CDM – penalties by consent

A post in November this year noted the agreement at General Synod on Monday 11 July 2022 to the Draft Amendments to the Code of Practice issued under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 (GS 2281). These amendments to the CDM Code of Practice provided for the publication of Penalties by Consent in addition to the listing of Tribunal Decisions already in the Church of England website.

Changes to the CDM CoP

Paragraph 8 of GS 2281 indicates that these amendments issued by the CDC “shall come into force on a date for issue appointed by the Clergy Discipline Commission”; in practice, this date was over three months later, on 24 October 2022. The page on the CofE website Penalties by Consent now records the penalties that have been imposed by a bishop or archbishop with the consent of the respondent under section 16 of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 and penalties that have been imposed under section 30 or 31.

In accordance with the amendments of the CDM Code of Practice, the following details are published: the name of the respondent, the date penalty was agreed or imposed and the statutory ground of misconduct. The name of the diocese will also be published.

The Guidance on Penalties issued by the Clergy Discipline Commission (last updated January 2021) indicates:

“Conditional deferment (by consent only): A conditional deferment means that the complaint is kept on file for up to five years, but no other action is taken on it by the bishop unless a further complaint of misconduct is made within that period”.

In many dioceses, the complaint is retained on their web page for five years.

The Right Reverend Peter Hullah

The penalty relating to The Right Reverend Peter Hullah was published before the date upon which the Commission’s policy came into force. The case had been settled on 1 August 2022, when the penalty of prohibition for life was agreed by consent, and having been highlighted by the  Daily Mail in November 2022, was published on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website. Unlike subsequent cases, this gives a brief summary of the circumstances giving rise to the prohibition, rather than the section under the CDM under which the penalty was imposed.

Reporting on L&RUK

Penalties by consent will be included in the monthly reports of ecclesiastical judgments; the December report will include the penalties imposed on: The Revd Phil Grieg, Diocese: Canterbury, 7 December 2022; and The Revd Simon Matthews, Diocese of Leicester, 31 October 2022.

Acknowledgements to David Lamming for alerting us to the information provided by Conor Gannon, Secretary to the Clergy Discipline Commission.

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "CDM – penalties by consent" in Law & Religion UK, 19 December 2022, https://lawandreligionuk.com/2022/12/19/cdm-penalties-by-consent/

 

7 thoughts on “CDM – penalties by consent

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  4. The ‘Penalties by Consent’ page on the C of E website has not yet been updated to include the penalty accepted by the Revd Matthew Barrett of removal from office as rector of St Peter Port Church and vicar of St John’s Church (both in Guernsey) and prohibition from exercising any of the functions of his orders for one year. According to the report on the BBC website (to which a link was given in the C of E Daily Media Digest on 21 December), Mr Barrett “admitted to conduct unbecoming or inappropriate to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders under the Clergy Discipline (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Order 2006.” The report quotes the Dean of Guernsey, the Ven Tim Barker, as saying: “Because the conduct complained of involves other parties whose privacy must be respected, no further details will be given and speculation is discouraged.”

  5. I am grateful to David Lamming for his comment. However, the publication of penalties imposed by the clergy discipline processes in Guernsey and Jersey are not published on the Church of England website because of the different data protection laws in the two bailiwicks (which are, of course, independent jurisdictions).

  6. A further penalty by consent has now been posted on the C of E website:
    The Ven SUSAN ELIZABETH FIELD
    Diocese: Coventry
    Date imposed: 4th January 2023
    Relevant CDM section: 16(1)
    Statutory Ground of Misconduct: s.8(1)(d): Conduct unbecoming & inappropriate to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders
    Penalty: Resignation from office & injunction
    Once again, the restricted nature of the posting means that the nature of the archdeacon’s unbecoming conduct is a matter for speculation (though surely it must be known within the diocese). This is not satisfactory: plainly, I suggest, paragraph 312 of the CDM Code of Practice will have to be revisited and revised.
    (Wikipedia, which has not yet been updated to include the CDM penalty, informs us that Sue Field has been “Archdeacon Pastor (and Archdeacon of Coventry) in the Diocese of Coventry since 18 March 2018.”)

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