New Church Rules for 2020

Church Representation Rules 2020 & Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2019

The new Church Representation Rules, effective from 1 January 2020, are now available on the Church of England website, here; the revised Faculty Jurisdiction Rules come into force on 1 April 2020 and were reviewed here. A summary of these changes is given below.

Church Representation Rules 2020

Hard copies of the Church Representation Rules 2020 became available from Church House Publishing and elsewhere at the end of November 2019. In addition to the version now on the Church of England web pages, on-line copies have been available on www.legislation.gov.uk as Schedule 1 to the Church Representation and Ministers Measure 2019 (“the Measure”). The Church Representation and Ministers Measure 2019 (Commencement) Order 2019 of 6 November 2019 set the commencement date for those parts of the Measure not already in force as 1 January 2020. The current Church Representation Rules – which remain in force until the end of 2019 – may be located in Schedule 3 to the Synodical Government Measure 1969, as amended.

The new Rules replace the earlier version which was made in 1969 and has been subject to numerous subsequent amendments. The online version consists of:

  • a part-by-part contents page;
  • a lengthy introduction, basic outline and summary of the major features of the Rules;
  • the text of Rules themselves, here; and
  • an Index.

There is also supplementary material on the Churchwardens Measure 2001, which itself is not part of the Rules.

Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2019

On 1 April 2020, The Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2019 come into force; these make a number of important changes to the earlier Rules, including: the substitution of a new Part 4 dealing with consultation and advice; revision and expansion of Lists A and B; extension of the Archdeacon’s jurisdiction for temporary minor re-ordering; and various other amendments to improve the operation of the Rules.

An earlier post focused on the changes introduced through the new Part 4 (Consultation and advice before starting faculty proceedings) and the revision of Lists A and B (Matters which may be undertaken without a faculty). Given the large number of modifications made to the Lists, details of specific changes were not itemized in this post; nevertheless, the Explanatory Note to General Synod, GS 2137X usefully underlines all the additions and modifications.

Comment

Despite the innocuous designation of these new provisions as “Rules”, which may seem to be suggestive of “quasi legislation”, this is not the case, and the legal status of each is different. As a Church Measure, the Church Representation Rules 2020 are primary ecclesiastical legislation (Hill M, Ecclesiastical Law (4th Edn. OUP, Oxford, 2018) at 1.30). The Faculty Jurisdiction (Amendment) Rules 2019 are UK secondary legislation, (SI/2019/1184).

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "New Church Rules for 2020" in Law & Religion UK, 28 December 2019, https://lawandreligionuk.com/2019/12/28/new-church-rules-for-2020/

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