation in a parish on the ground that there has been a serious breakdown of the pastoral relationship between the incumbent and [F3the] parishioners to which the conduct of the incumbent or of [F3the] parishioners or of both has contributed over a substantial period may [F4, subject to subsection (1A) below] be made by—

(a)the incumbent of the benefice to which the parish belongs; or

(b)the archdeacon in whose archdeaconry the parish is; or

(c)a majority of not less than two-thirds of the lay members of the parochial church council of the parish present and voting at a duly convened meeting of that council on a resolution that the request be made; or

(d)where the incumbent mentioned in paragraph (a) above is the archdeacon mentioned in paragraph (b) above, a majority of the members of the bishop’s council and standing committee of the diocesan synod of the diocese in which the parish is.

[F5(1A)An enquiry under this Part of this Measure shall only be undertaken after the persons concerned have had an opportunity to resolve the pastoral situation in the parish in question; and, accordingly, a request for such an enquiry shall not be made unless notice of intention to make the request has been given by the person or persons concerned to the bishop of the diocese in which the parish in question is at least six months, and not more than twelve months, before the request is made.]

(2)A request for such an enquiry [F6, and a notice of intention to make it, shall be made or given] in writing to the bishop of the diocese in which the parish in question is and the secretary of the diocesan synod of that diocese and [F7, in the case of a request,] shall contain particulars of the facts which appear to the person or persons making the request to justify an enquiry.

(3)A request for such an enquiry [F8, and a notice of intention to make it, made or given] by the persons mentioned in subsection (1)(c) or (d) above must—

(a)be signed by all of those persons and include the address of each of them; and

(b)specify two persons from among those signing the request [F9or notice] who are willing to act as representatives of those persons in connection with the enquiry [F9or notice] and indicate which of those two is willing to conduct and receive correspondence relating to the enquiry [F9or notice] (in this Measure referred to as “the designated representative”).

(4)A request for such an enquiry [F10, and a notice of intention to make it, made or given] by the persons mentioned in subsection (1)(c) above must also contain a statement that the persons who have signed the request [F11or notice] constitute a majority of two-thirds or more of those lay members of the parochial church council of the parish in question who were present at a duly convened meeting of that council and voted thereat on a resolution that the request be made [F12or the notice be given].

(5)A request for such an enquiry [F13, and a notice of intention to make it, made or given] by the persons mentioned in subsection (1)(d) above must also contain a statement that the persons who have signed the request [F14or notice] constitute a majority of the members of the bishop’s council and standing committee of the diocesan synod of the diocese in which the parish in question is.

(6)Where a [F15request or notice made or given] under this section is received by the secretary of the diocesan synod, he shall notify—

(a)the incumbent of the benefice to which the parish in question belongs, unless it was he who made the request [F16or gave the notice];

(b)the archdeacon in whose archdeaconry that parish is, unless it was he who made the request [F16or gave the notice]; and

(c)the secretary of the parochial church council of that parish, unless it was the persons mentioned in subsection (1)(c) above who made the request [F16or gave the notice].

[F17(7)A request made under this section may be withdrawn by notice in writing given to the bishop of the diocese in which the parish in question is and the secretary of the diocesan synod of that diocese by—

(a)in the case of a request made by the person mentioned in subsection (1)(a) or (b) above, that person;

(b)in the case of a request made by the persons mentioned in subsection (1)(c) above, a majority of the lay members of the parochial church council of the parish present and voting at a duly convened meeting of that council on a resolution that the request be withdrawn;

(c)in the case of a request made by the persons mentioned in subsection (1)(d) above, by a majority of the members of the bishop’s council and standing committee of the diocesan synod of the diocese in which the parish is,

and where a request is withdrawn under this subsection no further steps shall be taken under this Part of this Measure in connection with the request.]

Textual Amendments

2 Action to be taken by archdeacon in certain cases before institution of enquiry.E

(1)Where the bishop of a diocese receives a request under [F18section 1A] of this Measure, then, unless—

(a)the request was made by the archdeacon in whose archdeaconry the parish in question is, or

(b)that archdeacon is the incumbent of the benefice to which the parish in question belongs,

the bishop shall direct the first mentioned archdeacon [F19to take such steps as are mentioned in subsection (4) below and] to report in accordance with subsection (5) below.

(2)Where the archdeaconry in which the parish in question is situated is vacant, the bishop shall appoint some other archdeacon holding office in the diocese to act in the case and shall inform the secretary of the diocesan synod accordingly.

(3)Where the archdeacon in whose archdeaconry the parish in question is situated is of opinion that it would not be right or expedient for him to act in the case, he shal so inform the bishop and the bishop shall appoint some other archdeacon holding office in the diocese to act in his place and shall inform the secretary of the diocesan synod accordingly.

[F20(4)On receiving the directions of the bishop the archdeacon shall take such steps as he considers appropriate to promote better relations between the incumbent and his parishioners and to remove the causes of their estrangement.]

(5)Not more than six weeks after receiving [F21the directions of the bishop] the archdeacon shall report to the bishop whether in his opinion an enquiry into the pastoral situation in the parish to which the request relates would be in the best interest of the incumbent and [F21the] parishioners and should accordingly be instituted [F22; and the archdeacon, in making his report to the bishop, shall have regard to the extent to which the current Code of Practice issued under section 1 of this Measure has been complied with].

(6)On receiving the archdeacon’s report the bishop shall inform the secretary of the diocesan synod of the archdeacon’s opinion as stated in his report and direct him to inform the incumbent, the secretary of the parochial church council and the designated representative, if any, of it.

3 Institution of enquiry.E

(1)Where—

(a)the request for an enquiry under this Part of this Measure was made by the archdeacon in whose archdeaconry the parish in question is or that archdeacon is the incumbent of the benefice to which the parish in question belongs; or

(b)the archdeacon appointed to act under section 2 of this Measure reports that in his opinion such an enquiry should be instituted; or

(c)within six months after the making of his report the archdeacon informs the bishop that notwithstanding that he did not report as aforesaid he considers that the circumstances are such that such an enquiry is nevertheless required; or

(d)within six months after the making of the archdeacon’s report the incumbent, the secretary of the parochial church council or the designated representative, if any, informs the bishop that notwithstanding that the archdeacon did not report as aforesaid such an enquiry is nevertheless required,

then [F23the bishop may, if he thinks fit, direct the secretary of the diocesan synod to institute such enquiry]

[F24(1A)If, within the period of six months after the relevant date, the bishop neither gives a direction under subsection (1) above nor notifies the secretary of the diocesan synod that he has decided not to give such a direction, such a direction shall be deemed to have been given.

(1B)In this section “relevant date” means—

(a)in either of the cases described in subsection (1)(a) above, the date on which the request was made;

(b)in the case described in subsection (1)(b) above, the date on which the report was made;

(c)in the case described in subsection (1)(c) or (d) above, the date on which the bishop is informed that, notwithstanding that the archdeacon did not report that in his opinion an enquiry under this Part of this Measure should be instituted, such an enquiry is nevertheless required.]

[F25(2)Where it is the secretary of the parochial church council or the designated representative who informs the bishop as mentioned in subsection (1)(d) above, the bishop may, if he thinks fit and without prejudice to subsection (3) below, give a direction under subsection (1) above but shall not be obliged to do so.]

[F25(3)Where the person holding the office of incumbent of the benefice to which the parish in question belongs has held that office for less than three years at the date on which, but for this subsection, the bishop would be required or have power to give a direction under subsection (1) above, the bishop may, if he thinks fit, give such a direction but shall not be obliged to do so.]

4 Provisions with respect to resignation of benefice by incumbent.U.K.

(1)Where a request for an enquiry under this Part of this Measure is made in accordance with section 1 thereof, the incumbent concerned may when, or at any time before, he receives a notification from the bishop of the diocese under section 12(1) of this Measure request the bishop to accept his resignation of his benefice, and the bishop may, if he thinks it would be in the interest of the Church to do so, accept the resignation.

(2)An incumbent who has been informed that the bishop has accepted his resignation of his benefice under subsection (1) above shall execute a deed resigning his benefice as from such date as may be specified in the deed, being a date not later than three months after the date on which he was informed as aforesaid, and shall vacate the parsonage house or other his official residence not later than three months after the date on which the benefice became vacant by virtue of that deed.

(3)Where the bishop accepts the resignation of an incumbent under this section, he shall notify the secretary of the diocesan synod that no further steps are to be taken in connection with the enquiry and direct him to inform the secretary of the parochial church council of the parish in question, the designated representative, if any, and, if necessary, the archdeacon in whose archdeaconry that parish is and the members of the body by which the enquiry was to have been, or is being, conducted of that fact.

Prospective

[F265Enquiry to be conducted by provincial tribunal.E

An enquiry into the pastoral situation in a parish shall be conducted by a provincial tribunal for the province in which the parish in question is situated.]

Part IIU.K. Institution of Enquiry into Disability of Incumbent

6 Enquiry whether incumbent is unable to discharge duties by reason of age or infirmity.E

(1)Subject to subsection (2) below, in any case where the bishop of a diocese is satisfied that it is proper to do so he may by notice in writing instruct the secretary of the diocesan synod to [F27institute an enquiry as to whether] the incumbent of a benefice in the diocese is unable by reason of age or infirmity of mind or body to discharge adequately the duties attaching to his benefice and, if so, whether it is desirable that he should resign his benefice or be given assistance in discharging those duties.

[F28(1A)An enquiry under this section shall be conducted by a provincial tribunal for the province in which the benefice in question is situated.]

(2)This section shall not apply to an incumbent who is also—

(a)a suffragan bishop to whom the [F29Bishops (Retirement) Measure 1986] applies; or

(b)a dean, provost or archdeacon to whom the M1Church Dignitaries (Retirement) Measure 1949 applies.

Part IIIU.K. Enquiries and Subsequent Proceedings

7 Constitution and procedure of committees and tribunals.E

[F30(1)Panels of persons for the purposes of this Measure are to be appointed in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 1; and provincial tribunals for the purposes of this Measure are to be constituted in accordance with Part 2 of Schedule 1, with certain of the members of provincial tribunals being appointed from the panels appointed in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 1.]

F31[(2)The provisions of Part III of the said Schedule shall have effect with respect to the precedure on and in connection with an enquiry conducted by any such committee or tribunal.]

F31[(3)A diocesan committee of enquiry shall have power to appoint a barrister or solicitor to advise and assist the committee in the exercise of its functions.]

(4)Without prejudice to subsection (5) below, at any meeting of any such [F32committee or] tribunal to which the incumbent concerned is invited, or at which he is entitled to be present, he may, if he so desires, be assisted, or in his absence represented, by some other person whether having professional qualifications or not.

[F33(5)At an enquiry under this Measure the parties may be represented by a barrister or solicitor.]

[F34(6)For the purposes of this section the parties, in relation to an enquiry, are—

(a)the incumbent concerned;

(b)the archdeacon in whose archdeaconry the benefice of the incumbent concerned is;

(c)the parochial church council of the parish concerned or, in the case of an enquiry under Part I of this Measure requested by the persons mentioned in section 1A(1)(c), the persons specified in the request as being willing to act as the representatives of the first-mentioned persons;

(d)in the case of such an enquiry requested by the persons mentioned in section 1A(1)(d), the persons specified in the request as being willing to act as the representatives of the first-mentioned persons.]

[F357A Medical examinations.E

(1)The tribunal by which an enquiry under Part I or II of this Measure is being conducted may direct that the incumbent concerned should undergo a medical examination in accordance with rules made under section 18 of this Measure for the purpose of obtaining a report on his mental or physical condition; and the tribunal may at any time revoke or vary a direction given under this subsection.

(2)Where a tribunal gives a direction under subsection (1) above and the incumbent concerned fails to take any step required of him for the purpose of giving effect to the direction, the tribunal may draw such inferences (if any) from that fact as appear proper in the circumstances, without prejudice to the drawing of any other inferences that may properly be drawn by the tribunal in the course of the enquiry.]

8 Ancillary provisions with respect to enquiry under Part I.E

(1)In the case of an enquiry under Part I of this Measure, the secretary of the diocesan synod shall notify—

(a)the secretary of the parochial church council of the parish to which the enquiry relates, and

(b)the secretary of the parochial church council of any other parish belonging to the benefice of which the incumbent concerned is the incumbent,

of the institution of the enquiry and ask him whether that council wishes to make representations to the [F36committee or] tribunal which is to conduct the enquiry.

(2)In the case of an enquiry under the said Part I, the secretary of the diocesan synod shall supply each member of the [F36committee or] tribunal by which the enquiry is to be conducted with a copy of the request for such enquiry and, in the case of an enquiry to which subsection (1) above applies, shall inform the [F36committee or] tribunal [F36, as the case may be,] whether or not any parochial church council wishes to make representations to it.

Textual Amendments

9 Report to be made to the bishop.E

(1)Subject to subsection (2) below, the [F37committee or] tribunal by which an enquiry under Part I of this Measure was conducted shall report to the bishop whether in its opinion there has been a serious breakdown of the pastoral relationship between the incumbent concerned and [F38the] parishioners and whether in its opinion the breakdown is one to which the conduct of the incumbent or of [F38the] parishioners or of both has contributed over a substantial period.

(2)Where the [F37committee or] tribunal by which such enquiry was conducted is of opinion that the incumbent concerned is unable by reason of age or infirmity of mind or body to discharge adequately the duties attaching to his benefice it may so report to the bishop instead of reporting in accordance with subsection (1) above.

(3)The [F39tribunal] by which an enquiry under Part II of this Measure was conducted shall report to the bishop whether in its opinion the incumbent to which the enquiry related is unable by reason of age or infirmity of mind or body to discharge adequately the duties attaching to his benefice.

(4)Where the [F37committee or] tribunal is of opinion that there has been such a breakdown as is mentioned in subsection (1) above, or, as the case may be, is of opinion that the incumbent in question is unable by reason of age or infirmity of mind or body to discharge adequately the duties attaching to his benefice, then, subject to subsection (5) below, it shall include in its report its recommendations as to the action to be taken by the bishop.

(5)A report to the bishop under this Measure shall not include a recommendation—

(a)in a case to which section 10 of this Measure applies, that the bishop should execute a declaration of avoidance in relation to the benefice of the incumbent concerned, or

(b)in a case to which section 11 of this Measure applies, that it is desirable that the incumbent concerned should resign his benefice,

unless four or more members of the [F37committee or] tribunal [F37, as the case may be,] were in favour of making that recommendation.

[F409A Inhibition in disability cases.E

(1)Subject to the following provisions of this section, where—

(a)the bishop of a diocese has instructed the secretary of the diocesan synod to institute an enquiry under Part II of this Measure; or

(b)the tribunal by which an enquiry under Part I of this Measure was conducted has reported to the bishop in accordance with section 9(2) of this Measure,

and it appears to the bishop that it is desirable in the interests of the Church of England that he should take action under this section, it shall be lawful for the bishop to cause a notice to be served on the incumbent who is the subject of the enquiry inhibiting him from executing or performing without the consent of the bishop any such right or duty of or incidental to his office as the bishop may specify.

(2)A notice of inhibition shall not be served under subsection (1) above in the circumstances mentioned in paragraph (a) of that subsection after the tribunal by which the enquiry was conducted has made its report to the bishop unless it reports that in its opinion the incumbent concerned is unable by reason of age or infirmity of mind or body to discharge adequately the duties attaching to his benefice.

(3)Where the tribunal has reported to the bishop that in its opinion the incumbent concerned is unable by reason of age or infirmity of mind or body to discharge adequately the duties attaching to his benefice, a notice of inhibition shall not be served under subsection (1) above after the expiry of the period of three months following the making of the report unless—

(a)the bishop has notified the incumbent under section 11(2)(a) of this Measure that it is desirable that he should resign his benefice, in which case such a notice may be served at any time before he ceases to be the incumbent; or

(b)the bishop has given the incumbent leave of absence under section 11(2)(c) of this Measure, in which case such a notice may be served at any time during the leave of absence.

(4)A notice of inhibition served under subsection (1) above shall cease to have effect—

(a)if it is served before the tribunal makes its report to the bishop, on the making of the report unless it reports that the incumbent concerned is unable by reason of age or infirmity of mind or body to discharge adequately the duties attaching to his benefice; or

(b)on the expiry of the period of three months following the making of the report to the bishop unless the bishop has taken action under section 11(2)(a) or (c) of this Measure; or

(c)if the bishop gives the incumbent leave of absence under section 11(2)(c) of this Measure, on the expiry of the leave of absence; or

(d)on the benefice of the incumbent becoming vacant.

(5)The bishop may at any time revoke a notice of inhibition served under this section.]

10 Powers of bishop in cases of breakdown of pastoral relationship.E

(1)The provisions of this section shall have effect where the [F41committee or] tribunal by which an enquiry under Part I of this Measure was conducted reports to the bishop that in its opinion there has been such a breakdown as is mentioned in section 9(1) of this Measure.

(2)If, but only if, the [F41committee or]tribunal so recommends, the bishop [F42may] execute a declaration of avoidance declaring the benefice of the incumbent concerned vacant as from a date specified in the declaration, being a date not less than three or more than six months after the date on which the declaration is made.

(3)Where the incumbent concerned holds two or more benefices in plurality, the bishop may include both or all of those benefices in such a declaration notwithstanding that the recommendation of the [F41committee or] tribunal related to one only of them.

(4)Where the bishop executes a declaration under subsection (2) above, he shall disqualify the incumbent concerned from executing or performing without the consent of the bishop any right or duty of or incidental to his office during the period beginning with the date on which the declaration is executed and ending with the date on which the benefice or benefices of the incumbent will become vacant in accordance with the declaration.

(5)Where the [F41committee or] tribunal reports to the bishop that in its opinion the serious breakdown of the pastoral relationship between the incumbent concerned and [F43the] parishioners is one to which the conduct of the incumbent has contributed over a substantial period, the bishop may rebuke the incumbent and may, if he thinks fit, disqualify him from executing or performing without the consent of the bishop any such right or duty of or incidental to his office, and during such period, as the bishop may specify.

(6)Where the [F41committee or] tribunal reports to the bishop that in its opinion such a breakdown as is mentioned in subsection (5) above is one to which the conduct of the parishioners has contributed over a substantial period, the bishop may rebuke such of them as he thinks fit [F44and may, if he thinks fit, disqualify such of them as he thinks fit from being a church warden or member or officer of the parochial church council of the parish in question and of such other parishes in his diocese as he may specify during such period not exceeding five years as he may specify].

[F45(6A)Where the bishop disqualifies a person who is or who becomes a lay member of a deanery synod, a diocesan synod, or the General Synod from being a member of a parochial church council during any period under subsection (6) above, that person shall not be a member of that council by virtue of that lay membership during that period, notwithstanding [F46Rule M15(1)(i) in Part 9] of the Church Representation Rules]

(7)Without prejudice to the preceding provisions of this section, the bishop may give such pastoral advice and guidance to the incumbent concerned and [F43the] parishioners as he thinks appropriate having regard to the findings and recommendations of the [F41committee or] tribunal.

(8)Where the bishop disqualifies an incumbent under subsection (4) or (5) above, he shall make such provision for the discharge of the duties attaching to the benefice of the incumbent during the period of disqualification as he thinks fit, and the incumbent shall not interfere with any person who may be appointed to discharge any of those duties.

[F47(9)The bishop may revoke any disqualification effected under subsection (5) or (6) above.]

11 Powers of bishop in cases of disability of incumbent.E

(1)The provisions of this section shall have effect where the [F48committee or] tribunal by which an enquiry under Part I or II of this Measure was conducted reports to the bishop that in its opinion the incumbent concerned is unable by reason of age or infirmity of mind or body to discharge adequately the duties attaching to his benefice.

(2)Subject to subsection (3) below, the bishop may—

(a)notify the incumbent concerned that it is desirable that he should resign his benefice; or

(b)with the consent of the incumbent concerned, appoint and license an assistant curate to assist the incumbent; or

(c)give the incumbent concerned leave of absence for a period not exceeding two years and make provision for the discharge of the duties attaching to the benefice during that period; or

(d)make such other temporary provision for the discharge of those duties as the bishop thinks fit.

(3)The bishop shall not exercise the power conferred on him by subsection (2)(a) above unless the [F48committee or] tribunal recommended that it was desirable that the incumbent concerned should resign his benefice.

(4)Where the incumbent concerned holds two or more benefices in plurality, then, without prejudice to section 17(4) of the M2Pastoral Measure 1968 (which makes provision with respect to the resignation of benefices held in plurality), the bishop may, if he thinks fit, include both or all of those benefices in a notification given by him to the incumbent under subsection (2)(a) above notwithstanding that the recommendation of the [F48committee or] tribunal related to one only of them.

(5)An incumbent who is notified by the bishop under this section that it is desirable that he should resign his benefice or benefices shall execute a deed resigning it or them as from such date as may be specified in the deed, being a date not later than three months after the date on which the deed is executed.

(6)Where the bishop notifies an incumbent under this section that it is desirable that he should resign his benefice or benefices, and the incumbent refuses or fails within one month after the notification is given to resign it or them in accordance with subsection (5) above, the bishop shall execute a declaration of avoidance declaring the benefice or benefices, as the case may be, vacant as from a date specified in the declaration, being a date not less than three or more than six months after the date on which the declaration is made.

(7)Where the bishop requests an incumbent under this section to consent to the appointment of an assistant curate and the incumbent refuses or fails within one month after the request is made to comply with it, the bishop shall execute a declaration of avoidance declaring the benefice vacant as from the date mentioned in subsection (6) above.

(8)Where the incumbent concerned holds two or more benefices in plurality, the bishop may, if he thinks fit, include both or all of those benefices in a declaration executed by him under subsection (7) above.

Textual Amendments

Marginal Citations

12 Provisions supplementary to ss. 10 and 11.U.K.

(1)As soon as practicable after the report of an enquiry under this Measure has been received by the bishop he shall notify the incumbent concerned of the action he is required or proposes to take under section 10 or 11 of this Measure, as the case may be, or, if no such action is required of, or proposed to be taken by, him, of that fact and shall send a similar notification to—

(a)the archdeacon in whose archdeaconry the parish concerned is, unless he is the incumbent concerned;

(b)the secretary of the parochial church council of that parish; and

(c)the designated representative, if any.

(2)The incumbent of any benefice which has been declared vacant under the said section 10 or 11 or which he had resigned in accordance with section 11(5) shall vacate the parsonage house or other his official residence not later than three months after the date on which the benefice became vacant by virtue of the declaration of avoidance or deed of resignation, as the case may be.

(3)The bishop shall cause any declaration executed by him under the said section 10 or 11 to be filed in the registry of the diocese and a copy thereof to be sent to the incumbent concerned, to the patron of the benefice and to the Church of England Pensions Board.

[F4912ARight of appeal against findings of tribunalU.K.

(1)An appeal may be brought against the findings contained in a report by a provincial tribunal under Part I or II of this Measure in accordance with the following provisions of this section.

(2)In the case of a report under Part I, the incumbent concerned or the parochial church council concerned may appeal against any findings of law or fact in the report.

(3)In the case of a report under Part I, the archdeacon in whose archdeaconry the benefice of the incumbent is or any person requesting an enquiry under section 1A(1)(d) may appeal against any findings of law in the report.

(4)In the case of a report under Part II, the incumbent may appeal against any findings of law or fact.

(5)There shall be an Appeal Panel for each province, which shall be constituted [F50in accordance with Part 3 of Schedule 1, with certain of the members of the Appeal Panels being appointed from the panels appointed in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 1. ]

(6)The appellant must state the grounds, or a summary of the grounds, of the appeal.

(7)Where the appeal is brought under subsection (2) by the parochial church council, section 1A(1)(c), (3) and (4) apply in relation to the appeal except that the references to a request for an enquiry or a notice of intention to make it are to be construed as references to the appeal.

(8)Where the appeal is brought under subsection (3) by a person requesting an enquiry, section 1A(1)(d), (3) and (5) apply in relation to the appeal except that the references to a request for an enquiry or a notice of intention to make it are to be construed as references to the appeal.

(9)Notice of the appeal shall be given in writing to the bishop of the diocese in which the parish in question is and to the secretary of that diocese and section 1A(6) applies as it applies to a request for an enquiry.]

[F5113 Compensation.E

(1)Subject to the provisions of this Measure, where—

(a)after obtaining the agreement of the bishop under subsection (1) of section 4 of this Measure, an incumbent resigns his benefice in accordance with subsection (2) of that section; or

(b)after an enquiry under Part I thereof, the bishop has declared the benefice of an incumbent vacant under section 10 of this Measure,

the incumbent shall, on application in writing made to the diocesan board of finance, be entitled to compensation for any loss suffered by him in consequence of his resignation or the vacation of his benefice.

(2)Schedule 2 to this Measure shall have effect for the purpose of determining the form and amount of compensation under this section and of prescribing the circumstances in which payments of compensation thereunder may be altered, terminated, suspended or refused and of providing for other matters relating thereto.

F52(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .]

14 Provision with respect to pension of incumbent found to be unable to perform duties attaching to benefice.E

(1)Where—

(a)after an enquiry under Part I of this Measure in which the [F53committee or] tribunal [F53, as the case may be,] reported to the bishop in accordance with section 9(2) thereof; or

(b)after an enquiry under Part II thereof,

the incumbent concerned resigns his benefice consequent upon a notification from the bishop under section 11(2)(a) of this Measure or the bishop has declared the benefice of the incumbent vacant under that section, the incumbent shall be deemed for the purposes of [F54the Church of England Pensions Measure 2018] to have become incapable through infirmity of performing the duties of his office on the date on which his resignation took effect or the date on which by virtue of the declaration his benefice became vacant, as the case may be, and to have satisfied the Church of England Pensions Board that he was so incapable and that the infirmity was likely to be permanent.

(2)Subsection (1) above shall not apply to an incumbent who at whichever of the dates mentioned in that subsection applies in his case has attained the retiring age within the meaning of [F55the Church of England Pensions Measure 2018].

Part IVU.K. Supplemental

15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F56U.K.

16 Certain expenses to be paid by Diocesan Board of Finance.E

(1)The following expenses, that is to say—

(a)any expenses incurred for the purpose of enabling a [F57diocesan committee of enquiry or] provincial tribunal to discharge its functions under this Measure;

(b)any travelling or other personal expenses reasonably incurred by the members of such a [F57committee or] tribunal for the purpose of or in connection with the exercise of the functions of the [F57committee or] tribunal under this Measure;

(c)any such expenses reasonably incurred by an incumbent in connection with an enquiry under this Measure which concerns him;

(d)any such expenses reasonably incurred by an archdeacon under section 2 of this Measure;

(e)any such expenses reasonably incurred by any person in connection with his attendance at a meeting of a [F57committee or] tribunal conducting an enquiry under this Measure, being a meeting which he was entitled, or invited by the [F57committee or] tribunal, [F57as the case may be,] to attend or which he attended as a witness; [F58and

(f) any fee payable to the chairman of the tribunal which conducted the enquiry,][F57and

(g)in the case of any other enquiry under this Measure, any fee payable to a barrister or solicitor appointed to advise and assist the committee which conducted the enquiry,]

shall be paid by the Diocesan Board of Finance.

(2)Any question whether any such expenses as are referred to in paragraph (b), (c), (d) or (e) of subsection (1) above were reasonably incurred or as to the amount thereof shall be determined by the bishop of diocese.

17 Exercise of powers of bishop during absence abroad, etc.U.K.

During the absence abroad or incapacity through illness of the bishop of a diocese or a vacancy in the see anything required or authorised by this Measure to be done by, to or before him shall be done or, as the case may be, may be done, by to or before the archbishop of the province to which the diocese belongs or a person, being a person in episcopal orders, appointed by that archbishop for that purpose.

[F5918 Procedural rules.E

(1)There shall be a committee, to be known as the Vacation of Benefices Rule Committee, which shall consist of a chairman and four other members appointed by the Standing Committee of the General Synod.

(2)The Vacation of Benefices Rule Committee shall have power to make rules for carrying into effect the provisions of this Measure and, in particular, for—

(a)regulating the procedure and practice (including the mode and burden of proof and admissibility of evidence) of provincial tribunals in connection with enquiries under this Measure;

(b)obtaining medical evidence in connection with enquiries under this Measure.

(3)Any three members of the Vacation of Benefices Rule Committee may exercise all the powers of the committee.

(4)Any rules made under this section shall be laid before the General Synod and shall not come into force until approved by the General Synod, whether with or without amendment.

(5)Where the Standing Committee determines that the rules do not need to be debated by the General Synod then, unless—

(a)notice is given by a member of the General Synod in accordance with its Standing Orders that he wishes the rules to be debated, or

(b)notice is so given by any such member that he wishes to move an amendment to the rules [F60and at least twenty-five other members of the General Synod indicate when the amendment is called that they wish the amendment to be moved],

the rules shall for the purposes of subsection (4) above be deemed to have been approved by the General Synod without amendment.

(6)The Statutory Instruments Act 1946 shall apply to any rules approved by the General Synod under subsection (4) above as if they were statutory instruments and were made when so approved, and as if this Measure were an Act providing that any such rules should be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.]

Textual Amendments

F60S. 18: By virtue of 1995 No. 2, s. 14 it is provided (1.9.1995) that, in para. (b) of subsection 5 the words from“and at least”to the end of that para. shall be omitted; Instrument dated 1.9.1995 made by Archbishops of Canterbury and York

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

19 Meaning of “benefice”.E

Without prejudice to section 6(2) of this Measure, in this Measure “benefice” means the office of rector or vicar, with cure of souls, including the office of vicar in a team ministry established under the M3Pastoral Measure 1968 [F61or the Pastoral Measure 1983] but does not include any office in a Royal Peculiar nor the office of dean or provost of a parish church cathedral within the meaning of the M4Cathedrals Measure 1963.

[F6219A Meaning of references to pastoral situation.E

In this Measure any reference to a serious breakdown of the pastoral relationship between an incumbent and the parishioners shall be construed as a reference to a situation where the relationship between an incumbent and the parishioners of the parish in question is such as to impede the promotion in the parish of the whole mission of the Church of England, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical.]

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

20 Amendments and repeal.U.K.

(1)For the section 14 of the M5 Church Dignitaries (Retirement) Measure 1949 there shall be sustituted the following section:—

14(1)Where a dignitary, being a dean, provost or archdeacon, is also the incumbent of a parochial benefice a declaration of vacation of his office as dean, provost or deacon made under this Measure shall have effect also of vacating his benefice, whether the office is annexed to the benefice or the benefice to the office.

(2)Where the dignitary, being an archdeacon, canon or prebendary,—

(a)is also the incumbent of a parochial benefice, and

(b)resigns his benefice consequent upon a notification from the bishop under subsection (2)(a) of section 11 of the Incumbents (Vacation of Benefices) Measure 1977 (powers of bishops where enquiry under that Measure results in a finding of mental or physical incapacity), or the bishop has declared his benefice vacant under that section,

the powers of the bishop under section 2 of this Measure shall be exercisable as if the report of the diocesan committee or provincial tribunal under the said Measure of 1977 had been a report by the cathedral chapter under this Measure, and the bishop may execute an instrument declaring the archdeaconry, canonry or prebend, as the case may be, vacant in accordance with that section or, if the case so requires, petition Her Majesty to make such a declaration, and there be no appeal against the exercise of those powers by the bishop.

(2)The M6Incumbents (Disability) Measure 1945 is hereby repealed.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C5The text of s. 20 is in the form in which it was originally enacted: it was not reproduced in Statutes in Force and does not reflect any amendments or repeals which may have been made prior to 1.2.1991.

Marginal Citations

21 Short title, extent and commencement.E

(1)This Measure may be cited as the Incumbents (Vacation of Benefices) Measure 1977.

(2)This Measure shall extend to the whole of the Provinces of Canterbury and York except the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, but may be applied to the Channel Islands as defined in the M7Channel Islands (Church Legislation) Measures 1931 and M81957, or either of them, in accordance with those Measures [F63and, if an Act of Tynwald or an instrument made in pursuance of an Act of Tynwald so provides, shall extend to the Isle of Man subject to such exceptions, adaptations or modifications as may be specified in the Act of Tynwald or instrument.].

(3)Paragraph 2(1) and (2) of the Schedule to this Measure shall come into force on the passing of this Measure and, except as aforesaid, this Measure shall come into force on the expiration of the period of six months beginning with the date on which it is passed.

Sections 7 and 12A

[F64SCHEDULE 1U.K.PANELS AND TRIBUNALS

PART 1U.K.GENERAL PANELS

MembershipU.K.

1(1)A panel of twelve persons is to be appointed from among the members of the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury by the Standing Committee of that House in such manner as that House may determine.U.K.

(2)A panel of twelve persons is to be appointed from among the members of the Lower House of the Convocation of York by the body of Assessors of that House in such manner as that House may determine.

(3)A panel of twelve persons is to be appointed from among the members of the House of Laity by the Standing Committee of that House in such manner as that House may determine.

Period of serviceU.K.

2(1)An appointment under paragraph 1(1) or (2) is for the lifetime of the Convocation concerned; and an appointment under paragraph 1(3) is for the lifetime of that House of Laity.U.K.

(2)Where a casual vacancy arises, another member of the House concerned is to be appointed in place of the person vacating office, in such manner as that person was appointed, for the remainder of the lifetime of that House.

(3)A person appointed under paragraph 1 is, when a new House is to be elected, to continue to hold the appointment until the first session of the new House.

PART 2U.K.PROVINCIAL TRIBUNALS

MembershipU.K.

3(1)A provincial tribunal is to consist of five persons appointed by the Vicar-General of the province in which the parish in question is situated.U.K.

(2)Of the five persons to be so appointed—

(a)one, who is to be the chair, shall be—

(i)the chancellor of a diocese in the province for which the tribunal is to be appointed, other than the diocese in which the parish in question is situated, or

(ii)a Queen's Counsel who is a communicant member of the Church of England;

(b)two are to be clerks in Holy Orders from the panel appointed under paragraph 1(1) or (2) for the province concerned;

(c)two are to be lay persons from the panel appointed under paragraph 1(3).

(3)But a person may not be appointed under this paragraph if—

(a)the person is ordinarily resident in the diocese in which the parish in question is situated,

(b)the person's name is entered on the electoral roll of a parish in that diocese, or

(c)the person is a clerk in Holy Orders authorised to exercise ministry in a parish in that diocese.

(4)Where, in the course of an enquiry being conducted by a provincial tribunal, a member of the tribunal other than the chair dies or becomes unable to act as a member by reason of illness or other incapacity, the tribunal may, with the consent of the parties, continue to conduct the enquiry in the absence of that member.

Requirement to constitute tribunalsU.K.

4(1)Where the secretary of a diocesan synod is required to institute an enquiry under this Measure, the secretary shall request the Vicar-General of the province—U.K.

(a)to constitute a provincial tribunal in accordance with paragraph 3, and

(b)to send the secretary a list of the names and addresses of the proposed members.

(2)A person appointed to serve as a member of the tribunal from a panel appointed under paragraph 1 may refuse to accept the appointment if, in that person's opinion, it would not be right for that person to serve as a member of the tribunal.

(3)On receiving the list under sub-paragraph (1)(b), the secretary shall—

(a)send a copy of it to the incumbent concerned, and

(b)inform the incumbent of the right of objection under paragraph 5 and the period in which the right may be exercised.

Right of objectionU.K.

5(1)The incumbent may, within three weeks after a list of the proposed members is sent under paragraph 4(3), object to one or more of them by sending the secretary of the diocesan synod a written notice—U.K.

(a)specifying the member or members to whom the incumbent objects, and

(b)stating, in relation to that member or in relation to each of them, the grounds of objection.

(2)If notice of objection is duly given under sub-paragraph (1), the secretary shall refer the matter to the Vicar-General of the province other than that for which the tribunal is to be appointed, for the Vicar-General to determine whether the objection is reasonable and should accordingly be allowed; and the Vicar-General's decision is final.

(3)For the purpose of deciding whether the objection is reasonable, the Vicar-General may require the incumbent to supply such information as the Vicar-General may specify.

(4)Where the Vicar-General decides that the objection to a member should be allowed, the secretary shall request the Vicar-General mentioned in paragraph 3(1)—

(a)to appoint another person having the appropriate qualifications to serve in place of that member, and

(b)to inform the secretary of the name and address of the person appointed.

(5)On receiving information under sub-paragraph (4)(b), the secretary shall inform the incumbent of the name and address of the person appointed.

(6)The incumbent may, within three weeks of receiving information under sub-paragraph (5), object to the person appointed by sending the secretary a written notice stating the grounds of objection; and sub-paragraphs (2) to (5) have effect in relation to the notice as if it were a notice given under sub-paragraph (1).

(7)But the incumbent is not entitled to object under sub-paragraph (6) to a person appointed from a panel appointed under paragraph 1 if, were the objection to be allowed, it would not be possible to constitute the tribunal because there would be no other person on that panel available for appointment as a member of the tribunal.

Circulation of list of membersU.K.

6U.K.As soon as the provincial tribunal which is to conduct an enquiry has been constituted, the secretary of the diocesan synod shall send a list of the members to—

(a)the incumbent concerned,

(b)the archdeacon concerned,

(c)the designated representative (if any),

(d)the secretary of the parochial church council of the parish to which the enquiry relates, and

(e)the secretary of the tribunal (see paragraph 7).

SecretaryU.K.

7(1)The Synodical Secretary of the Convocation of Canterbury, or a person nominated by the Synodical Secretary, shall act as secretary of a tribunal constituted under this Part of this Schedule to conduct an enquiry in relation to a parish in the province of Canterbury.U.K.

(2)The Synodal Secretary of the Convocation of York, or a person nominated by the Synodal Secretary, shall act as secretary of a tribunal so constituted to conduct an enquiry in relation to a parish in the province of York.

PART 3U.K.APPEAL PANELS

IntroductoryU.K.

8U.K.Each of the Appeal Panels established under section 12A is to be constituted as follows.

MembershipU.K.

9(1)The Dean of the Arches and Auditor is to be the chair, and the Vicar-General of the province of Canterbury and the Vicar-General of the province of York are to be the deputy chairs.U.K.

(2)Where an appeal is to be held under section 12A, one of those three is to sit on and preside over the appeal.

(3)But if there is not one of them available to preside over an appeal under that section, a chancellor of a diocese nominated by the Dean of the Arches and Auditor or, in the case of the Dean's absence or illness, by the Vicar-General of the province concerned is to preside.

(4)Where an appeal is to be held under section 12A, the following persons are to be nominated in the manner described in sub-paragraph (3) to sit on the appeal—

(a)three persons from the panel appointed under paragraph 1(1) or (2) for the province in question, and

(b)one person from the panel appointed under paragraph 1(3).

(5)But a person may not sit on an appeal under section 12A if the person—

(a)was a member of the provincial tribunal which conducted the enquiry which is the subject of the appeal, or

(b)was ineligible to be appointed to that tribunal under Part 2 of this Schedule.

SecretaryU.K.

10(1)The registrar of each province must appoint a secretary to the Appeal Panel for that province; and that person may be the registrar.U.K.

(2)The same person may be appointed by both registrars; and the two registrars may agree that one of them is to be the secretary to both Appeal Panels.

ExpensesU.K.

11U.K.The expenses of an Appeal Panel in connection with an appeal under section 12A are to be paid out of moneys standing to the credit of the diocesan pastoral account of the diocese from which the appeal is brought.

RulesU.K.

12(1)The Rule Committee may make rules prescribing the procedure on an appeal under section 12A.U.K.

(2)Rules made under sub-paragraph (1) are to be treated for the purposes of section 94 of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure 2018 as having been made under section 83 of that Measure.

PART 4U.K.TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

Continuation of existing membershipsU.K.

13(1)Each person who, immediately before commencement, was a member of a panel appointed under paragraph 13(1)(b) of Schedule 4 to the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 in the form it then took—U.K.

(a)is to become a member of the panel for the province in question under paragraph 1(1) or (2) of this Schedule in its new form, and

(b)is accordingly to be treated as having been appointed under that provision.

(2)Each person who, immediately before commencement, was a member of the panel appointed under paragraph 13(1)(c) of Schedule 4 to the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 in the form it then took—

(a)is to become a member of the panel under paragraph 1(3) of this Schedule in its new form, and

(b)is accordingly to be treated as having been appointed under that provision.

(3)Each person who, immediately before commencement, was a member of a provincial tribunal under paragraph 1 of this Schedule in the form it then took—

(a)is to become a member of the provincial tribunal for the province in question under paragraph 3 of this Schedule in its new form,

(b)is accordingly to be treated as having been appointed under that provision, and

(c)if the tribunal was conducting an enquiry immediately before commencement, is to continue as a member of the Panel until the determination of the appeal.

(4)Each person who, immediately before commencement, was a member of an Appeal Panel constituted under section 12A in the form it then took—

(a)is to become a member of the Appeal Panel for the province in question under section 12A in its new form,

(b)is accordingly to be treated as having been appointed and nominated in accordance with paragraph 9 of this Schedule in its new form, and

(c)if an appeal was pending before the Appeal Tribunal immediately before commencement, is to continue as a member of the Panel until the determination of the appeal.

(5)In this paragraph, “commencement” means the commencement of section 6 of the Mission and Pastoral etc. (Amendment) Measure 2018; and in this paragraph—

(a)a reference to this Schedule in its new form is a reference to this Schedule as substituted by paragraph 3 of the Schedule to that Measure, and

(b)a reference to section 12A in its new form is a reference to that section as amended by paragraph 2 of the Schedule to that Measure.]

[F65Schedule 2E Compensation Under Section 13

1(1)If agreement as to the form, amount and conditions of provision of compensation is reached between the person concerned and the diocesan board of finance, it shall be provided in accordance with the terms of the agreement.E

(2)If no agreement is reached as aforesaid, the compensation shall consist of—

(a)in respect of loss of stipend, a basic award in accordance with paragraph 2 below; and

(b)in respect of loss of housing and removal expenses, a housing allowance and a resettlement allowance in accordance with paragraphs 3 and 4 below.

2(1) The basic award shall be in the form of periodical payments which shall be paid monthly to the person concerned during a period commencing on the date when he ceases to be the incumbent of the benefice concerned (“ the material date ”) and expiring at the end of— E

(a)such number of months immediately following the material date as results from adding together—

(i)one month for each year or part of a year during which the person concerned has served in whole-time stipendiary ecclesiastical service[F66, in respect of service served up to 31st December 1997 and in pensionable service [F67to which the funded scheme applies], in respect of service served after that date]; and

(ii)one month for each year or part of a year which has passed before the material date since the person concerned attained the age of forty years; or

(b)thirty-six months immediately following the material date,

whichever is the greater:

Provided that where the person concerned has at the material date attained the age of fifty years the payments shall continue, if they would otherwise cease, until he attains an age within five years of the retiring age.

(2)Such payments shall cease to be payable in respect of the person concerned—

(a)when he attains the retiring age; or

(b)if he receives a pension under [F68the past service scheme or the funded scheme] before attaining that age, on the date on which the pension is first paid; or

(c)if he re-enters [F69service which is pensionable service [F70within the meaning of the Funded Scheme rules]] within the Province of Canterbury (including the Diocese in Europe) or the Province of York, on the date of re-entry.

(3)Subject to paragraph (5) below, each monthly payment shall be of an amount equal to one-twelfth of the following—

(a)in the first period of twelve months, the national minimum stipend for the year in which the payment falls to be made;

(b)in the second period of twelve months, three-quarters of the national minimum stipend for the year in which the payment falls to be made;

(c)thereafter, two-thirds of the national minimum stipend for the year in which the payment falls to be made.

[F71(4)The period during which a person is in receipt of periodical payments under paragraph 2 shall be deemed to be a period of pensionable service for the purposes of the Funded Scheme rules, but shall not constitute “service” for any other purpose of those rules]

3(1)The housing allowance shall be in the form of periodical payments which shall be paid monthly to the person concerned during the period in which the basic award is paid under paragraph 2 above.E

(2)Each monthly payment shall be of such amount as may be determined by the diocesan board of finance, and in determining the amount the diocesan board of finance shall consult the Church of England Pensions Board as to its practice where a person retires on grounds of ill-health, and shall have regard to its advice.

4EThe resettlement allowance shall be a single payment of an amount equal to three-tenths of the national minimum stipend for the year in which application for compensation was made or such greater amount as the Central Board of Finance of the Church of England may determine.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

5(1)Subject to paragraph (2) below, if a person who is applying for or receiving payments under paragraph 2(1) or 3(1) above accepts any office or employment, the diocesan board of finance may refuse the application or, as the case may be, may suspend the periodical payments or reduce the amount thereof so as to take account of the emoluments of or other benefits which arise from the office or employment.E

(2)The diocesan board of finance shall not exercise its powers under paragraph (1) above in a manner whereby the total annual amount of the emoluments in question and the periodical payments (if any) would be less than the national minimum stipend.

(3)It shall be the duty of every person who applies for or receives periodical payments under paragraph 2(1) or 3(1) above to disclose to the diocesan board of finance any office or employment which has been accepted by him and the terms thereof; and if he fails to do so and it appears to the board that in consequence it has made periodical payments which otherwise it would not have made or periodical payments in excess of those it would otherwise have made, it may, without prejudice to its powers under paragraph (1) above, direct the repayment of the amount of the payments or excess or such part thereof as it thinks just, and that amount shall be recoverable as a debt due to the board.

6EAn application for compensation shall be made to the diocesan board of finance in such manner as that board may determine; and where a person is incapacitated from making such an application himself that board may authorise some other person to make it on his behalf.

7EThe cost of compensation shall be borne by the diocesan board of finance and charged either on the capital or the income account of the diocesan stipends fund, as may be [F72determined by] the diocesan board of finance [F73and, in the case of a person who is in receipt of periodical payments under paragraph 2, the diocesan board of finance is “the responsible body” for the purposes of [F74Part 2 of the Church of England Pensions Measure 2018]] .

8(1)In this Schedule—E

  • compensation” means compensation under section 13 of this Measure;

  • diocesan board of finance” has the same meaning as in the Pastoral Measure 1983;

  • [F75funded scheme” has the same meaning as in the Church of England Pensions Measure 2018;]

  • national minimum stipend”, in relation to any year, means the national minimum stipend recommended for the stipends of clergymen of incumbent status for that year in the Annual Report of the F76 . . . Central Stipends Authority;

  • [F75past service scheme” has the same meaning as in the Church of England Pensions Measure 2018;]

  • F77...

  • [F78retiring age” has the same meaning as in [F79the Church of England Pensions Measure 2018];

  • stipendiary ecclesiastical service” has the same meaning as in [F80the Church of England Pensions Measure 2018], and

  • F81...]

F82(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .]

SCHEDULEU.K. CONSTITUTION AND PROCEDURE OF DIOCESAN COMMITTEES AND PROVINCIAL TRIBUNALS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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