Guidelines for the administration of a Scheme by Diocesan Bishops
- Sabbatical Leave is defined as a form of paid leave during which clergy are free of ministerial duties in order to undertake study, a retreat and personal development. The Diocesan Bishop must be satisfied that such leave will be of benefit to the cleric and his/her ministry and therefore to the wider Church.
- The period of Sabbatical Leave will not normally be of less than six weeks or more than three months.
- Leave should wherever possible be continuous and parish clergy should normally be away from their parishes for all or most of the time.
- Sabbatical Leave is given at the discretion of the Bishop and should not be regarded as a right.
- Sabbatical Leave will be available to clergy who have completed at least ten years in the stipendiary ministry of the Church in Wales, or who have completed at least fifteen years in stipendiary ministry of which at least five should be in the Church in Wales.
- The initiative to apply for Sabbatical Leave may arise from the MDR (Ministerial Development Review) process or from the cleric him/herself.
- Sabbatical Leave will not normally be granted if a cleric has undertaken such Leave within the previous ten years.
- Clergy are first required to consult the CMD Officer and outline how they wish to use their Sabbatical Leave. It should comprise of three main elements (a) a time of physical refreshment, (b) a period of study (which may be academic or non-academic) and (c) a time of spiritual reflection such as a retreat. The CMD Officer will then submit the proposal and his/her recommendation to the Bishop for approval.
- Applicants should provide the CMD Officer with (a) an outline of their proposed use of the Leave, (b) the aims and objectives of the study, and (c) identify the outcomes for which they hope.
- The CMD Officer may advise some clergy to have a consultant to assist them in organising a programme and suggest appropriate reading and preparation.
- Clergy should meet with the CMD Officer before returning to parochial duties (or soon after) to reflect on what they have learned and gained during the Sabbatical Leave and to measure the outcomes against their original proposal. The reflection may be in the form of a written paper or an oral conversation.
- Sabbatical Leave should not be used as an opportunity for financial gain.
- Parish clergy should make suitable arrangements for pastoral provision and services during their absence. Details of such provision should be given to the churchwardens, area dean and archdeacon.
- Clergy may be eligible for an additional grant to assist with their Sabbatical Leave expenses, and their PCCs should be invited to make a financial contribution. Clergy will not be paid parochial expenses during their Sabbatical Leave although parishes are expected to continue to pay their usual contribution towards water rates, telephone rental, and contributions towards heating and lighting.
- CMD Officers should encourage suitable clergy to take Sabbatical Leave. They should also monitor the outcomes of those who have completed their Sabbatical Leave and ensure that a suitable record of the Sabbatical Leave is placed in their personal files.
- Applications should be made by the end of the year for Sabbatical Leave the year after next e.g. by the end of 2011 for Sabbatical Leave in 2013.