Common Tenure

The introduction of Common Tenureon 31 January 2011, was a change to the way in which clergy and stipendiary lay workers will hold their Ecclesiastical Offices.

Until then, clergy could have very different terms of service to each other, for example between Priests in Charge and Incumbents. The new legislation changed this; it is part of a framework of terms of service that brings security, clarity, and the opportunity for people to work together to encourage and support the clergy's ministry. It also brings the same framework to support stipendiary licensed lay workers.

Under Common Tenure, clergy and licensed stipendiary lay workers are provided with a Statement of Particulars and a Role Description setting out a broad framework of expectations. Rights under Common Tenure include a formal grievance procedure, a capability procedure, and office holdersshould have a Ministerial Development Review at least every two years. Our diocesan Ministerial Development Review scheme (see Paper A2) encourages the selection of a Lay Consultant from the approved diocesan list in the intervening year.

Many clergy moved to Common Tenure automatically. The exceptions are clergy with freehold office who will move onto Common Tenure when they next take up a new position or sooner if they choose. Unless they opt in before, Rectors in team ministries will need to move onto Common Tenure before their current fixed term expires in order to remain in the same office.

There’s a Common Tenure section on the Church of England website, where you can find the following legislation:

  • The Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure 2009
  • The Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations 2009

Common Tenure Grievance Procedure

For holders of Common Tenure there is a statutory Grievance Procedure.

The Code of Practice can be downloaded here.

(In the event that you wish to discuss the process as referred to in section 5(a) with the "human resources adviser" please, in the first instance, contact the HR Administrators in the Diocesan Office.)

Supporting advice published by the Archbishops' Council can be downloaded here.

The Statements of Particulars of those holding Common Tenure state:

"If you have a grievance, you are encouraged to take it up informally in the first instance, and, if appropriate, consider mediation. This will not affect your right to require formal consideration of your grievance under the procedure."


Common Tenure Capability Procedure

For holders of Common Tenure there is a statutory Capability Procedure, 

Download the Code of Practice.

Download supporting advice published by the Archbishops' Council.


Page last updated: 1st July 2020 2:52 PM