Clergy 'jobs for life' under threat from Synod

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Plans to end the 800-year-old system that guarantees vicars jobs for life are being considered by the Church of England.

Plans to end the 800-year-old system that guarantees vicars jobs for life are being considered by the Church of England.

Delegates at the General Synod discussed replacing the church's current terms of service with proposals that would allow lazy or incompetent clergy to be sacked and bring in regular reviews of their performance.

Even bishops could be removed from their post under the measures unveiled yesterday during the four-day February Sessions at Church House in Westminster. Legal ownership of housing would also transfer to a local diocese.

Under the proposals, the parson's freehold, the ancient system under which thousands of clergy are virtually guaranteed a job for life, would be replaced by "common tenure" which would make the posts open-ended until retirement age and protected by employment law.

The measures form part of a report by Professor David McLean which calls for better conditions for priests by making church law mirror section 23 of the Employment Rights Act. He has denied the plans were designed to weed out mavericks.

Comments