Thinking Anglicans

Clergy Discipline Measure

Update Saturday

A working party of the Ecclesiastical Law Society has been reviewing the operation of the Clergy Discipline Measure and has issued an interim report today. ELS members have been sent the following in an email; this is also available online. There are links to the report and an executive study below.


Members will be aware that earlier this year the ELS established a Working Party, under the leadership of Peter Collier QC, to review the operation of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003. The Working Party has now produced its Interim Report which scopes out the issues to be addressed and provides an indication of direction of travel for reform. It is an impressive piece of work and merits careful reading in full, although an Executive Summary has also been produced.

The Interim Report indicates where further work is to be done in coming months, and this will be the subject of detailed consultation in due course in the expectation that a comprehensive Final Report will then follow. A notification inviting submissions will be circulated in due course.

The views stated in the Interim Report are not necessarily those of the ELS or its Trustees. The opinions expressed are those of the Working Party, whose membership is recorded in the Report. It represents an informed and expert consideration of a subject of pressing concern and considerable importance to the Church of England today. I commend it to you for study and comment, and in doing so I express the thanks of the Society to Peter and all the members for devoting their time and talents to this project.

Mark Hill QC

Chairman, Ecclesiastical Law Society

Download the ELS Working Party (CDM 2003) Interim Report
Download the ELS Working Party (CDM 2003) Executive Summary


Church Times CDM review: lawyers press for an immediate change

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Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
3 years ago

Church Times

The work quotes from a survey carried out by the Sheldon Hub, a support network for clergy and church workers, (News, 17 July), which found that two-thirds of respondents subject to a full CDM investigation has been found not guilty”

And I wonder how many of those found “not guilty” have committed suicide, attempted suicide, diagnosed with depression, suffered marital breakdown, and/or left the church?

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
Reply to  Richard W. Symonds
3 years ago

In my experience Richard, all of the clergy I helped could have ticked yes to at least one of the categories you outline. The clergy I helped were all eventually exonerated but the process of the CDM was so traumatic that their relationship with the diocese was severely compromised, probably in a third of cases irretrievably so.

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
3 years ago

I was shocked to read that each Preliminary Scrutiny Report (PSR) costs the Church Commissioners on average £2,500 in legal fees and they estimate £2m has been spent on these fees in the last 13 years. Why weren’t alarm bells raised many years ago? I know many clergy and senior clergy view the Commissioners as a magic money tree but ought this cost, when most respondents are exonerated, have raised questions in Church House, Westminster and at Lambeth Palace? That’s the financial cost; the human cost in generating PSR reports for cases that are going nowhere is great but not… Read more »

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