Patrons have a historic right to present a new priest to a parish. The role of the patron goes back centuries. These days the churchwardens and the PCC are also closely involved in the appointment process along the bishop. Nevertheless, patrons still have an important part to play when the time comes to appoint a new incumbent. They can act as independent voices in the process to help ensure that a balanced appointment is made.

The Diocesan Registrar maintains a definitive copy of a Register of Patrons, and the Register is available for public inspection at all reasonable times. Anyone wishing to inspect the register should contact us so that a suitable appointment can be made.

From time to time, the office of Patron is passed on – this can be done by will or by a formal Transfer Deed drawn up and signed by two living people. Before any transfer can take place, notice of the proposed transfer must be given, the consent of the bishop is required and the PCC must be given an opportunity to make its views known. We will be pleased to advise further on the process.

It is important the Patronage Register is kept up to date. Application to register the transfer must therefore be given to the Diocesan Registry within 12 months of the signing of the Transfer. Patronage rights cannot be bought or sold.

The provisions of the law relating to patronage are set out in greater detail in The Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986 and in the Patronage (Benefices) Rule 1987.

Specimen forms for use in connection with patronage rights are set out in the Forms section of this website.