Diocesan Handbooks for Clergy and Parishes

Download the current Newcastle Diocesan Handbook for Clergy here.

This issue revised in 2014 is consistent with the latest clergy terms and conditions of service.  

The Diocesan Handbook for Parishes, with more parochial-related matters, can be found below.


For any items to be added, removed or corrected in either handbook,
please contact the Bishop's Chaplain.

The Newcastle Diocesan Handbook for Parishes

    Baptism: infant, emergency, registers, 're-baptism'
Child Protection: go to Safeguarding pages
    Children: admission to communion
    Churchyards and faculties
    Clerical cover/exchange
    Collections taken at Confirmation, Ordination
    and Licensing/Institution services

    DBS (formerly CRB): applications for disclosures
    Deliverance: Ministry of
    Eucharist: lay administration, home/sick communion, by extension, in unlicensed buildings
Funerals and burials:
           see also
Churchyard Memorials            
Healing: Ministry of

      Holy Communion: lay administration, home/sick communion, by extension, in unlicensed buildings
Marriage: general
Marriage of Foreign Nationals
     Marriage in church after divorce
     Ministry with people with learning disabilities and people on the autistic spectrum: "Opening the Doors"
Marriage Measure 2008 - qualifying connections
    Pastoral Counselling Network
    Parochial fees
    Reception into the Communion of the Church of England



Academic work: further
    Car loan scheme
Clergy Childcare Vouchers
Clergy Discipline Measure 2003: General Information
Clergy Discipline Measure 2003: After a complaint has been made - what happens?
Common Tenure: Frequently asked questions
    Expenses: Parochial Working

    Ministerial Development Review
     Personal Support
    Professional Conduct: 2015 Guidelines
Retirement - Housing
Retirement - Pension
Sabbatical Guidance Notes
Sickness (Longterm) Diocesan Policy
    Tax: income
Work Consultancy

Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) resources
    Archives - Diocesan  (see also 'Diocesan Record Office' - below)
Bishops' Mission Orders
Copyright: Common Worship
Copyright: frequently asked questions
Data Protection: a guide for parishes
Dignity at work
Diocesan Advisers (aka Supporting Ministers)
Diocesan Record Office  (see also 'Archives - Diocesan' above)
Ecumenical Matters
    General Synod - an introduction
Parish Records: Care of - "Keep or Bin" publication
Reader Ministry
Retired Clergy: Ministry and Pastoral Care
    Supporting Ministers
(aka Diocesan Advisers)
Trust Funds and Charities: in the Diocese and North East
Vacancy in a Parish


    Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (DAC)

    Go to the DAC pages for information on:

  • The Faculty system (or Faculty Jurisdiction)

  • List A (formerly the 'De Minimis' and 'Minor Works' list of items not requiring a Faculty)

  • List B (items which can be authorised by the Archdeacon)

  • Guidance on trees

  • Guidance on bells

  • Guidance on organs

    Other advice:

    Download a booklet (with an extraordinary Preface by the Dean of the Arches)
    called 'Making Changes to a Listed Church' (Word)


Canons of the Church of England
    Church Representation Rules
Charities Act 1993 and the PCC
: a guide to the SORP 2005 revisions


The Diocesan Handbook for Parishes

There is in the Diocese a tradition of encouraging ministers – lay and ordained – to pursue further theological and related studies at appropriate times in their ministry, and sometimes a modest amount of financial support can be provided. Academic work of this sort is increasingly costly. Further funding will always be necessary, and sources of funding must be clearly identifiable and available before such courses commence.
As such work naturally impinges on time available for other ministerial responsibilities, the Bishop has to be consulted and asked for permission. In the first instance, please contact the
CMD Adviser, at least six months before any course is due to start.


Download all necessary documents, notices, forms and information from the Parish Resources website in the box below.

If the box is empty click here: www.parishresources.org.uk/pccs/apcms



This is a new opportunity in the Church of England created by the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007 and the Code of Practice with it.
The Measure allows Bishops to issue a Bishop's Mission Order (BMO) where a church planting initiative would cross parish boundaries or involve collaboration between parishes.  The Code of Practice and skeleton Orders can be found here.  A brief outline of what would be involved can be found here.

CHARITIES ACT 1993 and the PCC: a guide to the SORP 2005 revisions
    Provides essential and up-to-date guidance for all PCCs in the preparation and scrutiny of their annual financial statements and reports. (Available as a large download from here)

CHURCH BUILDINGS: useful websites
Ecclesiastical Insurance Group - see especially the documents referenced in the right-hand column.
The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Archbishop's Council.

    An incumbent/priest in charge should never leave his/her parish (even for a few days) without arranging emergency pastoral cover with a neighbouring cleric. The churchwardens and Area Dean should be informed of the arrangement.
    In every case in which temporary charge of the parish is being handed over to a clergy person from outside the Diocese, permission from the Bishop must be sought.
    Any clergy person interested in arranging an exchange with a cleric who ministers in a Province of the Anglican Communion outside the British Isles should consult Bishop’s House on the requirements of the Overseas Clergy Measure. Early consultation is advised, as the legal requirements of the Measure can take some time to comply with. A letter of commendation from the visiting cleric’s Bishop will always be required.

Requests for confirmation services are made by parish priests to their Area Dean in the summer of the preceding year.  Area Deans forward the requests to the Bishop, and a programme is published in the autumn. 
Where numbers of confirmation candidates are low, every effort should be made to arrange for combined services with neighbouring parishes. 
Adult and young confirmation candidates should receive careful preparation, as a good grounding for on-going discipleship.  If a parish priest considers a candidate under the age of ten to be suitable for confirmation, they should make a request (giving their reasons for such) to the Bishop.
For information relating to collections taken at Confirmation services click here.

The Confirmation Form to be completed and returned to Bishop's House can be found here.

DBS (formerly CRB) APPLICATIONS:  for disclosures
    Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly Criminal Records Bureau or CRB) applications for all volunteers in parishes in Newcastle Diocese are administered through Church House.  Contact the DBS administrator by
email or call 0191 270 4100.
    All licensed Clergy, Church Army Officers and Readers must have DBS disclosures, and these are administered through Bishop's House.

    Note that the former Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) has also been merged into the Disclosure and Barring Service.

    Go to Safeguarding pages for further information and resources on
    safeguarding children and vulnerable adults


    Contact the Diocesan Ecumenical Officer,
the Revd Janet Appleby: janeteappleby@yahoo.com

   A range of useful information and links can be found on the Ecumenism Matters page on this website.

 EXPENSES: Parochial Working
A range of CofE documents can be found here.

See also our Diocesan Leaflet.

HEALING: Ministry of
    “Christian Healing is God meeting you at your point of need” (Bishop Morris Maddocks)
    Christ is our Healer and through his Holy Spirit the Church offers this ministry in his name. Christ’s healing is offered through: the Holy Communion, Healing Services, individual ministry with healing prayer. All these may include the laying on of hands, anointing with oil, confession and forgiveness.
    The Diocesan Healing Advisor and his Team are available to assist parishes in the development of the Healing Ministry, and in the setting up and training of local healing teams.  The Bishop’s Advisor for the Ministry of Healing is: Revd Dr Peter Bryars 01670 361133 pjbryars@btinternet.com  

To download the 'Houses Handbook' or the 'House Vacancy Accommodation Guide for Parishes' or the 'Vacancy Leaflet for Clergy' click here.

With effect from 2nd March 2015, the Immigration Act 2014 stipulates that where one or both of the parties to an intended marriage is a non-European economic Area (EEA) national the parties will each have to obtain a superintendent registrar’s certificate (‘SRC’) to authorise the marriage (unless an Archbishop’s special licence has been granted).
It will cease to be lawful for the marriage of a non-EEA national to be solemnized after the publication of banns of matrimony or on the authority of a common licence.
This replaces the provisions implemented in 2011: download the guidance issued by the Church of England's Legal Office in December 2014.
The UK Borders Agency has also issued guidance which can be
found here. It includes the advice: "If a member of the clergy feels that they are being pressurised to perform a marriage they are not content with by either the couple or a third party facilitator they should inform UKBA of this but should also consider informing the police."

    Advice to clergy from the House of Bishops and a leaflet for enquirers can be found here.  The decision whether or not to conduct such a marriage rests with the officiating minister, but the Bishop is available to offer advice if it is requested.  Advice should be sought by following the process outlined in para 4.7 of the House of Bishops' Advice above.
So that accurate records can be kept, a quarterly return should be made to the Diocesan Bishop indicating the number of further marriages conducted and the number of applications refused.

    One of the ways in which the Bishop exercises care for the clergy who work with him under licence, is through a process designed to provide:
• affirmation
• an appropriate form of accountability in ministry
• establishing priorities for the next two years
• identified learning and development needs
     Every two years the Bishop will ask each of the clergy and other supporting ministers to initiate the process by using a Reviewer to work with in this way. After personal reflection, consultation with others and a review interview, a report (hopefully mutually agreed) will be forwarded to the Bishop which highlights ministerial objectives for the next three years and what learning and development opportunities will enable them to be met. The Reviewee and the CMD Adviser can then work together is accessing what will contribute most to this.  For more details see elsewhere.

    A confidential Counselling Service can be accessed by clergy, clergy husbands, clergy wives and their families in Newcastle Diocese. Counselling offers people a safe space in which to reflect, without rush, on issues that are concerning them. This will involve working with a professionally trained counsellor over a number of sessions in complete privacy. The Network Counsellors are able to include the religious and spiritual dimension in the counselling process if the client wishes. If you would like to speak to someone, or to make a referral, contact:
    Peter Kenney (Adviser in Pastoral Care and Counselling) 0191 2858792

If you feel you need to talk to someone various options are open:
• the Bishops, Archdeacons and Area Deans
• the Diocese has a network of counsellors who are available through the Adviser for Pastoral Care and Counselling
• if you need someone outside the Diocese, y
ou can turn to the Durham Pastoral Counsellor Adviser
• Samaritans offer a round the clock listening ear with complete anonymity. Call 08457 90 90 90 or email
• Relate provides advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops, mediation, consultations and support. To find your nearest Relate call 0300 100 1234 or click here.

RETIRED CLERGY: Ministry and Pastoral Care
    Retired Clergy need to obtain from the Bishop a Permission to Officiate in the Diocese (PTO) if they wish to exercise their ordained ministry. Retired Clergy are a valuable resource to the Diocese in their willingness to offer priestly ministry in their home and neighbouring parishes.
    The Bishop’s Adviser for the Retired Clergy is
    the Revd Canon Colin Gough, 44 Tyelaw Meadows,

      Shilbottle, Northumberland NE66 2JJ. 01665 581100
    The pastoral responsibility of all clergy is of course the responsibility of the Bishop and the Area Dean. However, there is also a retired priest in every Deanery who is asked by the Bishop and Bishop's Adviser to keep in touch, informally, with the retired clergy in their Deanery. Their responsibilities are to ensure matters of concern are passed on to the Bishop/ Archdeacons/Area Deans. Please contact the Bishop’s Adviser for details of the deanery representatives.
     From April 1st 2011 the payments for agreed services conducted by retired former stipendiary clergy except for services in the parish where they reside are:

Sunday and Weekday Services
Single service £28.50
Two or more services on the same day £57.00 in total.

      Download further information from Parish Fees page.

   The purpose of a Sabbatical for those in stipendiary ministry is:
    • Rest and recreation with family and friends
    • A systematic and prayerful review of ministry to date and a setting of priorities for the coming years
    • A course of theological / spiritual reading, and / or writing under guidance
    • New experiences which could be gained through travel or by other means.
   An opportunity for this should be possible for a three month period in every ten years of ministry. Some funding (currently £1100) is available to support it and information of other possible sources of funding can be provided.
For further information contact the Continuing Ministerial Development Adviser.

    The Work Consultancy Scheme offers regular, confidential peer support in the day to day work of ministry. It is available to all in licensed ministry in the diocese, ordained and lay.
Work Consultancy has the following specific aims:
    1. To provide an opportunity to reflect upon your ministry
    2. To provide encouragement and support
    3. To help you plan, implement and evaluate your aims and objectives
    4. To help you identify your needs for further learning and development.
    Work consultancy is thus a tool available to ministers. No one is compelled to use it, but all are encouraged to. The initiative rests with each minister. Guidelines for using a work consultant are available in a leaflet from the Co-ordinator of the scheme:

Revd Brian Hurst.

    The Area Dean is in overall charge of a parish during a vacancy, but there will be a number of extra duties for Churchwardens. These include maintaining services, pastoral care, covering emergencies and the security of the vicarage.
"What to do in a Vacancy" - leaflet for Area Deans and Churchwardens
"What happens when the vicar leaves?" - a leaflet about filling a vacancy


Page updated MS 170328



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