The Open Episcopal Church

A member of the International Council of Community Churches & the World Council of Churches



In order to maintain confidence in our doctrine and canons, the governing body (The Archbishop’s Council) has adopted a code of conduct that all OEC members and Clergy are expected to comply with in order to maintain appropriate standards of conduct. Upon appointment or admission to or continuation in, all OEC members are required to confirm their acceptance of, and commitment to the OEC Code of Conduct.


Code of conduct:


(i)    Responsibilities for members of the OEC Clergy


Ø     Members are required to adhere to the Canons of the Open Episcopal Church (OEC).

Ø     To strive to do no harm (physically, mentally, or spiritually) to others.

Ø     To strive to inspire and uplift others in a positive manner (public and colleagues)

Ø     Members have an obligation to ensure that they understand the responsibilities that are required of them in their individual office within the body of the OEC.

Ø     Members of the OEC have a duty and responsibility to ensure that all their decisions, actions, and behaviour both publically and privately are taken in the best interests of the OEC.

Ø     To work as a servant of God in the community and in the OEC.

Ø     Members of the OEC have a responsibility to demonstrate respect, and dignity for others acknowledging and valuing diversity and conducting themselves in a non-discriminatory manner at all times.


Ø     To observe and uphold good working principles including:


Ø     Trust and confidentiality between colleagues; being honest and open; acting with integrity and respect for one and all.


Ø     Good communication between members including the sharing of information (except where confidentiality has been specifically requested with a colleague or member of the public).


Ø     Members of the OEC should listen to the views of others (both the public and colleagues).


Ø     Members should be allowed to have ideas and express creativity and to be able to discuss these and to be open to the ideas of others.


Ø     To aspire to accept responsibility and achieve goals


Ø     To keep an awareness of world news and developments especially where these need to be acknowledged in Ministry.


Ø     To seek advice and help from the Archbishop and/or Bishops in the event that an individual meets a situation where they feel out of their depth or need additional input from others.


Ø     Confidentiality will be respected in situations where an individual has requested confidentiality. However, such confidentiality will not be given where cases of criminal behaviour or child abuse is involved


Ø     To adopt an open style of learning always seeking to improve and grow.


Ø     Collaboration with colleagues in discussion and projects where appropriate to individuals, and to work constructively with others to achieve goals and objectives, where appropriate.


Ø     To ensure that OEC members and clergy are aware that they will be held accountable in law for actions of a criminal nature and are subject to civil and common laws in the UK or the laws of the country in which they are situated.


Ø     When a cleric’s licence has been withdrawn or they have been suspended or disciplined, the Archbishop’s Council of the OEC may inform other agencies and official bodies to protect the public. Such clerics will continue to be offered support and counsel from the OEC.


Ø     Clerics must undergo appropriate safeguarding training and must provide evidence of the training to the Archbishop’s Council.


(ii) OEC Corporate responsibilities


1.       To adhere to the Canons of the OEC.

2.       To ensure that the OEC complies with the relevant rules/laws regarding volunteers, equalities, human rights, health and safety, data protection and freedom of information legislation.


The code of conduct of the OEC is based on the seven principles identified by the Nolan Committee in its first report on standards in public life in May 1995 (the Nolan principles):REFERENCE


1.        Selflessness: holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.

2.        Integrity: holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

3.        Objectivity: in carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for awards or benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

4.        Accountability: holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

5.        Openness: holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

6.        Honesty: holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

7.        Leadership: holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.