The Church of England’s 20,000 active clergy – those who hold a licence or Permission to Officiate (PTO) – are being asked to confirm the information that both the National Church Institutions (NCIs) and dioceses hold about them is accurate for when a National Register of Clergy goes live this May (2021).
Why is this happening?
The National Register is an important development in strengthening safeguarding in the Church and was a recommendation in the 2017 Gibb Review which looked into the Church’s handling of allegations against the late Bishop Peter Ball. The NCIs, and representatives from each diocese, have worked together on the project and the relevant regulation covering the information that will be published was passed at General Synod in November 2020. All active clergy will now be included by law and this week are being contacted individually to ask them to confirm their details.
What will be shown on the Register and where will the Register be published?
Currently PTO and licence details are held in each diocese but not published nationally.
The Register will show an individual’s title and name, how they are engaged with the Church of England (current post/licence) and the diocese, area or benefice to which they are licensed. The Register will not include contact, biographical or historical information.
This information will be publicly available on the Church of England website. The Register can be searched to verify whether someone has PTO or licence to hold office, in much the same way as other professions hold national lists. At the time of launch the Register will include those who are ordained, expanding to include lay ministry in due course.
What do I need to do?
A letter has been sent to all active clergy in January 2021 requesting that the form on the Church of England website be completed by Tuesday 23 February. This page also includes further information you may find helpful. We encourage you to do this as soon as you are able. In addition to your legal name, the details you need for this are:
- Your Person Unique Number (found at the top of your letter)
- The date you were deaconed
- The date you were priested (optional)
- Your email address (an email address can only be used once)
I can’t remember the dates I was deaconed and priested. What shall I do?
The easiest way to find this will be to look in your ordination Bible, or the letters of order. Alternatively you could get in touch with a friend who was ordained at the same time.
I don’t have an email address – what shall I do?
For any member of clergy that does not have an email address, they should contact Helen Crawford, Office Manager at Church House, along with the information listed above – in particular their Person Unique Number. Helen will compile a list of these people and will liaise with the Project Team to ensure their data is registered and validated in another way.
I haven’t received my letter, or have accidentally thrown it away. What shall I do?
Please contact the Project Team on the email address below, providing your address and diocese. They will either send you a duplicate letter, or provide the details, including your Person Unique Number, in an email response.
Any other questions?