The draft Code of Conduct

The draft Code of Conduct

The Conference in 2017 received a report from a working party in response to recommendation 8 of the Past Cases Review, “That serious consideration be given to producing a Code of Conduct for ministers along the lines of that produced by the Church of England”.

The working party reported that it had considered the matter and concluded that it would be beneficial to the Church to have a Code which would bring together into one place what the Conference has said over the years that it requires of its ministers and provide a tool for ministers to reflect on their own attitudes, behaviour, and practice. The tone of the Code is therefore one both of expectation and of aspiration and it is intended to be used in conjunction with the supervision that the minister undertakes and her or his Ministerial Development Review.

The Code in its draft form has been shaped by the Conference report of 2002, Releasing Ministers for Ministry, and by the revised Criteria for Selection for Ordained Ministry approved by the Conference of 2016.  The Code is therefore presented as a grid with each of the criteria guiding what is expected of ministers in three parts - Office (that to which the minister is called), Being (the living out of that vocation), and Functioning (the minister’s practice). The last section is presented as bullet points, not because these are boxes to be ticked but because this is a clear way to present the detail for reading and reflection.

One question that has been repeatedly asked is. ‘What would happen if I breach the Code?’ The Code enables us to be clear about (in)appropriate behaviour and (in)competence but does not change the way in which either is addressed. Our processes under Part 11 and Section 04 of CPD will not be altered as a result of the introduction of a Code of Conduct, but reference to the Code will help the minister and others to identify where her or his practice can and should be improved, where the source of the deficiency lies, and what can be done to address it.

The Conference agreed that the draft Code should be the subject of a wide consultation.

All ministers are being asked to respond both to the principle of the Church having a Code of Conduct and to the draft content 30 November 2018, using the attached pro forma.

Jonathan Hustler
Assistant Secretary of the Conference

 


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