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 Issues | The Church | Pastoral Measure 1983


Excerpts from the Pastoral Measure 1983

The Pastoral Measure is a large piece of legislation covering issues to do with redundant churches, graveyards and appointments.

The extract is included here because these sections concern the restriction of patrons rights, the suspension of a benefice and the appointment of a Priest-in-Charge which is now so widespread, misunderstood and abused in the Church of Engalnd.

Regrettably the General Synod recently declined the opportunity to tidy up this Measure and remove some of the opportunities for abuse.

Bold type is used to emphasise key parts.

Red text are our comments which do not form part of the Measure.

PASTORAL MEASURE 1983
(with updates from 1986 Patronage (Benefices) Measure)

PART IV MISCELLANEOUS, ADMINISTRATIVE AND GENERAL
Restrictions on presentation

Section 67 = Suspension of the Benefice

67. (1) Where a benefice is vacant or is shortly to become vacant, the bishop may, subject to the following provisions of this Measure, with the consent of the pastoral committee, and after consultation with -
(a) the registered patron of the benefice,
(b) the parochial church council of the parish or each of the parishes concerned, and
(c) both chairmen of the deanery synod of the deanery concerned;

give notice that during such period not exceeding five years as may be specified in the notice (hereafter in this Measure referred to as the "suspension period"), the registered patron shall not exercise his right of presentation without the consent of the pastoral committee and (if he is not the registered patron) of the bishop; and thereupon the said right shall only be exercised in accordance with the notice during the suspension period.

When consulting any person in accordance with this subsection the bishop shall inform him of the reasons why he is considering whether he should exercise the power conferred by this subsection.

(Note : In order to go through the process of consultation leading to suspension the Bishop must prevent the Patron from making an appointment. See Section 69.)

(2) The power conferred by the foregoing subsection may be exercised in relation to any benefice at any time within three months before the benefice is due to become vacant or at any time during the vacancy.

(3) Except where any consultation required by subsection (1) takes place at a meeting between the bishop or his representative and the person to be consulted or his representative, that person shall be advised that he may, within twenty-eight days after receiving a request from the bishop for his views about the giving of the notice under that subsection, request a meeting with the bishop or his representative, and where such a request is made, the bishop shall convene a meeting which all the persons whom he is required by that subsection to consult shall be invited to attend, either in person or by representatives, for the purpose of enabling those present to consult with the bishop or his representative about the giving of the said notice.

(4) The suspension period shall come to an end before the date on which it would otherwise expire, in any of the following
circumstances:-
(a) if notice is given by the bishop that the necessary consent or consents have been given to the exercise of the patron's right of presentation;
(b) if notice is given by the bishop with the consent of the pastoral committee, terminating the said period; or
(c) if a pastoral scheme or order provides for the holding of the benefice in plurality with another benefice or other benefices, or a pastoral scheme otherwise affecting the benefice expressly provides for the termination of the said period;
and the termination shall, in the cases mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) hereof, take effect on such day, not being less than fourteen days after the date of the notice, as may be specified therein, and, in the cases mentioned in paragraph (c) hereof, shall take effect when the relevant provisions of the pastoral scheme or order come into operation.

(5) The bishop may, before the expiration of a suspension period, by a further notice, given with the same consent and after the same consultation as were required for the original notice given under subsection (1), extend the period for a further period not exceeding five years; and the said power may be exercised from time to time before the expiration of any extension of a suspension period.

(6) A notice given by the bishop under this section shall be given to -
(a) the pastoral committee,
(b) the registered patron of the benefice , unless the only registered patron is the bishop,
(c) both chairmen of the deanery synod of the deanery concerned,
(d) the churchwardens of the parish or each of the parishes concerned, and
(e) the sequestrators;
and a copy of the notice shall be filed in the diocesan registry.

(7) The churchwardens to whom any such notice as aforesaid is given shall forthwith cause it to be affixed at or near to the door of a parish church or, if there is no parish church, of the principal place of worship in the parish.

Section 68 = Appointing a Priest in Charge (and the sequestration of the Benefice)

68. (1) Where the bishop has declared a suspension period (ie Section 67 has been completed) in respect of any benefice under section 67, he shall during that period sequester the profits of the benefice.

(2) The sequestrators shall, subject to and in accordance with the directions of the bishop, make provision for the performance during the suspension period of the ecclesiastical duties of the benefice, and before giving any such directions the bishop shall consult the parochial church council of the parish or each of the parishes concerned and, so far as is reasonably practicable, the registered patron of the benefice.

(3) Where the bishop proposes to appoint a priest in charge for any benefice to which a suspension period applies, he shall before making the appointment consult the parochial church council of the parish or each of the parishes concerned and, so far as is reasonably practicable, the patron of the benefice.

(4) Where the bishop appoints a priest in charge for any benefice to which a suspension period applies, the bishop may require the priest to reside in the parsonage house of the benefice.

(5) The provisions of Schedule 7 shall have effect with respect to the management of the benefice property and the application of the profits thereof during any suspension period.

Section 69 = Temporarily restricting Patrons Right to appoint

69. (1) Where any proposals submitted under section 4(1) or section 14(1) contain recommendations for any of the matters specified in sections 17 and 18 and 20 to 22, (Note: all these relate to creation / changes to benefices, parishes, teams and groups) and any benefice which would be affected if the recommendations were implemented is vacant on the date on which the registered patron thereof receives a copy of the proposals under section 4(2) or becomes vacant thereafter, the registered patron shall not be entitled after that date or after the occurrence of the vacancy, as the case may be, to exercise his right of presentation to the benefice without the consent of the pastoral committee and (unless the bishop is the registered patron) of the bishop, until the occurrence of whichever of the following first occurs, namely, -

(a) the relevant recommendations are implemented by a pastoral scheme or order and come into operation, in which case the right of presentation shall be subject to the provisions of the scheme or order; or
(b) the proposals are withdrawn or the draft scheme or order prepared in pursuance thereof is withdrawn, or the scheme made in pursuance thereof is disallowed or withdrawn; or
(c) the relevant recommendations are omitted from the proposals, draft scheme or order, or scheme; or
(d) the period of three years from the date aforesaid expires.

(2) Where the bishop has given directions to the pastoral committee under section 2(1) to consider or has been notified under section 2(2) that the committee intend to consider in relation to any benefices, any of the matters specified in sections 17 and 18 and 20 to 22 (Note: all these relate to creation / changes to benefices, parishes, teams and groups), he may, upon a vacancy or impending vacancy in any of those benefices, or where a joint pastoral committee has been appointed under section 13, the bishop may, upon a vacancy or impending vacancy in any benefice which might be affected by the exercise of the powers of that committee under sections 13 and 36, as limited (if at all) by instrument sealed by the bishops of the dioceses concerned, also notify -
(a) the registered patron, unless the only registered patron is the bishop,
(b) the parochial church council, and
(c) both chairmen of the deanery synod of the deanery concerned, that those matters are being considered, and thereupon the registered patron shall not be entitled to exercise his right of presentation to that benefice without such consent or consents as are specified in subsection (1); and the provisions of section 7 of the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986 shall, subject to the modifications made by section 70 of this Measure, apply.

(3) A restriction imposed by subsection (2) shall cease to operate at the expiration of one year from the date of the said notice unless within that period proposals are submitted under section 4(1) or section 14(1) containing recommendations for any of the matters specified as aforesaid which would affect the benefice concerned, in which case the restriction shall continue until the occurrence of whichever of the following first occurs, that is to say, the several events mentioned in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of subsection (1), and the expiration of three years from the date of the said notice.

(4) The fact that restrictions are in force under this section with respect to any benefice shall not be taken as preventing the bishop from exercising his powers under sections 67 and 68 with respect to the benefice, and, if he does so, those sections and Schedule 7 shall apply to the benefice in lieu of this section.

Section 70 - End of a period of suspension


70. Where the bishop declares a suspension period in respect of any benefice, or any restriction imposed by or under any provision of section 24 or 69 comes into force in respect of any benefice, -
(a) save as provided in this section no notice under section 7 of the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986 of a vacancy or impending vacancy in that benefice shall be given during the suspension period or, as the case may be, while the restriction is in force;
(b) any such notice relating to that benefice given before the suspension period began or, as the case may be, the restriction came into force shall be deemed to have been revoked and any act done under that Measure consequent upon that notice shall be of no effect;
(c) that benefice shall be deemed for the purposes of that Measure to become vacant immediately after the day on which the suspension period comes to an end or, as the case may be, the day on which the restriction ceases to be in force; and
(d) upon the benefice being deemed to become vacant the bishop shall give to the patron and the parochial church council the notice required by section 7(4) of that Measure so however that if the suspension period will come to an end as a result of a notice given by the bishop under section 67(4) of this Measure the notice referred to in the foregoing provisions of this section may be given by the bishop at the same time as the notice under section 67(4) and in any other case the notice referred to in the foregoing provisions may be given not more than fourteen days before the suspension period will end or the restriction will cease to be in force as the case may be.

71. Repealed.

72. Repealed.

73. Where any proposals approved under section 4(1) contain recommendations for the creation of a new benefice for a new parish, and any church in the area which is to form the new parish is consecrated after the proposals are so approved but before any of the events mentioned in section 69(1) have occurred in relation to those recommendations, no person shall become the patron of that church by virtue of any rule of law or any provision of or instrument under any Act or Measure other than this Measure during the period between the said approval of the recommendations and such one of the said events as first occurs.

 

 

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