Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2020

The Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 2020 received the Royal Assent on 16 March. Ss.12 to 15 (validity of lease, minor amendments on pensions, updating and minor corrections) came into force on the day on which the Measure was passed: the remaining provisions come into force on such day or days as the Archbishops may by order jointly appoint.

  • S.1 enables members of religious communities to be ordained and to be licensed to serve in their community.
  • S.2 makes provision for a national ministry register to include every clerk in Holy Orders with authority to minister and for the creation of a register of licensed laypeople. Bishops will be required to provide regular updates of information to the Archbishops’ Council and the Council will publish a form of the register, omitting personal contact information, that will be accessible by the public free of charge.
  • S.3 enables duly-licensed deaconesses, readers and lay workers to provide funeral ministry, at the request of the family or friends of the deceased and with the approval of the deceased’s incumbent, on a similar basis as clergy.
  • S.4 permits ecclesiastical courts dealing with the care of churches to grant waivers of court fees for those who are of limited means.
  • S.5 gives the Cathedrals Fabric Commission or a fabric advisory committee power to vary an approval for works that it has previously granted. It also allows for proposals to be revoked and provides a right of appeal. S.6 makes it easier to build on disused burial grounds belonging to cathedrals, provided that there is no objection from a relative of anyone buried in the land in question during the past 50 years, and defines “relative” for this purpose and for the purpose of equivalent legislation relating to churchyards.
  • S.7 amends the legislation relating to the inspection of churches to make it clear that the inspector appointed under the legislation is appointed by, and responsible to, the parochial church council.
  • Ss.8 and 9 deal with parochial registers and records, taking account of registers of church services that are kept in electronic form and clarifying the meaning of “records”.
  • S.10 allows the Cathedrals Fabric Commission to delegate its functions to its officers.
  • S.11 places limits on the length of successive terms of office on diocesan advisory committees.
  • S.12 removes a technical legal problem where a diocesan board of finance grants a lease to a parochial church council.
  • S.13 clarifies where responsibility rests for the payment of pensions in respect of service after 1997.
  • S.14 updates various terms in the constitution of the General Synod; for example, “Chairman” formally becomes “Chair”.
  • S.15 makes minor drafting amendments the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011.
  • S.16 provides for the short title, commencement and extent.

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