Write, if you a question you would like answered, or to add to the answers given below.
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)
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)
Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG. firstname.lastname@example.org