Clergy Conduct Measure – General Synod update

The proposed Clergy Conduct Measure will be debated at General Synod on the afternoon of Saturday 6 July 2024;  this post provides an update on our previous summary on 14 February 2024.


Three papers on the Clergy Conduct Measure have been circulated for consideration by General Synod:

Of these, the Revision Committee document provides a useful summary, extracts of which are reproduced below. Appendix C contains a flowchart showing an overview of the system, and Appendix B summarizes the proposed amendments and the Committee’s decision.

Representations to the Committee were made on: time limits; Human Rights Act 1998; consultation with victims and survivors; clergy serving in Royal Peculiars; and the procedural rules [9] to [19].


The Committee made the following principal amendments the Measure:

Assessors (see clause 12)

21. The Committee received several representations asking for more information as to the role and identity of the proposed assessors under the Measure…The Committee decided that instead of a regional model of assessors that was proposed in the Measure at first Consideration, a smaller and more agile group of assessors who were well trained would be better… they should be paid for the work at a rate to be set by the Fees Advisory Commission. They will be appointed by the Clergy Conduct Commission rather than by bishops.

Safeguarding processes (see clauses 20 and 28)

22. Provision has been made to allow for the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer or member of the National Safeguarding Team to become a party to the proceedings where the conduct in the complaint involved a child or a vulnerable adult. This will allow for that officer to make representations to the extent permitted in the process.

Complaints against archbishops

23. The Committee considered that the process for dealing with complaints against archbishops would need to differ from the procedures for bishops, priests and deacons. It notes that the rationale for placing a complaint against an archbishop in front of the other archbishop was weak and would give rise to conflict. The Committee considered the best procedure was for these complaints to be laid before the President of Tribunals who would make the required referrals and decisions in place of a “responsible bishop”. The provision of pastoral and other support would be overseen by the other archbishop. A number of amendments to this effect were made throughout the Measure and are indicated below.

Adverse findings that arise in other capacities (see clause 57)

24. New provision has been introduced to allow for adverse findings in disciplinary proceedings or other processes relating to the work of a cleric in a non-church setting to be shared with the church and relied upon as misconduct. For example, where a non-stipendiary minister also practised as a doctor and was subject to disciplinary proceedings by the General Medical Council, findings in that process could be relied upon as a finding of misconduct under this Measure. In addition, that findings of misconduct under this process can be shared with the minster’s place of work.

Code of Practice (see clause 67)

25. A new approval process for the Code of Practice has been introduced in which the first iteration of the Code will not come into force until it has been approved by Synod. Subsequent amendments, apart from minor ones, will be made the Clergy Discipline Commission and will come into force, unless 25 members of Synod request a debate on the changes.

Details on the Committee’s considerations are given in [26] to [307].

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Clergy Conduct Measure – General Synod update" in Law & Religion UK, 29 June 2024,

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