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Anglican Ministry Standards: Title D

Here is the full set of ministry standards of expected conduct for office bearers and licence holders in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Te Hīnota Whānui | General Synod  |  24 Sep 2021






The following Interpretations apply for this Canon:

“Appeal Tribunal” means the Tribunal constituted by Title D Canon I Clause 70; 



“Archbishop” means in relation to Tikanga Māori Te Pīhopa o Aotearoa, in relation to Tikanga Pasefika the Bishop of Polynesia and in relation to Tikanga Pākehā its senior bishop or where the respondent is an Archbishop the next senior bishop of the tikanga;


“Bishop” means persons who are ordained according to the Ordination Liturgy of Bishops in ‘A New Zealand Prayer Book - He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa’ or consecrated according to the Form and Manner of Consecrating Bishops in the Book of Common Prayer 1662, or the 1980 Ordinal, or persons who have been ordained or consecrated Bishop in other Provinces of the Anglican Communion and who are exercising episcopal ministry within this Church;


“Church Advocate” means a member of this Church who has been enrolled as a barrister or solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand of not less than seven years standing or who holds similar qualifications and experience in any of the legal jurisdictions in the Diocese of Polynesia who has been appointed to conduct proceedings arising from a complaint under this
Title D;


“Complainant” means the person who has laid a complaint under this Title D;


“Episcopal Unit” includes Diocese and Amorangi and shall extend to mean the area or region for which a Bishop / Pīhopa has primary episcopal responsibility and within which that Bishop's episcopal Ministry is exercised;


“Licensing Bishop” includes Diocesan Bishops, Amorangi Pīhopa and Bishops with delegated episcopal  responsibility for a region, and as necessary their successors in office;  and includes the Vicar-General of an Episcopal Unit where the Bishop / Pīhopa is absent from the Bishop’s jurisdiction or ministry or when not absent is unable to act or is prevented by conflict of interest or by illness or other cause from acting personally;


“Informant” means this Church acting as the party bringing any proceedings under this Title D;


“Minister” means, where not inconsistent with the context, persons in holy orders of deacon or priest in this Church, or a lay person who holds a licence from a Bishop / Pīhopa, except for the purposes of Canon IV of Maintenance of Standards of Trustees where “Minister” includes any Trustee for this Church;


“Ministry” means for the purpose of this Canon the exercise of the role of an ordained person or Office Bearer, whether lay or ordained, who holds a licence from a Bishop / Pīhopa in this Church or who has completed the declaration of assent to the Constitution of the Church as a requirement of office;


“Misconduct” means any intentional, significant or continuing departure from the Standards of Ministry set out in Canon I; 


“Office Bearer” includes all members of the Laity who have assented to the authority of The Constitution / Te Pouhere General Synod / te Hīnota Whānui and have accepted any charge, office or trust under the authority of the General Synod / te Hīnota Whānui or any Diocesan Synod, Te Rūnanganui and / or Hui Amorangi;


“Ordained Minister” means persons who are ordained in the order of Priest or Deacon in this Church;


“Provincial Chancellor” means the person appointed to that office pursuant to Title D Canon V Clause 7;


“Registrar” means the Registrar of the Ministry Standards Commission appointed under Canon II Clause 5 who must be enrolled as a barrister or solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand of not less than seven years standing or who holds similar qualifications and experience in any of the legal jurisdictions in the Diocese of Polynesia;


“Respondent” means a Minister or Office Bearer against whom a complaint is made;


“Trustee,” where not inconsistent with the context, means a trustee of a trust related to this Church who has assented to the authority of General Synod / te Hīnota Whānui;


“Unsatisfactory conduct” is a failure to observe Standards Required of Ministers which does not amount to misconduct.


“Singular terms,” where appropriate, include the plural. 









Men and women accepting the distinctive calling of ordained Ministry, and Office Bearers in this Church must recognise they are not simply exercising a function or role. They also exercise a representative Ministry and are expected to lead an exemplary way of life.

Representative Ministry


Ministry in an Office in this Church requires observance of appropriate standards of behaviour in the exercise of the role of Minister, in relationships and in personal life.

Observance of Standards


Ministry in an Office in this Church calls for exemplary conduct in all areas of life.  Conviction of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than three months is a significant departure from this standard.

Conviction of crime punishable by imprisonment




Ministers shall perform their duties as required by their Ordination vows;  collaborate appropriately with other Ministers; obey lawful instructions from the Licensing Bishop and submit to the godly admonitions of the Licensing Bishop; and work collaboratively with others who are licensed to share in the performance of public duties, and in particular of worship.

Ordination vows Collaboration


Share public worship




All who receive the authority of Orders in this Church have a duty of care and guidance to the people they serve. They owe a duty of obedience to their Bishop and those to whom authority is given by the Bishop or by the Constitution / Te Pouhere, of collaboration with their colleagues in this Church and the Churches with which this Church is in a covenant relationship, and of consultation and co-operation with the laity. In delegating responsibilities they have a duty of care and continuing supervision.  In all they do they have a duty of ensuring the regulations and Canons of this Church are complied with. They exercise their authority as men and women who are themselves under authority.  

Duty of Ordained Office


Ministers shall keep records required by law and by the Church, as important tools of Ministry.  They shall ensure administrative duties are carried out properly.

Keeping records


Ministers shall ensure that those in need are cared for with Christ-like compassion and humility;  they shall build up Christ’s congregation, strengthen the baptised and lead them as witnesses to Christ in the world; and shall not refuse without good and lawful reason to perform for any member of this Church any act pertaining to the Ministry of this Church;  and proclaim the Mission of the Church (as stated in the third Preamble of the Constitution / Te Pouhere) and not habitually to neglect such proclamation.

Care of the Needy

Building up the congregation

Performance of ministry

Proclaim the Mission of the Church




It is the responsibility of Ordained Ministers to lead God’s people in praise and thanksgiving to God, to ensure reverent, regular and carefully prepared divine service using the forms authorised by this Church.





Ministers shall use duly authorised forms of public worship and not refuse or neglect to use either A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa or The Book of Common Prayer 1662 (as modified by the General Synod / te Hīnota Whānui under authority of the Constitution / Te Pouhere) or any other services as are duly authorised by the Canons of this Church in the public services of this Church or to administer the sacraments in such order and form as are set forth in the said Books or other authorised services; or to use on any occasion in public Ministry except so far as shall be otherwise ordered by lawful authority the orders and forms of common prayer or such rites and ceremonies as are mentioned and set forth in the said Books or in other authorised services and therein directed to be used for such purpose on such occasion.

Authorised worship




Ordained Ministers shall oversee worship of the congregation by ordained and / or licensed lay Ministers;  they shall be pastors who share people’s joys and sorrows, encourage the faithful, recall those who fall away, heal and help the sick; proclaim God’s word and take their part in Christ’s prophetic work, declare forgiveness through Jesus Christ, baptise, preside at the Eucharist and administer Christ’s holy sacraments;  serve in the name of Christ and so remind the whole Church that serving others is essential to all ministry, and ensure that those in need are cared for with Christlike compassion and humility;  bury the dead or conduct the rites for cremation and the committal of ashes;  exercise the pastoral role of spiritual counsel and advice, but avoid moving improperly from that role of pastor into the role of professional counsellor or Tohunga;  keep information confidential whether imparted in confession or informally in conversation and not improperly disclose it;  perform the Duties of Office to which the person is licensed in an effective manner. Such performance fails where there is inability or unwillingness to perform those duties.

Overseeing worship

Work of pastor

Priestly ministry

Diaconal Ministry

Bury the dead

Spiritual counsel


Inability or unwillingness to perform duties


It is the duty of Ordained Ministers to preach the Gospel and to instruct people in the faith as this Church understands it. They are to lead people to a deeper exploration and fuller understanding of the Gospel and its challenges to contemporary life within the tradition of faith, bringing new insight and knowledge to interpretation and application, that the Gospel may be proclaimed as good news to their own times. 

Lay Ministers are required to preach the Gospel only when so licensed by the Bishop.


Teaching and Evangelism

Proclaim the Gospel


Ministers shall teach only doctrine and interpretation of the Faith that are in conformity with the formularies of this Church, and not teach or maintain any doctrine contrary to the doctrine of this Church as defined in the Constitution / Te Pouhere and the Formularies of this Church; and shall comply with the Canons or regulations of General Synod / Te Hīnota Whānui or of any Diocesan Synod, Te Rūnanganui or Hui Amorangi and respect the integrity of Church processes.


Compliance with Church Law




Ministers by virtue of their calling and office enter into various relationships with others. Ministry relationships are grounded in a community of common concern, depend for their successful outcome on a secure basis of integrity and trust and assume the development and practice of appropriate disciplines and skills as well as proper standards of behaviour and practice.  

Ministry Relationships


Those whom God calls to ministerial leadership through the Church have responsibilities to exercise accountable oversight to those for whom a Minister has pastoral responsibility and shares the Ministry of the Church.  They shall observe all the provisions and implications for the welfare of children and young persons under civil law, have and maintain reliable and effective means of  communication at all levels of church life,   keep confidential information received in their  role as ordained Ministers or lay Ministers, and comply with Privacy legislation.


Accountable oversight

Children and young persons







It is the responsibility of Ministers to proclaim the Mission of the Church which includes seeking to transform unjust structures of society, caring for God's creation, and establishing the values of the Kingdom.

Unjust Structures and Caring for Creation




It is the tradition of this Church and the duty of Ministers to offer pastoral Ministry and care to all who desire it whether members of a congregation of this Church or not.  

Pastoral Care


In exercising their pastoral care Ordained Ministers enter into relationships which may involve exceptional and extended dependency and vulnerability. Ordained Ministers have a special duty of confidentiality of information received by virtue of their role as Ordained Ministers; and improper disclosure of that information is a breach of duty. The protection of children from harm is a primary obligation. Emotional detachment appropriate to calling and to the exercise of pastoral relationships must be maintained. All persons of whatever age, gender, race, creed or ability must be treated with the care and respect that lie at the heart of the Christian vision of all human community and with the wisdom and love that are at the heart of all Christian Ministry.  



Ministers of God's grace can themselves become vulnerable. Ministers must guard against the possibility of misunderstanding and over-dependence. Ministers must preserve appropriate inter-personal disciplines and boundaries, and they shall be aware of the power of the Minister’s position Ministers must avoid abuse of that power, and any manipulation of a person in the guise of giving counsel. It is a serious abuse of power to use a calling or a pastoral position to further a personal relationship of an emotional or sexual nature, and it is a breach of duty.

Pastoral Relationships




Ministry by any Minister is as much a function of what a Minister is as of what a Minister says or does. Accordingly a Minister must observe exemplary standards of personal behaviour at all times.

Standards of Personal Behaviour




Ministers and especially the ordained are called to be witnesses to holiness in their daily lives. As well as acknowledging there are offences which are offences against civil law there are also other kinds of behaviour which though not criminal may be considered immoral and fall short of the standards expected of a Minister especially an Ordained Minister.





Ministers are able to influence others in the exercise of their office and must avoid any improper influence in fact or intention upon those to whom they minister in order to obtain some material benefit. Malicious gossip must be shunned as much as defamation. Ministers must be wary of gifts intended as bribes or other influence, or relationships and confidences intended to implicate or manipulate.

Honesty and Integrity


Ministers and Office Bearers must at all times act with honesty and probity when dealing with financial matters.

Financial probity 


Ministers and Office Bearers shall behave consistently with these standards and the ethical standards of the Tikanga of the Episcopal Unit in which they minister.

Ethical standards




Ministers must be temperate, self-controlled in their behaviour, not harass others and not be abusive towards others.





Chastity is the right ordering of sexual relationships.  Ministers are to be chaste. Promiscuity and adultery are incompatible with chastity.  





Any sexual relationship where there is a power imbalance exploited by the Minister is incompatible with chastity and a significant breach of standards.  The sexual abuse of any person, especially children, is an utter disregard of humanity and a complete repudiation of the teaching of Christ and is also a significant breach of standards.

Sexual Abuse




Ministers shall not misuse drugs, alcohol or other substances.

Substance Abuse




Ministers must give time and care to their families appropriate to family commitments and duties. Ministers need to allot proper time to recreation and the development of their own special gifts and talents.  Ministers must not show disregard for the obligations recognised by law in reference to family relationships.