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IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.

IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Anglican Church Investigation Report


Annex 2: Glossary

This is not an exhaustive guide to all terminology used by the Church of England and the Church in Wales. It is intended to assist readers to understand some of the terminology used in this report or underlying documents.

Advisory Council on Relations of Bishops and Religious Communities
A Church of England body which advises diocesan bishops and religious communities on all matters related to the religious life. It is able to register two types of religious community on behalf of the House of Bishops: ‘recognised’ and ‘acknowledged’ communities. Religious communities are expected to follow the guidance set out in A Handbook of the Religious Life, published in 2004. The Council is currently chaired by the Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend David Walker.
A member of the Church of England or the Church in Wales or other Anglican Church.
Anglican Communion
Global family of Anglican Churches. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the first amongst equals and is the spiritual leader of all Anglican Churches.
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
A National Church Institution which provides the lead on leadership and strategy of the Church of England. Works with parishes, dioceses, and national and international bodies. Distributes the money obtained by the Church Commissioners from the management of assets to dioceses.
Archbishops’ List (England)
Records of clergy who have been the subject of disciplinary action or who have acted in a manner incompatible with their office.

(Sometimes known as the Lambeth List or Bishopthorpe List.)
Senior member of the clergy chosen by a diocesan bishop to be responsible for a geographic area of a diocese. They share the pastoral care of the clergy and do much practical, legal and administrative work on behalf of the diocesan bishop.
A geographic area of the diocese for which an archdeacon is responsible.
Area bishop (England)
Full-time assistant bishop in an English diocese, who takes their title from a place in the diocese. Responsible for a particular geographic area of a diocese.

May 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 (ie that the area bishop is in fact in charge of things such as appointments within their area).
Bench of Bishops (Wales)
The six diocesan bishops of Wales.
A parish or group of parishes served by one incumbent, ie 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, both lay and clerical, work there to support the Archbishop.
Canon law (England)
Body of English law designed to regulate the Church 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.
Canon law (Wales)
The Church in Wales governs itself and has its own laws and measures which are passed by the Governing Body. They are not enshrined in civil law, however, as the Church in Wales is not established.
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 in England are not applicable in Wales and vice versa.

Canon is the title given to a cleric who is a member of a cathedral. Some canons have specific roles within the life of the cathedral and are known as residentiary canons. Canon is also an honorary title, conferred upon clergy or lay persons by the diocesan bishop, in recognition of their service to the diocese.
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).

Cathedrals operate separately from dioceses. While an English or a Welsh diocesan bishop has the power to undertake a visitation (which enables diocesan bishops to make recommendations to the dean and chapter), cathedrals are largely autonomous in respect of their governance and management. They also have separate charitable status to dioceses.

In England, cathedrals are currently exempt from charity registration (although this is to change). In Wales, cathedrals must register as a charity if they have an income over a certain threshold.
Chancellor (of a diocese)
Heads the ‘consistory court’ (England) or diocesan court (Wales) (see below).
A minister, priest or lay representative attached to a non-church institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, school, university or private chapel. They require 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 relevant institution and are subject to their rules and not those of the diocese.
A group of clergy, including the dean and residentiary canons who administer a cathedral.
Charity Commission
Public body responsible for supervision and monitoring of those appointed to run registered charities (known as trustees). May take steps to dismiss individuals as trustees of charities if they act contrary to their duties.
Church Commissioners (England)
Body made up of clergy, MPs and lay members, and a registered charity separate from dioceses etc. Manages the historic property assets of the Church and is responsible for funding in churches, dioceses and cathedrals, organising and assisting with mergers of parishes, paying clergy and managing records.
Church of England Central Services (England)
Provides IT, HR and legal advice to the National Church Institutions and to dioceses, where needed.
A lay person elected by members of the parish who, once elected, becomes an officer of the diocese. Represents parishioners and works with the parish priest as the principal lay representative in a parish. Also a guardian of the parish church, responsible for everything in the Church which is not fixed and for maintaining the church and the churchyard. At least two are appointed in each parish in England.
The general name for all ordained ministers.
Clergy Discipline Measure (England)
The mechanism to deal with breaches of canon law/disciplinary offences by clergy in England. Introduced in 2003 and amended in 2013 and 2016.
Clergy Discipline Tribunal (England)
Body set up by the Church to hear cases concerning clergy discipline. Judges and experienced lawyers (who are also members of the Church of England) are appointed.
Clergy Terms of Service (Wales)
Standard terms upon which all incumbents in Wales agree to hold office and be subject to clerical discipline.
Common tenure (England)
A way by which clergy can hold office which involves many more rights, similar to employment rights and in force since 2009. Means clergy can be dismissed by the Church (in comparison to incumbents – see below) with a right of appeal to the employment tribunal.
A sacrament (ie 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 this is performed. It is known in the Anglican Church as Eucharist, Holy Communion or Mass.
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 Anglican Church this often happens during adolescence.
Consistory court (England)
A court presided over by the Chancellor which deals with matters relating to Church of England buildings and lands, and also matters of doctrine, ritual and ceremony.
Constitution of the Church in Wales
Document setting out rules and procedures for administering the Church in Wales.
Ordained clergy 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 or bishop provides. In canon law, priests and bishops have the ‘cure of souls’ of their geographic area.
An assistant member of the clergy; a priest who has been ordained who can preach and assist with (but not be in charge of) the sacraments (see ‘communion’ above) and pastoral care.
An area or rural dean is a member of clergy 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 clergy within a cathedral (eg the Dean of Chichester Cathedral).
A collection of parishes which are looked after by a dean.
Deanery Synod
A deliberative body (like a council) made up of clergy and lay people from the parishes which make up the deanery. The synod should 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 (ie bishop in charge) of a diocese with specific legal status. Responsible for visiting every aspect of the diocese and for giving directions where needed.

Also has rights of visitation to cathedrals (which enables making recommendations to the dean and chapter).
Diocesan Board of Education (England)
A separate charity run by the diocese which appoints school governors for Church of England state schools (ie maintained schools) and provides advice and support to Church schools within the diocese. It may also sponsor 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 Court (Wales)
Body set up under the Constitution of the Church in Wales to determine issues around Church property and parochial church councils.
Diocesan Director of Education (Wales)
Director to provide support and advice to diocesan schools. There is also a Provincial Director of Education to advise on education policy. Schools in Wales may have governors appointed by the Diocesan Board of Education if they have a religious character.
Diocesan registrar
Legal adviser to the diocese. Usually a solicitor or barrister in private practice but who undertakes work on behalf of the diocese.
Diocesan safeguarding adviser (DSA) (England)
A compulsory role within each diocese. Role requires qualifications and experience in safeguarding (under Diocesan Safeguarding Advisors Regulations 2016). They provide advice and make decisions about safeguarding on a diocesan basis.
Diocesan secretary
The chief administrator of a diocese, who is a lay person.
Diocesan Synod
Decision-making body of each diocese for both the Church of England and the Church in Wales, which usually meets at least twice a year. Made up of the bishops within the diocese in England and the bishop in Wales, certain members of the clergy but also elected lay members. It considers matters of importance to the Church of England and also makes arrangements to make sure that provisions are made within the diocese (for example that it has a safeguarding policy), advises the bishop, considers matters referred to it by the General Synod (see below) and considers the annual accounts.
Main administrative area within the Church of England or the Church in Wales. There are 42 in England, which roughly coincide with the borders of one or several counties. There are six in Wales.
Disciplinary Tribunal of the Church in Wales
Body administering all discipline over clergy in the Church in Wales. It is independent of any diocese. The President and Vice President are both lawyers. The Tribunal can impose sanctions on a cleric, depose him from holy orders and order risk assessments.
Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure (England)
Prior to 2003, the mechanism to bring disciplinary procedures against clergy in the Church of England. 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).
General Synod (England)
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, all of which are elected. There should be balance between the House of Clergy and House of Laity. The General Synod meets 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.
Governing Body of the Church in Wales
The policy-making body of the Church in Wales set up under its Constitution. Made up of the Bench of Bishops (the six diocesan bishops in Wales) and elected members of the clergy and the laity.
The vicar, priest or rector of a particular benefice or parish (see above).

An incumbent in England 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.

Responsible for example for control of the church, church music, the ringing of bells, and the church building and rectory or parsonage (where appropriate).
LADO (local authority designated officer)
Individual within the children’s services department of a local authority. Receives reports of allegations or concerns about the protection of children and is responsible, under statute, for investigating such complaints.
Lambeth Palace (England)
The home and office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Made up of a team of lay and clergy staff, including bishops. A National Church Institution.
Lay members
For the purposes of this report, this means an individual who is not ordained.
A person with responsibility for the work of the Church in worship, mission and pastoral care. May or may not be ordained.
A general term for the work of the Church in worship, mission and pastoral care.
Ministry areas (Wales)
Broader geographic areas in Wales consisting of a number of parishes, served by both lay and ordained ministers. Currently being introduced.
Ministry Development Review (England)
The system of appraisal of clergy.
National Church Institutions (England)
The collective name for the seven administrative bodies that work to support the Church of England and act as central points on various issues. The bodies are the Archbishops’ Council, Lambeth Palace, Bishopthorpe Palace, The Church Commissioners, The Church of England Central Services, The Church of England Pensions Board and the National Society for Promoting Religious Education.
National Safeguarding Team (England)
Central group of Church of England staff charged with providing national strategy and advice on safeguarding.
A person who is training to be a member of the clergy.
Ceremony which is sacramental in nature, in which a person becomes a deacon, priest or bishop.
The smallest geographic area in the Church of England and the Church in Wales (although in Wales, parishes are currently being merged into ministry areas). An incumbent (see above) can be appointed to a parish or group of parishes as their benefice (see above).
Parish safeguarding officer (England)
A lay individual appointed by each parish to provide advice on parish safeguarding matters. They are expected to report all concerns to the diocesan safeguarding adviser.
Parochial Church Council
The main decision-making body of a parish. In conjunction with the incumbent (see above), it is responsible for the financial affairs and day-to-day administration of the parish. It consists of clergy, churchwardens and laity.
Permission to officiate
A licence given by a diocesan bishop, typically to retired clergy, enabling them to undertake services in specific parishes.
An ordained person who celebrates the sacraments and provides pastoral care.
Professional Ministerial Guidelines (Wales)
Guidelines to be followed by all clergy, breach of which can give rise to disciplinary action.
A large geographic area with an archbishop as its head.
Provincial safeguarding adviser (England)
A member of Church staff who provides safeguarding advice to the offices of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and acts as part of the National Safeguarding Team.
Provincial safeguarding officer (Wales)
Safeguarding adviser to dioceses and parishes, operating across all dioceses. Provides training, advice and risk assessments, as well as policy development.
Provincial Safeguarding Panel (Wales)
Provides advice and makes decisions about safeguarding cases brought to it by the provincial safeguarding officer, including for example making decisions about whether those with blemished Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks should be appointed to post and providing advice to the provincial safeguarding officer, dioceses or parishes as to steps which should be taken. Made up largely of lay personnel with backgrounds in safeguarding.
Provincial Secretary (Wales)
Chief administrator to the Province of Wales. Current incumbent also holds the role of Secretary to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales and also Registrar (ie legal adviser) to the Archbishop of Wales.
A person authorised by a bishop for lay ministry, including leading public worship.
A term often used interchangeably for the priest of a parish or benefice.
Religious communities (or monastic orders)
Groups who bind themselves to lifelong commitment according to monastic discipline and rule. May involve men or women, clergy or lay people. Some of them may take formal vows. They are run autonomously from the Church and are loosely recognised by the Advisory Council on Relations of Bishops and Religious Communities.
Representative Body of the Church in Wales (Wales)
Body responsible under the Constitution of Wales (and by Royal Charter) for managing the assets of the Church. Owns the buildings of the Church in Wales.
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 two official sacraments are baptism and eucharist (or communion).
A sum of money paid to a clergyman for his living. Clergy may be stipendiary (ie paid by a parish or groups of parishes) or non-stipendiary (ie not paid for their role as a priest but would receive expenses).
A volunteer who leads processions in the church and is involved in its day-to-day running.
A member of clergy responsible for a parish.
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