New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
News >

Farewell to freehold. Hail, common tenure

by Ed Thornton

THE centuries-old system of clergy freehold ends on Monday. It will be replaced by common tenure, which seeks to give bishops more control over their clergy, and the clergy better employment protection.

From 31 January, assistant curates, priests-in-charge, team vicars, and residentiary canons in fixed-term posts will transfer automatically to common tenure. A Church of England website, which outlines the changes, states that it will bring “security [and] clarity” to their terms of service.

Clergy who have freehold, in­cluding incumbents, team rectors, deans, archdeacons, and other residentiary canons, will be asked by their bishop if they wish to transfer. They are not obliged to do so, how­ever.

Common tenure will give the clergy new rights, including: the en­titlement to a written statement out­lining the terms of their appoint­ment; one full day off a week; 36 days’ annual leave; and access to a grievance procedure.

Incumbents who decide to switch to common tenure will not see their property rights affected: they will continue to have formal legal ownership of the parsonage house, and possess an absolute veto over its sale. Priests-in-charge will now be given the right to object to the Church Commissioners in the event of a proposed sale.

The property rights under common tenure gained by other office-holders, such as curates and team vicars, include the right to accommodation “reasonably suitable for the purpose”, and the right to have their residence “kept in good repair”.

Other rights include a minimum stipend, a right to appeal for unfair dismissal, and the right to appeal to an employment tribunal.

Common tenure brings new obligations as well as rights. Clerics who sign up will be obliged to participate in ministerial develop­ment review and continuing min­is­terial training, and to undertake a medical examination if their bishop is concerned about their physical or mental health.

www.commontenure.org  

Job of the week

Reporter

London and Home Counties

REPORTER Salary range: £21,000 to £27,000, depending on experience Closing date for applications: 1 June Interviews: Friday 12 June A full-time reporter is sought to work in the Church Times's ...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Grey beard — but no loon

Grey beard — but no loon

A study day on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner taught Malcolm Doney the link between poetry and theology  Read More

Question of the week
Does your church engage in this level of social action?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

How about trying the politics of love?

Relationships, not strong leadership, should be at the heart of political life, argues Justin Lewis-Anthony  Read More

Fri 22 May 15 @ 21:37
'Just like Midsomer Murders' - Armed police disturb Greenwich church's garden party http://t.co/U8Nh9aE0Mi http://t.co/Bzr2iobFSP

Fri 22 May 15 @ 21:10
Where kindness can kill An army chaplain on life in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak http://t.co/GM7nlfzF3p http://t.co/JxfL4tqw3c