Questions sometimes arise about authorization to minister, including the conditions that apply to visiting clergy, to unlicensed lay people carrying out various ministerial duties, and to clergy or readers holding or wishing to obtain the Archbishop’s Permission to Officiate (PTO) in the Diocese of York.

The Archbishop has issued guidance (March 2019) to clarify a number of relevant points. All clergy, and churchwardens in vacant parishes, are asked to familiarise themselves with the content.

Clergy should draw churchwardens’ attention to the leaflet when they leave post. Please raise any queries with your bishop or archdeacon.

Clergy and Readers who hold neither the Archbishop’s Licence nor ‘Permission To Officiate’ (PTO) are assumed legally by the Church of England to be stepping back from public ministry, including the leading of public worship. However, some will wish to participate occasionally in public worship, in a similar manner to that which a layperson might do so. This paper sets out the revised directions within the Diocese of York defining the extent to which ministry is permissible without any recognised authorisation:


Go to Permission to Officiate (PTO) page