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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Anglican Church Case Studies: Chichester/Peter Ball Investigation Report

Annex 2: Glossary

This is not intended to be an exhaustive guide to all terminology used by the Church of England; it is designed to assist readers of this report to understand some of the terminology used.

Advisory Council on Religious Communities Body run by the Church which formally ‘recognises’ religious communities and provides them with a handbook on religious life which is a document intended to provide assistance to those running such communities.
Anglican A member of the Church of England or other Anglican Church.
Anglican Communion Global family of Anglican Churches whose links include their relationship to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the first amongst equals and is the spiritual leader of all Anglican Churches.
Anglo Catholic A form of worship and ritual which has more emphasis upon doctrine and ritual which is similar to the Roman Catholic Church.
Archbishop Bishop with authority for a province which is a large geographic area made up of many dioceses. England has two Archbishops – York and Canterbury – which are split geographically, with Canterbury being the largest geographic Province. Wales has one Archbishop.
Archbishops’ Council Body which provides assistance and provides the lead on leadership
and strategy of the Church. Works with parishes, dioceses and national and international bodies. A National Church Institution. Distributes the money obtained by the Church Commissioners from the management of assets to dioceses.
Archbishops’ List Sometimes known as the Lambeth List or Bishopthorpe List. Record kept of clergy who have been the subject of disciplinary action, or who have acted in a manner incompatible with their office.
Archdeacon Senior member of the clergy chosen by a diocesan bishop to be responsible for a geographic area of the diocese – for example in Chichester there was an archdeacon responsible for East Sussex and one for West. They are responsible for the pastoral care of clergy in their geographic area (i.e. looking after their concerns and making sure that they are acting appropriately) and do a lot of practical, legal and administrative work on behalf of the diocesan bishop.
Archdeaconry A geographic area of the diocese for which an archdeacon is responsible.
Area Bishop

An assistant bishop who works full time in the diocese, taking their name from the place or area which they serve – for example the Bishop of Lewes, the Bishop of Horsham. Responsible for a particular geographic area of a diocese.

Can sometimes be known as a suffragan bishop but there can be a distinction between the two, depending upon whether or not the diocese has a formal scheme of delegation (i.e. that the area bishop is in fact in charge of things such as appointments within his area).

Assistant Curate Deacon or priest who assists the incumbent or takes charge of a parish during a time when there is a vacancy (i.e. where there is no incumbent).
Benefice A parish, or group of parishes served by one incumbent, i.e. one member of the clergy. In both rural and urban areas, clergy can be the incumbents of a number of parishes grouped together. Benefices are in technical language an ecclesiastical office as part of which property and income are provided to support the priest’s duties.
Bishopthorpe Palace Home and office of the Archbishop of York. A team of staff work there to support the Archbishop, both lay and clerical.
Canon Law Body of Church law designed to regulate itself and all its members, including clergy and lay members. Includes matters such as Acts of Parliament concerning the Church, measures (similar to Acts of Parliament), Canons (see below) and statutory instruments, as well as some forms of quasi‐legislation, such as guidance, failure to adhere to which can be a breach of canon law.
Canons (1st definition) Church laws which deal with a diverse range of issues, but set out a broad framework within which bishops, priests and deacons perform their duties.
Canons (2nd definition) Clerical office holders working within the cathedral, known as residentiary canons. People are also awarded the title of canon for long or distinguished service by the diocese.
Cathedral Principal Church building of a diocese, staffed by a dean (the senior cleric of the Cathedral) and chapter (other clergy working principally within the Cathedral). Where the diocesan bishop (see below) has his cathedra – which is Latin for a seat or throne. Cathedrals operate separately to dioceses and whilst a diocesan bishop has power to undertake a Visitation (see below) of the Dean and Chapter, they are largely autonomous. They also have separate charitable status to dioceses.
Chancellor (of a diocese) Heads the ‘consistory court’ – see below.
Chaplain A minister, priest or lay representative attached to a non‐church institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, school, university or private chapel. Have to have a licence from the diocese where their Chaplaincy relates (or in the case of the Armed Forces from the Bishop responsible for the Armed Forces) but are employed by the institution and are subject to their rules, and not those of the diocese.
Chapter A group of clerics, including the Dean and residentiary canons that administer a Cathedral.
Charity Commission Public body responsible for supervision and monitoring of those appointed to run registered charities (known as trustees). Can take steps to dismiss individuals from being trustees of charities if they act contrary to their duties.
Church Commissioners Body made up of clerics, MPs and lay members, and a registered charity separate to dioceses etc. Is the body which manages the historic property assets of the Church. They are responsible for funding mission (i.e. action to help to spread the word of the Church) in churches, dioceses and cathedrals, to organise and assist with mergers of parishes and pay clergy, and manage records.
Church of England Central Services Provide IT, HR and legal advice to the central Church and to dioceses, where needed.
Churchwarden A lay person elected by members of the parish who, once elected, become officers of the bishop. They are there to represent parishioners and to work with the parish priest. They are the principal lay representative in a parish. They are also the guardians of the parish church, in effect being responsible for everything in the church which is not nailed down and to maintain the church and the churchyard. There are two elected for every parish.
Clergy The general name for all ordained ministers.
Clergy Discipline Measure Introduced in 2003 and amended in 2013 and 2016 – mechanism to deal with breaches of canon law/disciplinary offences by clergy.
Clergy Discipline Tribunal Name for body set up by the Church to hear cases concerning discipline of clerics. Judges/experienced lawyers are appointed who are also members of the Church of England.
Common Tenure A way (in force since 2009) by which clergy can hold office that involves many more rights which are similar to employment rights and so can be dismissed by the Church (in comparison to incumbents – set out below) with a right of appeal to the employment tribunal.
Communion A sacrament (i.e. a sacred religious ritual) involving the sharing of bread and wine that has been blessed by a member of the clergy, or a service where such communion is received. Is known in the Church as Eucharist, Holy Communion or Mass.
Confirmation A service taken by a bishop where a person who has been baptised affirms their faith and receives prayer as the bishop lays hands on them. In the Church of England often happens during adolescence.
Consistory Court A court presided over by the Chancellor that deals with matters relating to Church buildings and lands, and also matters of doctrine, ritual and ceremony.
Curate Ordained cleric usually in their first post as an assistant to a priest.
Cure of souls Ancient term meaning the pastoral care and religious oversight that a priest/bishop provides. In canon law priests and bishops have the “cure of souls” of their geographic area.
Deacon A priest who has been ordained who can preach and assist (but not be in charge) of the sacraments (see communion above) and pastoral care. In other words, an assistant member of the clergy.
Dean An area or rural dean is a cleric within a part of a diocese, made up of a geographic grouping of parishes, who is asked to perform extra administrative functions and to report to the bishop any matter which it might be useful to know within his “deanery”. Also the senior cleric within a Cathedral (e.g. the Dean of Chichester Cathedral).
Deanery A collection of parishes which are looked after by a Dean.
Deanery Synods A deliberative body (i.e. like a council) made up of clerics and lay people from the parishes which make up the Deanery. They are meant to consider matters within their deanery, express views on common problems, advise on common policies and consider the business of the Diocesan Synod (see below).
Diocesan Bishop The principal minister (i.e. bishop in charge) of a diocese. Has specific legal status, and is the chief pastor of all within the diocese. Responsible for visiting every aspect of the diocese and giving directions where needed. Visitors (see below) to Cathedrals.
Diocesan Board of Education A separate charity run by the diocese which has a role under canon law to appoint school governors for Church of England state schools (i.e. maintained schools) and provide advice and support to Church schools within the diocese. They may also be the sponsors of academy trusts and appoint the trustees for academy trusts.
Diocesan Board of Finance A charity which manages the property and assets of the diocese and employs diocesan staff.
Diocesan Registrar Legal adviser to the diocese. Usually a solicitor/barrister in private practice but who undertakes work on behalf of the diocese.
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser Compulsory role within each diocese: someone who has under 2016 Regulations qualifications and experience in safeguarding and provides advice and makes decisions about safeguarding on a diocesan basis.
Diocesan Secretary The chief administrator of the diocese – a lay person.
Diocesan Synod Decision‐making body of each diocese. Usually meets at least twice a year. Made up of the bishops within the diocese, certain members of the clergy but also lay members. They consider matters of importance to the Church of England and also make arrangements to make sure that required provision is made within the diocese (for example that the diocese has a safeguarding policy), to advise the bishop or to consider matters referred to it by the General Synod (see below) and to consider the annual accounts.
Diocese Main administrative area of the Church of England. There are 42 in England. Roughly coincide with the borders of one or several counties.
Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure Prior to 2003, the mechanism to bring disciplinary procedures against clerics. Now only used for breaches of ecclesiastical law involving matters of doctrine, ritual or ceremony (for example, wearing the wrong clothes, not using the correct texts).
Evangelical Member of the Church of England who believes in the literal word of the Bible.
General Synod The decision‐making body of the Church of England as a whole. Made up of the House of Bishops, the House of Clergy and the House of Laity. There is meant to be balance between the House of Clergy and Laity and they are elected by Diocesan Synods. They meet at least twice a year to debate issues of importance to the Church and to pass and amend the legislation of the Church of England.
Incumbent The priest who is in charge of church life in a particular benefice (see above). His title can be vicar, rector or priest in charge. An incumbent is also a priest who holds the office other than by way of common tenure (which was the position for the majority of clergy prior to 2009). This means that they had the right of tenure once appointed and so could only be dismissed in very limited circumstances. An incumbent is responsible for the keys of the church and for control of it, over music and the ringing of bells, and the church building and rectory/parsonage (where appropriate) are part and parcel of the office.
LADO Local authority designated officer. Individual within the Children’s Services Department of every local authority to whom individuals report allegations or concerns about the protection of children. Responsible under statute for investigating such complaints.
Lambeth Palace The office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Made up of a team of lay and clerical staff including bishops. A National Church Institution.
Lay members Everyone in the Church who is not ordained.
Minister A person with responsibility for the work of the Church in worship, mission and pastoral care. May or may not be ordained.
Ministry Term often used by the Church and clerics to refer to their work, including looking after the parish, carrying out sacraments or worshipping.
National Church Institutions The collective name for the seven administrative bodies that work to support the Church of England and act as central points on various issues.
National Safeguarding Team Central group of individuals charged with providing national strategy and advice on safeguarding. Someone has been in post since 2000, but only a larger team since 2015.
National Church Institutions The collective name for the seven administrative bodies that work to support the Church of England and act as central points on various issues.
Oath of Supremacy Any person taking Church office has to swear allegiance to the monarch as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Ordinand Someone training to be a member of the clergy.
Ordination The ceremony which is sacramental in nature where someone becomes a deacon, priest or bishop.
Parish The smallest geographic area in the Church of England.
Parish Safeguarding Officer Every parish has to appoint a lay individual to provide advice on safeguarding matters in the parish.
Parochial Church Council Body of elected lay members and the churchwarden and cleric who undertake the day‐to‐day administration of the parish. Often informally known as parish councils. Possess along with the incumbent (see above) the church and its fixtures. Responsible for the financial affairs of the church. Registered as separate charities.
Patron Someone who is responsible for “presenting” a clergyman to a particular parish. Form of property right which can be inherited, granted or which rests in a diocesan bishop. May be the Crown, an Oxbridge College or even an individual. Dates back to the days when parishes were paid for and funded by large landowners who would provide property and an income for someone to celebrate religious services for them.
Permission to officiate Licence given by a diocesan bishop largely to retired clergy enabling them to undertake services in specific parishes.
Priest An ordained person who celebrates the sacraments and provides pastoral care.
Province Large geographic area with an archbishop as its head.
Provincial Safeguarding Advisers Provide safeguarding advice as part of the national team.
Reader A lay person who has a specific licence and has been trained to carry out ministry and to lead worship.
Rector Alternative title for clergy, synonymous with vicar.
Religious communities/ monastic orders Groups of men or women, clerics or lay people who bind themselves to life‐long commitment according to monastic discipline and rule. Some of them may take formal vows. Run autonomously, not by the Church, and loosely recognised by the Advisory Council on Religious Communities.
Royal Peculiar A church community not subject to oversight by either a Bishop or Archbishop and so under the direct jurisdiction and supervision of the Crown. They are not subject to governing or monitoring by the diocese. These are Westminster Abbey, St George’s Chapel, Windsor and the Chapels Royal. This idea and system predates the reformation. Clerics appointed to Royal Peculiars are not subject to the same disciplinary processes as other clergy but are subject to discipline to the Dean, who is the chief cleric of the Royal Peculiar.
Sacrament A specific religious ritual or act which provides a means of expressing one’s faith and obtaining grace, sanctification and forgiveness (all theological terms which mean obtaining spiritual assistance or succour from God). In the Anglican Church the only two ‘official’ sacraments are baptism and Eucharist/Communion.
Service An act of public worship.
Stipend Sum of money paid to a clergyman for his living.
Verger Leads processions in the church and is involved in its day‐to‐day running. Voluntary role.
Vicar A member of the clergy responsible for a parish and the cure of souls.
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