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Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986

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General provisions as to filling of vacanciesU.K.

7 Notification of vacancies.U.K.

(1)F1... Where a benefice becomes vacant by reason of the death of the incumbent, the bishop shall, as soon as practicable after he becomes aware of the vacancy, give notice of that fact to the designated officer of the diocese.

[F2(2)Where a benefice becomes vacant by reason of resignation or cession, the bishop shall, no later than the day on which the vacancy occurs, give notice of that fact to the designated officer of the diocese.

(2A)Where the bishop is aware that the benefice is shortly to become vacant by reason of resignation or cession, the bishop may give notice of that fact to the designated officer of the diocese; and where the bishop does so before the vacancy occurs, the bishop is to be regarded as having given the notice required under subsection (2).]

(3)Any notice [F3given to the designated officer under subsection (1), (2) or (2A)] above shall also be given to the registrar of the diocese, unless he is the designated officer.

(4)As soon as practicable after receiving a notice under subsection (1)[F4, (2) or (2A)] above the designated officer shall send notice of the vacancy to the registered patron of the benefice and to the secretary of the parochial church council of the parish belonging to the beneficeF5....

[F6(4A)A notice under subsection (4) shall specify—

(a)the date on which the benefice became, or is expected to become, vacant,

(b)a date referred to in the notice as “the start date”, being either the date on which the notice is sent or, if the bishop so directs having had regard to all the circumstances, a date no later than three months after the date specified under paragraph (a), and

(c)such information about the procedure for filling the vacancy as may be prescribed or, if no such information is prescribed, such information as the designated officer considers will assist the registered patron and parochial church council in carrying out functions in respect of the vacancy.]

[F7(4B)In the case of a benefice in respect of which there is more than one registered patron, the designated officer shall also send the notice under subsection (4) to each person who would be entitled to present to the benefice on the next or any subsequent turn; and, when doing so, the officer must request each of those persons to provide an email address and such other contact details as may be specified in the request.]

[F8(4C)Subsections (1) to (2A) are subject to section 88 of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 (which modifies this Measure in cases where presentation to a benefice is suspended or restricted).]

(5)In this Measure “the designated officer”, in relation to a diocese, means such person as the bishop, after consulting the bishop’s council, may designate or, if no person is designated, the secretary of the pastoral committee of the diocese.

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2S. 7(4) applied by 1983 gsm 1 s. 70(d) (as amended) (11.6.2008) by Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007 (No. 1), s. 66(2), Sch. 5 para. 15(c); 2007 No. 3, Instrument made by Archbishops

8 Provisions as to declarations of membership.U.K.

(1)Where the registered patron of a benefice is an individual and is not a clerk in Holy Orders, he shall on receiving notice of a vacancy in the benefice under section 7(4) of this Measure—

(a)if able to do so, make a written declaration (in this Measure referred to as “the declaration of membership”) declaring that he is an actual communicant member of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with that Church; or

(b)if unable to make the declaration himself, appoint some other person, being an individual who is able and willing to make it or is a clerk in Holy Orders or one of the bodies mentioned in subsection (7) below, to act as his representative to discharge in his place the functions of a registered patron.

(2)Where the registered patron of a benefice is a body of persons corporate or unincorporate then, on receiving notice of a vacancy in the benefice under section 7(4) of this Measure, that body shall appoint an individual who is able and willing to make the declaration of membership or is a clerk in Holy Orders to act as its representative to discharge in its place the functions of a registered patron.

(3)Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1) above, where the registered patron of a benefice who is an individual and is not the bishop of a diocese is of the opinion, on receiving notice of a vacancy in the benefice under section 7(4) of this Measure, that he will be unable for any reason to discharge his functions as a patron of that benefice he may, notwithstanding that he is able to make the declaration of membership, appoint such a representative as is mentioned in subsection (1)(b) above to discharge those functions in his place.

(4)Where a benefice the right of presentation to which belongs to an office (other than an ecclesiastical office) becomes vacant, the person who holds that office on the date on which the benefice becomes vacant shall be entitled to present on that vacancy and shall as soon as practicable after that date—

(a)if able to do so, make the declaration of membership, or

(b)if unable to make the declaration himself, appoint some other person, being a person who may be appointed as a representative under subsection (1)(b) above, to act as his representative to discharge in his place the functions of a registered patron.

(5)Where the right of presentation to a benefice is exercisable by the donee of a power of attorney, the donee shall as soon as practicable after receiving notice of the vacancy in the benefice (or, if the power is created during the vacancy, as soon as practicable after it is created)—

(a)if able to do so, make the declaration of membership, or

(b)if unable to make the declaration himself, appoint some other person, being a person who may be appointed as a representative under subsection (1)(b) above, to act as his representative to discharge in his place the functions of a registered patron.

(6)Where under the preceding provisions of this section a body mentioned in subsection (7) below is appointed to discharge the functions of a registered patron, that body shall as soon as practicable after being so appointed appoint as its representative an individual who is able and willing to make the declaration of membership or is a clerk in Holy Orders.

(7)The bodies referred to in subsection (1)(b) above are—

(a)the dean and chapter or the cathedral chapter of the cathedral church of the diocese;

(b)the dean and chapter of the collegiate church of St. Peter in Westminster;

(c)the dean and canons of the collegiate church of St. George, Windsor;

(d)any diocesan board of patronage;

(e)any patronage board constituted by a pastoral scheme;

(f)any university in England or any college or hall in such a university; and

(g)the colleges of Eton and Winchester.

9 Information to be sent to designated officer.E

(1)Before the expiration of the period of two months beginning with the date on which a benefice becomes vacant, [F9or the expiration of three weeks after receiving notice of the vacancy from the designated officer under section 7(4) of this Measure, whichever is later,] a registered patron who is an individual shall send to the designated officer of the diocese—

(a)the declaration of membership made by him, or

(b)the name and address of his representative and the declaration of membership made by that representative.

(2)Before the expiration of the said period of two months, [F10or three weeks, as the case may be,] a registered patron which is a body of persons corporate or unincorporate shall send to the designated officer of the diocese the name and address of the individual who is to act as its representative and the declaration of membership made by that representative.

(3)Where the functions of a registered patron are to be discharged by the holder of an office, subsection (1) above shall apply to the person who holds that office on the date on which the benefice becomes vacant as it applies to the registered patron.

(4)Where the functions of a registered patron are to be discharged by the donee of a power of attorney, subsection (1) above shall apply to the donee as it applies to the registered patron except that, if the power is created during the vacancy concerned, there shall be substituted for the period of two months mentioned in that subsection the period of two months beginning with the date on which the power is created, and the information required to be sent under that subsection shall include information as to that date.

(5)Where the registered patron or his representative is a clerk in Holy Orders, the registered patron shall, before the expiration of the period during which the declaration of membership is required to be sent to the designated officer under the preceding provisions of this section, notify the designated officer of that fact, and a declaration of membership made by that clerk shall not be required to be sent to the designated officer under this section.

[F11(5A)Subsections (5B) and (5C) apply where the functions of a registered patron are, as a result of paragraph 10 of Schedule 2 to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (patron's loss of capacity to discharge functions), to be discharged by an individual appointed by the Court of Protection.

(5B)If the individual is a clerk in Holy Orders, subsection (5) applies to him as it applies to the registered patron.

(5C)If the individual is not a clerk in Holy Orders, subsection (1) (other than paragraph (b)) applies to him as it applies to the registered patron.]

(6)As soon as practicable after receiving information under this section as to the appointment of a representative, the designated officer shall send to the secretary of the parochial church council the name and address of that representative.

10 Disqualification for presentation.U.K.

Where the registered patron of a benefice or the representative of that patron, is a clerk in Holy Orders or is the [F12spouse or civil partner] of such a clerk, that clerk shall be disqualified for presentation to that benefice.

11 Requirements as to meetings of parochial church council.E

(1)[F13As soon as practicable after the start date specified in the notice under section 7(4) and in any event before the end of the period of six months beginning with that date, one or more meetings of the parochial church council] shall be held for the purposes of—

(a)preparing a statement describing the conditions, needs and traditions of the parish;

(b)appointing two lay members of the council to act as representatives of the council in connection with the selection of an incumbent;

(c)deciding whether to request the registered patron to consider advertising the vacancy;

(d)deciding whether to request a meeting under section 12 of this Measure; F14. . .

(e)deciding whether to request a statement in writing from the bishop describing in relation to the benefice the needs of the diocese and the wider interests of the Church F15[F16 ...].

F17 [(f)F18. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .]

(2)A meeting of the parochial church council for which subsection (1) above provides shall be convened by the secretary thereof, and no member of that council who is—

(a)the outgoing incumbent or the [F19spouse] [F20or civil partner] of the outgoing incumbent, or

(b)the registered patron, or

(c)the representative of the registered patron,

shall attend that meeting.

(3)None of the following members of the parochial church council, that is to say—

(a)any person mentioned in subsection (2) above, and

(b)any deaconess or lay worker licensed to the parish,

shall be qualified for appointment under subsection (1)(b) above.

(4)If before the vacancy in the benefice is filled any person appointed under subsection (1)(b) above dies or becomes unable for any reason to act as the representative of, or ceases to be a member of, the council by which he was appointed, then, except where he ceases to be such a member and the council decides that he shall continue to act as its representative, his appointment shall be deemed to have been revoked and the council shall appoint another lay member of the council (not being a member disqualified under subsection (3) above) to act in his place for the remainder of the proceedings under this Part of this Measure.

(5)If a parochial church council holds a meeting under subsection (1) above but does not appoint any representatives at that meeting, then, subject to subsection (6) below, two churchwardens who are members of that council (or, if there are more than two churchwardens who are members of the council, two churchwardens chosen by all the churchwardens who are members) shall act as representatives of the council in connection with the selection of an incumbent.

(6)A churchwarden who is the registered patron of a benefice shall not be qualified under subsection (5) above to act as a representative of the parochial church council or to choose any other churchwardens so to act, and in any case where there is only one churchwarden qualified to act as such a representative that churchwarden may act as the sole representative of that council in connection with the selection of the incumbent.

(7)Any representative of the parochial church council appointed under subsection (1) or (4) above and any churchwarden acting as such a representative by virtue of subsection (5) or (6) above is in this Part of this Measure referred to as a “parish representative”, and where a churchwarden is entitled to act as the sole parish representative any reference in this Part to the parish representatives shall be construed as a reference to that churchwarden.

(8)A copy of the statement prepared under subsection (1)(a) above together with the names and addresses of the parish representatives shall, as soon as practicable after the holding of the meeting under that subsection, be sent by the secretary of the parochial church council to the registered patron and, unless the bishop is the registered patron, to the bishop.

12 Joint meeting of parochial church council with bishop and patron.E

(1)Where a request for a meeting under this section is made—

(a)by a notice sent by the registered patron or the bishop to the secretary of the parochial church council, or

(b)by a resolution of the parochial church council, passed at a meeting held under section 11 of this Measure,

a joint meeting of the parochial church council with the registered patron and (if the bishop is not the registered patron) the bishop shall be held for the purpose of enabling those present at the meeting to exchange views on the statement prepared under section 11(1)(a) of this Measure (needs of the parish) and the statement presented under subsection (2) below (needs of the diocese).

(2)At any meeting held under this section the bishop shall present either orally or, if a request for a statement in writing has been made by the registered patron or the parochial church council, in writing a statement describing in relation to the benefice the needs of the diocese and the wider interests of the Church.

(3)Any notice given under subsection (1)(a) above shall be of no effect unless it is sent to the secretary of the parochial church council not later than ten days after a copy of the statement prepared under subsection (1)(a) of section 11 of this Measure is received by the persons mentioned in subsection (8) of that section.

(4)The outgoing incumbent and the [F21spouse] [F22or civil partner] of the outgoing incumbent shall not be entitled to attend a meeting held under this section.

(5)A meeting requested under this section shall be held [F23as soon as practicable after the start date specified in the notice under section 7(4) and in any event before the end of the period of six months beginning with that date], and at least fourteen days’ notice (unless a shorter period is agreed by all the persons concerned) of the time and place at which the meeting is to be held shall be given by the secretary of the parochial church council to the registered patron, the bishop (if he is not the registered patron) and the members of the parochial church council.

(6)If either the registered patron or the bishop is unable to attend a meeting held under this section, he shall appoint some other person to attend on his behalf.

(7)The chairman of any meeting held under this section shall be such person as the persons who are entitled to attend and are present at the meeting may determine.

(8)No meeting requested under this section shall be treated for the purposes of this Measure as having been held unless there were present at the meeting—

(a)the bishop or the person appointed by the bishop to attend on his behalf, and

(b)the registered patron or the person appointed by the patron to attend on his behalf, and

(c)at least one third of the members of the parochial church council who were entitled to attend.

(9)The secretary of the parochial church council shall invite both the rural dean of the deanery in which the parish is (unless he is the outgoing incumbent) and the lay chairman of the deanery synod of that deanery to attend a meeting held under this section.

13 Provisions with respect to the selection of incumbent.E

(1)The registered patron of a vacant benefice shall not make to any priest an offer to present him to a benefice until—

(a)if a request for a meeting under section 12 of this Measure has been made, either—

(i)that meeting has been held, or

(ii)all the parties concerned have agreed that no such meeting should be held, or

(iii)the period of [F24six months] mentioned in section 12(5) has expired; and

(b)(whether or not such a request has been made) the making of the offer to the priest in question has been approved—

(i)by the parish representatives, and

(ii)if the registered patron is a person other than the bishop of the diocese in which the benefice is, by that bishop.

(2)If, before the expiration of the period of four weeks beginning with the date on which the registered patron sent to the bishop a request for him to approve under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) above the making of the offer to the priest named in the request, no notice is received from the bishop of his refusal to approve the making of the offer, the bishop shall be deemed to have given his approval under that paragraph.

(3)If, before the expiration of the period of two weeks beginning with the date on which the registered patron sent to the parish representatives a request for them to approve under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) above the making of the offer to the priest named in the request, no notice is received from any representative of his refusal to approve the making of the offer, the representatives shall be deemed to have given their approval under that paragraph.

(4)If—

(a)the bishop refuses to approve under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) above the making of the offer to the priest named in the request, or

(b)any parish representative refuses to approve under that paragraph the making of that offer,

the bishop or the representative, as the case may be, shall notify the registered patron in writing of the grounds on which the refusal is made.

(5)Where approval of an offer is refused under subsection (4) above, the registered patron may request the archbishop to review the matter and if, after review, the archbishop authorises the registered patron to make the offer in question, the patron may make that offer accordingly. F25...

(6)Where a priest accepts an offer made in accordance with the provisions of this section to present him to a benefice and the registered patron is a person other than the bishop, the patron shall send the bishop a notice presenting the priest to him for admission to the benefice.

14 Failure of registered patron to comply with s. 9.U.K.

(1)Where any declaration of membership or other information required to be sent to the designated officer under section 9 of this Measure is not sent to that officer before the expiration of the period during which it is required to be so sent and the registered patron is a person other than the bishop then, after the expiration of that period—

(a)no meeting shall be held under section 12 of this Measure by reason of any request made by the registered patron and subsections (2), (5), (6) and (8) of that section shall not apply in relation to that patron; and

(b)no offer shall be made to any priest under section 13 of this Measure;

but the bishop may, subject to subsection (2) below, make to such priest as he thinks fit an offer to collate him to the benefice.

(2)The bishop shall not make an offer under subsection (1) above unless the making of the offer has been approved by the parish representatives, and subsections (3), (4)(b) and (5) of section 13 of this Measure shall apply in relation to a request sent by the bishop to those representatives by virtue of this subsection as if for any reference to the registered patron there were substituted a reference to the bishop.

(3)Where under subsection (1) above the bishop makes to a priest an offer to collate him to a benefice in respect of which there is more than one person registered under this Measure, the registered patron whose turn it was to present to the benefice shall be treated for the purposes of this Measure as having exercised that turn.

15 Failure of council to comply with s. 11 or 12.U.K.

If a copy of the statement prepared under section 11(1)(a) of this Measure is not sent under subsection (8) of that section to the persons mentioned in that subsection or if notice is not given under section 12(5) of this Measure of any joint meeting requested under subsection (1)(a) of the said section 12 then—

(a)if the bishop is the registered patron, he may, without making any request for the approval of the parish representatives, make to such priest as he thinks fit an offer to collate him to the benefice; and

(b)if the bishop is not the registered patron, that patron shall be entitled to proceed under section 13 of this Measure as if paragraphs (a) and (b)(i) of subsection (1), subsection (3) and paragraph (b) of subsection (4) thereof had not been enacted.

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