February 24, 2021
The Ecclesiastical Law Society is pleased to announce the Final Report of its Working Party on the Clergy Discipline Measure. Members will recall the circulation of its interim report last September, and many will have responded to the Working Party’s two consultations.
When the Society was established in 1987, much of its business was transacted through six permanent working parties looking at particular aspects of ecclesiastical law. These were gradually wound down to be replaced by bespoke working parties for particular projects. One early one, which I was privileged to convene, responded to the consultation document on clergy discipline, Under Authority (1996). With the present report on the CDM, the wheel seems to have turned full circle.
I want to express the Society’s thanks to HH Peter Collier QC, as convenor, and the team he gathered around him, for producing such a thorough and authoritative document within such a tight timescale. The reflection is thoughtful and rigorous, and the proposals for reform are clear, pragmatic and informed by a detailed understanding of the current system’s strengths and weaknesses.
The views expressed, of course, are those of the Working Party, and not necessarily those of the Society’s Trustees individually or collectively. However, I unhesitatingly commend the Report to all those concerned with ensuring that the discipline of clergy in the Church of England is fit for purpose in today’s world.
Click here for the full text of the Working Party’s Report.
Mark Hill QC
Chairman, Ecclesiastical Law Society