A new database which will contain the name and ministerial authority of every clergy member in the Church of England is set to go live in May. All 20,000 clerics active in the denomination have until 23rd February to confirm with the National Church Institutions (NCIs) and their dioceses that the information on them is accurate.
The database was initially recommended as part of the 2017 Gibb review, which investigated the Church’s handling of allegations against the former Bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball. In 2018, the new register was also recommended in a report by the National Safeguarding Steering Group and will come into effect under the National Ministry (Clergy) Regulations 2020, which were given final approval by the General Synod back in November.
The database will detail each cleric’s title and name, current post or licence, and the diocese, area, or benefice in which they are ministering.
The register can be searched to verify that clergy members possess a valid licence to hold office or permission to officiate (PTO) - any member of the public will be free to conduct such a check. After the launch, the database will extend to including all lay ministry.
Unlike its predecessor, the new register will not include contact, biographical, or historical information.