Review of Legislation Relating to Clergy
The Diocese of Melbourne is developing a comprehensive new Bill in relation to clergy, including such matters as employment status and working conditions, appointment, extension in parish ministry, retirement and breakdown of pastoral relationships.
A consultation paper was published on this website on 3 August 2020 and all members of Synod were informed about the paper and the consultation process. About 70 people responded to the email to Synod members.
From late August until mid-September two sessions were conducted in relation to each of nine topic areas, and three further sessions were conducted. Two of these covered clusters of three topics, and one was a general discussion about the rationale for the project and anything else that people wanted to raise.
Written submissions were also sought, and at every consultation session participants were asked to use the session to assist them in providing submissions. Forty-nine Synod members attended one or more of the consultation sessions (and another 10 attended in specific capacities), and 30 Synod members provided submissions.
A progress report was provided to the Archbishop in Council at its meeting on 26 November 2020 together with all the submissions, presented in a standard format. The Archbishop in Council noted the report and the decision of the Archbishop to establish a reference group for the project. The review will now not encompass legislation relating to the archbishopric or to the Diocesan Tribunal. Separate new legislation for the latter will be proposed for the 2021 ordinary session of Synod.
Additional research and engagement with Diocesan entities and other Dioceses in the Province will occur over the next few months, and a proposal for recommendations to the 2021 Synod will be brought to the Archbishop in Council in the first quarter of 2021.
There is now a separate webpage with resource material in relation to various matters relevant to this project.
Emails in relation to this review should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.