When your Parish Priest (rector, vicar or priest-in-charge) resigns or moves to another post, the bishop will decide (after consultation) (a) to carry out pastoral re-organisation, (b) to suspend presentation and appoint a priest-in-charge or (c) to appoint another incumbent (rector or vicar).
If the bishop decides (a) you will be informed of what is proposed and what ministerial provision is planned for your parish. If the bishop decides (b) the right of appointment is his alone but he may invite you to produce a parish profile, choose parish representatives and to take part in any interview process. If the bishop decides (c) then the following procedure takes place.
1. The Nomination Turn explained
The right to nominate to a vacant parish is taken in turns – it falls to the bishop one in four times, the Diocesan Nomination Board twice, and the Provincial Nomination Board the remaining one. The turns follow in sequence, unless the parish is suspended, or reorganised, when the Bishop appoints.
A panel of Members of the Diocesan Board of Nomination is elected by the Diocesan Conference, with two or more clerics and three lay members serving at one time. The Provincial Nomination Board consists of the Diocesan Bishops, one lay member for each diocese elected by the Diocesan Conference and the Chairman of the Representative Body.
2. Parish Profiles
Your Archdeacon will oversee the process of writing a Parish Profile, to assist in providing potential parish priests with useful information about the parish, and to help the parish to find the right person for the job. He or she will consult people in your parish to ensure that the process is carried out comprehensively. Parishes sometimes also provide person profiles to guide potential applicants.
3. Parish Representatives
At the same Vestry meeting at which representatives of the parish are elected to the Diocesan Nomination Board, parish representatives are also elected who have responsibilities during a period of vacancy. The parish representatives are consulted about the profile, and are invited to assist with the interview process.
In common with other professional organisations, it is good practice to hold formal interviews attended by a number of people within the Church when appointing to a parish.
When an appointment is made, a Service takes place at which it is customary to invite civic and community representatives to be present.
An incumbent (rector or vicar) is collated and inducted (if the patronage turn is that of the bishop) or instituted and inducted (if the patronage term is that of the Diocesan/Provincial Nomination Board). A priest-in-charge is licensed and installed. A collation, institution or licensing is normally carried out by the bishop; an induction or installation is normally carried out by the archdeacon.
6. Making your New Cleric Welcome
The Diocese will usually meet a new cleric’s removal costs and provide a disturbance allowance to assist with other costs of their move, but please consult your Archdeacon to ascertain whether there might be other matters with which the parish may help.