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Onerous vetting of the retired clergy

by
17 February 2010

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From the Revd Michael Collis

Sir, — I recently received from the diocese a letter regarding the introduction of the new CRB Vetting and Barring Scheme. It states that all clergy who hold the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate must complete lengthy forms by 30 June, or their licence will be can­celled.

Many retired clergy restrict their activities to celebrating the eucharist, and have little or no contact with young people or children, except in a public space with other adults present. So it is difficult to see why this heavy-handed action is neces­sary.

What the authorities are saying in essence, is that we are guilty until proved innocent. The Church main­tains that it values the services of the retired clergy, and yet, at the same time, appears to doubt their integrity and their vocation.

Finally, is this process being carried out diocese by diocese? Is it not possible for this to be done, if indeed it has to be done, cen-trally by Church House, which has all the records of the clergy on computer? This would save not only much money, but also the retired clergy having to answer needless intrusive and insulting questions.

MICHAEL A. COLLIS
66 Orchard Way, Barnham
Bognor Regis PO22 0HY

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