How we are run
A diocese is defined as ‘a territorial area controlled by a bishop’. The Diocese in Europe is one of 42 dioceses in the Church of England. It is made up of 140 chaplaincies with over 250 congregations in over 30 countries in Europe, North Africa, Russia and Turkey. The context of Europe is rather different to that of dioceses in England. For example the chaplaincies do not have geographical boundaries like parishes and many of the chaplaincies do not own their place of worship. However, in most other ways the Diocese in Europe is run in the same way as any other diocese in the Church of England.
The Diocese in Europe is in the Province of Canterbury in the Anglican Church. It is represented in the General Synod, which is the national assembly of the Church of England.
‘The Diocese in Europe, Diocesan Board of Finance or DBF. This is both a limited company and a registered charity in the UK. Although it is autonomous for most practical purposes, decisions are influenced by those taken by the Church of England. In so far as local law allows, the diocese and its chaplaincies conform to ecclesiastical law in England subject to any provisions contained in the 1980 measure or the constitution. This includes almost all aspects of the Church Representation Rules which lay down the governance structures and rules in the Church of England.
How are we governed
This is the representative governing body of the diocese responsible for advising the Bishop and considering matters placed before it by the General Synod of the Church of England or by archdeaconry synods within the diocese. The Diocesan Synod is made up of clergy, lay members and ex officio members including the bishops. Elections are held every three years. The members of the Diocesan Synod are also the company members of the DBF. As such they set priorities and the overall financial strategy for the DBF and receive the annual report and accounts.
The Bishop’s Council and Standing Committee
A Standing Committee is elected by and from the members of the Diocesan Synod. The standing committee has a number of statutory functions and can transact business between meetings of the Diocesan Synod. The standing committee and a number of ex officio members form the Bishop’s Council who are the directors and trustees of the DBF. The trustees meet at least once a year to approve the budget for the following year and the amounts to be requested from chaplaincies to be paid to the DBF as the Common Fund.
The Finance, Audit and Personnel Committee (FAPC) is a subcommittee of the Bishop’s Council. It meets at least four times a year to review the DBF’s overall activities against the budget, it considers investment policy and performance, and approves requests for grants. It also reviews the budgets prior to their presentation to Bishop’s Council and the Annual Report prior to its presentation to the DBF members at the Diocesan Synod.
The day-to-day management and implementation of agreed strategies and policies taken by the Synod and Bishop’s Council is the work of the senior staff under the direction of the Chief Operating Officer who is also referred to as the Diocesan Secretary.
The Diocese is divided into 7 archdeaconries, Eastern, France, Gibraltar, Italy and Malta, Northern Europe, Northwest Europe and Switzerland. There are 4 archdeacons. Each archdeaconry has its own synod which governs its affairs and makes representation to, or is consulted by, the Diocesan Synod. The members of the archdeaconry synods elect diocesan and general synod members. Archdeaconry synods meet at least once a year. Their activities are managed by an elected standing committee which works in association the archdeacon.
The Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Committee (DSAC) provides expert independent scrutiny of the safeguarding operations in the diocese and is a vital source of advice for the Diocesan Safeguarding Team on matters of policy and practice that may be referred to it.
The Constitution of the Diocese in Europe
Here you can read The Constitution of the Diocese in Europe.
The Diocesan Handbook
It has been written to be fully compliant with a number of legal requirements which apply to the diocese especially:
- The Canons of the Church of England
- Various Church of England rules, regulations and guidance on a broad range of matters from safeguarding to how we elect people to office. The revised Diocesan Handbook is made up of the following parts:
- Foundation Documents: Specifically the Diocese in Europe Measure and the Diocesan Constitution.
- Diocesan Protocols: Set out in seven ‘Chapters’ this part provides a succinct outline of how the Diocese implements the requirement of the Foundation Documents
- Supporting Documents: providing detailed means of compliance with particular issues in the protocols. This comprises both User Guides and other Supplementary Information
- Standard Diocesan Forms and Templates: the forms and other pre-prepared material that we need to use from time to time
- Key policies; A direct link is given to particularly important Diocesan policies such as Safeguarding.