The London Plan 2016

London Plan

February 2016

Declaration by the Bishops of London, Stepney, Kensington, Willesden, Edmonton, Fulham & Islington relating to the Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure 2014

The House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests 2014

and its associated regulations made under Canon C29


Note: The signatories to this Plan are subject to the Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests (Resolution of Disputes Procedure) Regulations 2014.  The rights of PCCs to bring a grievance under Regulation 8 are protected in law, and cannot be overridden by this Plan or its outworkings.


This declaration is made this 22nd day of February 2016

By RICHARD, the Right Reverend and Right Honourable the LORD BISHOP OF LONDON (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of London”);

the Right Reverend ROBERT WICKHAM, the AREA BISHOP OF EDMONTON (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Edmonton”);

the Right Reverend PETER BROADBENT, the AREA BISHOP OF WILLESDEN (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Willesden”);

the Right Reverend GRAHAM TOMLIN, the AREA BISHOP OF KENSINGTON (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Kensington”);

the Right Reverend ADRIAN NEWMAN, the AREA BISHOP OF STEPNEY (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Stepney”);

the Right Reverend JONATHAN BAKER, the SUFFRAGAN BISHOP OF FULHAM (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Fulham”);

and the Right Reverend RICHARD THORPE, the SUFFRAGAN BISHOP OF ISLINGTON (hereinafter referred to as “the Bishop of Islington”).  



(1)           This deed is intended to replace a Deed dated November 2014 and made between the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Edmonton, the Bishop of Willesden, the Bishop of Kensington, the Bishop of Stepney, and the Bishop of Fulham.


(2)           The Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure (hereinafter called “The Measure”) was approved by the General Synod on 14th July 2014, received the Royal Assent on 23rdOctober 2014 and came into effect on 17th November 2014. The House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests 2014 (hereinafter called “The Declaration”) was made on 19th May 2014.


The said RICHARD CHARTRES as the Bishop of London

The said ROBERT WICKHAM as Bishop of Edmonton

The said PETER BROADBENT as Bishop of Willesden

The said GRAHAM TOMLIN as Bishop of Kensington

The said ADRIAN NEWMAN as Bishop of Stepney

The said JONATHAN BAKER as Bishop of Fulham

The said RICHARD THORPE as Bishop of Islington

hereby affirm and commit themselves to the five principles contained in The Declaration, as follows

  • Now that legislation has been passed to enable women to become bishops, the Church of England is fully and unequivocally committed to all orders of ministry being open equally to all, without reference to gender, and holds that those whom it has duly ordained and appointed to office are the true and lawful holders of the office which they occupy and thus deserve due respect and canonical obedience;
  • Anyone who ministers within the Church of England must be prepared to acknowledge that the Church of England has reached a clear decision on the matter;
  • Since it continues to share the historic episcopate with other Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and those provinces of the Anglican Communion which continue to ordain only men as priests or bishops, the Church of England acknowledges that its own clear decision on ministry and gender is set within a broader process of discernment within the Anglican Communion and the whole Church of God;
  • Since those within the Church of England who, on grounds of theological conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England remains committed to enabling them to flourish within its life and structures; and
  • Pastoral and sacramental provision for the minority within the Church of England will be made without specifying a limit of time and in a way that maintains the highest possible degree of communion and contributes to mutual flourishing across the whole Church of England.

and further commit themselves to work together in the spirit of simplicity, reciprocity and mutuality as spelt out in the House of Bishops’ Declaration, seeking to maintain the highest possible degree of communion throughout the Diocese.


(1)                The said deed of November 2014 is hereby rescinded and replaced by this Deed


(2)                The Bishop of London The Bishops acknowledge the function of the Bishop of London as the Ordinary and as the focus of unity within the Diocese, to lead the Diocese in its mission


(3)                The Archdeaconries The integrity of the Archdeaconries of the Diocese as constituted under the London Area Scheme (as revised in 2011) shall continue to be respected and maintained by all the Bishops of the Diocese in all matters of general ministry policy and pastoral and mission strategy


(4)                Arrangements for pastoral and sacramental ministry Where, if


(a)                  in any parish the Parochial Church Council, at a meeting convened on at least four weeks’ notice, has passed a resolution at in the form set out in paragraph 20 of the Declaration either (i) by a majority of those present and voting at a meeting at which at least two thirds of the PCC who are entitled to attend are present or (ii) by a majority of all the members of the PCC, which resolution has been accepted by the Bishop of London after consultation with the relevant Area Bishop and further consultation with the parish then either


(b)                  the Bishop of Fulham, acting as Commissary for the Bishop of London, shall, pursuant to the Declaration, visit and enter those parishes and exercise such rights of the Area Bishop as are specified in Appendix A to this plan, such arrangements to be reviewed periodically as set out in paragraph 21 of the Declaration. In line with paragraph 28 of the Declaration, the relevant Area Bishop and the Bishop of Fulham will explore how they can best cooperate in a variety of ways to contribute to the welfare, resourcing and mission of those parishes and their relationship with the diocese.  


(c)                   or, where the nature of the theological conviction expressed by the parish is that of “headship” as expressed in paragraph 11 of the Declaration, then the Bishop of London may make arrangements for an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese, acting as Commissary for the Bishop of London pursuant to the Declaration and in close collaboration with the relevant Area Bishop, to visit and enter those parishes in order to offer liturgical ministry and pastoral care.


(d)                  Where the resolution referred to under section (a) above is received from a parish in the Two Cities Area, the Bishop of London may specify that episcopal duties shall continue to be carried out by him in relation to the Two Cities Area.  


(5)                The Bishops commit themselves to the following pastoral and working arrangements:


(a)    The Bishop of London is (inter alia) responsible for ordaining, instituting and licensing clergy in the Diocese of London. He is primarily responsible for the pastoral care and discipline of the clergy throughout the Diocese and for the pastoral arrangements to bring the ministry into effect


(b)    By virtue of a Scheme made under the Dioceses Measure 1978 and revised in 2011, the Area Bishops are (inter alia) entitled to ordain, institute and license clergy in those Areas for which they have episcopal oversight and the Bishop of London is entitled to ordain, institute and license clergy in any Area


(c)    The Bishops recognise that the Measure is effective de jure within the Diocese of London and that women, according to the Canons of the Church of England may be ordained, instituted or licensed to parishes which have not passed the resolution set out in paragraph 20 of The Declaration


(d)    The custom has been established that the Bishop of London ordains all deacons and the relevant Area Bishop or the Suffragan Bishops of Fulham and Islington ordain candidates for the priesthood


(e)    The Bishop of Fulham has determined to declare in this Deed that he is not willing to ordain any woman to the office of Priest


(f)     The Bishops of Stepney, Edmonton, Islington, Kensington and Willesden have determined to declare in this Deed that they are willing, according to the Canons of the Church of England, to ordain both men and women to the office of Priest


(g)    The Bishop of London will make arrangements to ensure that all ordinations, institutions and licensings take place


(h)    It is acknowledged:

i.     that men and women have the right according to the law of this realm and the Canons of the Church of England to be ordained and to be instituted, licensed or granted permissions to officiate within the Diocese of London


ii.      that it is necessary to make proper provision for the ordination of men and women to the priesthood and to a Title in the Diocese of London


iii.      that, where a parish has not passed a resolution under paragraph 20 of the Declaration, a Patron may determine to appoint either a male or a female priest to a parish, and it would not then be lawful for a Bishop to refuse such an appointment on the grounds of gender


PROVIDED THAT all ordinations, institutions, licensings and permissions to officiate must be in strict conformity with any guidelines laid down by the Diocesan and Area Bishops and the London Diocesan Fund and with any Diocesan policy as to establishment and any instruction from a decision of the London Diocesan Bishop’s Council or the relevant Area Council acting as Pastoral Committee.


(i)     As far as the process of testing vocations and subsequent ordinations to the priesthood are concerned, the process will begin in the same way in each of the Episcopal Areas


(j)     Episcopal oversight shall be exercised by the said Bishops, who pledge themselves to exercise such oversight fairly and justly, regardless of gender, or of differing beliefs and positions concerning the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate.


(k)    Any oaths to be taken to the Bishops of Stepney, Kensington, Willesden, Islington, Edmonton and Fulham at ordination to the priesthood, institutions or licensings will be taken to the Bishop of London as Ordinary and to the Area or Suffragan Bishop concerned.


(l)     In line with the principles of reciprocity and mutuality encapsulated in the House of Bishops’ Declaration, arrangements will be made for women clergy to have access to alternative pastoral care as necessary.


This declaration is a covenant between the signatories. It is intended to bind successors in title until such time as it is rescinded by the Bishop of London and a majority of the Bishops of Stepney, Kensington, Willesden, Islington, Edmonton and Fulham. It will require re-signing upon the appointment of each new bishop, and the arrangements set out in paragraph 5 will in any case require reconsideration in the event of a new appointment to the see of London. It represents the expression within the Diocese of London of the arrangements presaged in paragraph 29 of the House of Bishops’ Declaration.


The Bishop of Fulham

The Bishop of Fulham, in exercising his powers under Clause 4 of this Plan, shall be responsible for the following functions normally exercised by the relevant Area Bishop in respect of the parishes within his care:


Functions relating to ministry

  1. All decisions in relation to the sponsorship, examination and admission of candidates into Holy           Orders
  2. All decisions in relation to the training, admission and licensing/commissioning of lay Ministers,               LLMs (Readers) and Commissioned Ministers
  3. Grants of licences to minister or perform particular offices
  4. Grants of licences to engage in secular occupations
  5. Acceptance of resignations
  6. Grant of authorisation under Section 3 of the Ecclesiastical Offices (Age Limit) Measure 1975 to               remain in office
  7. Functions under the Sequestration Act 1871 and other episcopal functions under the law of                 sequestration
  8. Functions under the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986
  9. Collations (on behalf of the Diocesan Bishop), Institutions & Licensings
  10. Grants of licences for non-residence of priests in their parishes (Canon C25)

Functions relating to the ordering of worship


  1. Issue of authorisation to lay persons to take services, preach, take funerals, and distribute Holy Communion (including distribution of Holy Communion to the sick and housebound and authorisation to lead services of extended communion)
  2. Functions under Admission of Baptised Children to Holy Communion Regulations 2006
  3. Issue of orders and directions in connection with the exclusion of persons from Holy Communion
  4. Conduct of confirmations, subject to the Diocesan Bishop’s right to hold confirmations in any area of the Diocese
  5. Approving forms of services under Canon B2A and B4
  6. Determination of issues arising in connection with forms of service or variations in forms of service (Canon B3)
  7. Issue of directions as to the services which are required to be held or are not required to be held in churches, other than parish churches or in buildings licensed for public worship (Canons B14 & B14A)
  8. Authorising minister to dispense with reading of services in parish church or parish centre of worship (Canon B14A)
  9. Determination of dispute as to change in form of vesture in use in church or chapel (Canon B8)

Functions relating to Office Holders

  1. Functions under the Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure 2009

Miscellaneous Functions

  1. Functions arising during vacancies in benefices
  2. Functions under the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978
  3. Powers under the Church Representation Rules, except where the rules relate to General Synod or Diocesan Synod
  4. Functions under the Churchwardens Measure 2001

Other delegated functions under the London Area Scheme remain with the respective Area Bishop.