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Bullying by a curate

06 January 2017


Write, if you a question you would like answered, or to add to the answers given below.


Your answers
How much bullying does an indi­vidual have to endure from an assistant curate before senior clergy at benefice and diocesan level take notice? Does this vary from diocese to diocese?


The straight answer is “None.” As presented to us, this sounds like a safeguarding issue, and should be treated by such by senior clergy (within the benefice and diocese) until such time as proved otherwise. If the benefice clergy are ignoring the matter, I would contact the dio­cesan safeguarding officer. Bullying is unacceptable, as are all forms of abuse.
(Dr) Robin Rowles (LLM and Adviser for Licensed Lay Ministry)
Oxford diocese


No level of bullying is acceptable, whether by or of the clergy. Any such allegations need careful atten­tion to ensure the right issues are identified and addressed. Every diocese should have a developed policy to address bullying, which would ideally be based on the national Church’s Dignity at Work guidance (2008).

Not all dioceses have such policies, and, even when they have, the handling of bullying is often poor. Most church complaint procedures are geared to dealing with one serious misdemeanour rather than a series of lesser incid­ents. In addition, the preferred response may be to move the target of the bullying rather than deal with the instances of bullying.
(The Revd) Pete Hobson (Chair, Church of England Clergy Advocates)
Aylestone, Leicester


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