A candle Minister with chalice

Clergy advice and handbook

This handbook supports clergy and other holders of Ecclesiastical Offices in the diocese.


First published in 2011 as the Clergy Handbook, this Handbook for Ecclesiastical Office Holders supplements other formal resources that shape the ministry of clergy and encourages best practice in support of their well-being in ministry. In his Foreword, the Bishop of Chelmsford says, "It is my hope that this handbook will help us to take better care of ourselves and be better stewards of the Church of Christ."

The material in this document, whilst it may include some information on matters that are legally binding on clergy, lay ministers and other lay officers and volunteers, should be generally understood as guidance and for information unless it explicitly states otherwise. In particular, it should not be construed as forming part of any employment contract.  The provisions in this handbook are non-contractual an may be altered as occasion requires or as legislation/regulations demand. The handbook is not relevant for clergy with contracts of employment.

View the handbook


The Diocese of Chelmsford's Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Policy is referred to on page 19 of the Clergy Handbook. The Policy can be downloaded on the link below: 

Working Agreement Template

It is the Church of England's expectation that Self-Supporting Ordaned Ministers in Asociate roles have a working agreement. The template can be accessed here.

Clergy self certification of absence form

Please complete and return this form if you are unable to perform the duties of your office because of illness for a period of sickness absence of up to 7 calendar days.

Self certification of absence form

For more information or to report anything wrong with this page please contact Rachel Towns