Repair or replace

We believe that the current Measure has serious flaws that cannot readily be mitigated even by best practice within the existing framework. We aniticapte bringing forward proposals for replacement of the Measure.

Changing the Measure is a legal process that requires an Act of Synod. This is an ambitious target, and clearly out of scope for Sheldon as an independent charity. 

To draft and pass a fitting replacement is likely to require at least:

  • A sound evidence base on the human and financial costs of the existing system.
  • Research into accountability of professional conduct in other disciplines and into clerical conduct in other jurisdictions.
  • Robust theological reflection to articulate a clear focus on the purpose(s) of the CDM replacement in the context of doing healthy ministry together.
  • A clear distinction of pathways between those that are potentially of a severity to warrant loss of home and licence versus those that should be handled without such significant threat
  • Active consensus building across all three houses in General Synod.
  • Clarity on what healthy relationships between parish clergy and senior staff should look like in order to avoid undermining them with legal frameworks that inherently counteract them.
  • Legal expertise for high-quality drafting.
  • Formal channels for practitioners and clergy to contribute feedback on the framing of legislation (many involved in the passage of the 2003 Measure predicted the consequences we are now living with).

The role of bishops is especially key in this. They currently carry the impossibly contradictory roles of Investigator, Prosecutor, Judge and Pastor. There is a need for separation of powers, but this would require the uncommon grace of relinquishing power. We need to articulate the very real benefits this will have for senior staff as well as for the clergy with whom they share the cure of souls.


We are proposing a four-pronged approach to action on CDM

Education & Support

Provide and signpost help, advice and support for CDM respondents now ... read more


Improve how the existing Measure is operated and research outcomes ... read more

Independent research

Commission academic research to provide a strong evidence base ... read more

Listen & Learn

Recover a culture of mutual support freed from a climate of fear... read more