Diocesan Handbooks for Clergy and Parishes

Download the current Newcastle Diocesan Handbook for Clergy here.

This issue revised in December 2021 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.


Academic work: further
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
People System - holds people data for stipendiary clergy and other ministers
Personal Support
Professional Conduct: 2015 Guidelines
Sabbatical Guidance Notes
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 parishesDignity at work
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
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.


You can download all necessary documents, notices, forms and information from the Parish Resources - 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 can be found here 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
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 Bishops 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 clerics 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 neighboring 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.


The role of Diocesan Ecumenical Officer is currently vacant.

A range of useful information and links can be found on the Ecumenism 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. Christs 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 Bishops Advisor for the Ministry of Healing is: vacant

The following links will take you to the latest 'House Vacancy Accommodation Guide for Parishes'. The Houses & Glebe Handbook is currently under review and a new version will be available soon. 


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 registrars certificate (SRC) to authorise the marriage (unless an Archbishops 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:
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: WHO


Information on support is available 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 Retired Clergy is the Revd David Wood, 07934 155 902

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 Bishops Adviser for details of the deanery representatives.

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 30
Two or more services on the same day 60 in total.

Fees last updated: 5 February 2019

Download further information from Parish Fees page.


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. "

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