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Process for reinstatement to the Roll of Ministers

Read or download the the United Reformed Church process for the reinstatement to the Roll of Ministers.

General Assembly approves the following procedure regarding applications for reinstatement to the Roll of Ministers of the United Reformed Church.

1. Ministers who have been removed from the Roll of Ministers by resignation or by Assembly decision, and who wish to apply for re-instatement, shall in the first place consult the Moderator of the Synod of the area where they reside. The application procedure may not normally commence until five years have elapsed from the date their name was removed from the Roll.

2. The Secretary for Ministries shall be informed by the applicant, who will be advised of the procedure to be followed.

3. The Secretary for Ministries will notify the relevant Synod officer where the applicant resides of the application and will ask the Synod to arrange an interview with the The Secretary for Ministries will ask the Synod that the following documents be obtained by them:

a) a personal statement from the applicant which covers:

i. the reason(s) for the deletion or resignation, and a reflection on the circumstances surrounding it;
ii. an outline of the applicant’s personal development and journey of faith since the deletion or resignation;
iii. current employment;
iv. the reasons for seeking reinstatement, including their current conviction of call to the Ministry.

b) at least two references in support of the applicant one of which must be their current employer;

c) a commendation from the applicant’s local church;

d) a statement from the Moderator of the Synod where the applicant resides, or an equivalent officer in an overseas church, where appropriate;

e) a medical report, together with a psychiatric evaluation if appropriate;

f) a risk assessment by the Synod Safeguarding Officer and/or the URC Safeguarding Adviser;

g) where the applicant has moved into a different Synod since their name was removed from the Roll, the Synod handling the application will seek a statement from the present Moderator of their previous Synod as well as seeking information from the Secretary to the Assembly Commission as to the reasons for removal from the Roll;

h) Within this process consideration should be given to the views and needs of the congregations where the applicant has served.

The Synod officer will forward all these papers (except the medical report) to the Ministries Committee of the Synod (or its equivalent) where the applicant now resides, which will interview him/her, and send a written report to the Secretary for Ministries.

4. If the Synod does not support the application, the Synod Officer shall inform the Secretary for Ministries in writing giving reasons. At this point the Accreditations Committee process will conclude and the Secretary for Ministries will inform the applicant that the process has been stopped and cannot proceed.

5. If the Synod supports the application, the Accreditations Committee will form a panel of three from its membership plus the Convener of the Assembly Commission to interview the applicant.

6. All the gathered documents, including the medical report at this stage, will be made available to the Accreditations Committee The Accreditations Committee panel will have the right to seek the advice and participation of an outside expert if specialist understanding would help them in their judgement. Following this final interview, the Accreditations Committee will decide whether or not to re-instate. The Secretary for Ministries will inform the applicant and his/her Synod of the decision as soon as possible.

7. For each of the interviews the convener of the interview panel shall notify the applicant in advance of the main concerns raised and issues to be discussed.

8. On receipt of the decision of the Accreditation Committee, it shall be open to both to the applicant and to the Synod to request a further hearing by the Ministries Committee. This hearing will be before a group from the Ministries Committee composed of those who have had no previous involvement with the reinstatement request. Such an application must be made to the Secretary for Ministries not more than 21 days after the date of the notification of the decision of the Accreditation Committee to the applicant. There shall be no appeal from the decision of the Ministries Committee.

Last revised: September 2020

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