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There are over 200 retired ministers living in the Diocese of Guildford.  Many remain active in their local churches or in other forms of service such as spiritual direction, consultancy or chaplaincy. 

All are part of the diocesan family and under the care of the Bishop. All are valued for who they are and what they bring from their lifetime of service, whether retiring within the diocese or coming here in retirement from elsewhere. 

It is recognised that retired ministers will take a range of views on what they wish to do, how much they engage with the diocese or local church and what interests they pursue. As a basic provision for all, the Bishop will keep in touch with retired ministers and their partners through the Retired Clergy Officer and provide pastoral care where needed.  

Approaching retirement

Preparation for retirement is an important process to ensure a good transition from a busy ministerial role to the opportunities and challenges of being retired. Guidance on approaching retirement is provided in the national church publication Ministry after retiring from office. Download it from this page on the Church of England website.

Diocesan training provides pre-retirement courses from time to time, which address the personal and spiritual aspects of the prospect of retiring. For details, please contact the Diocesan Training Lead, Sarah Slater

The Retired Clergy Officer, Julian Hubbard, is available to help and advise those approaching retirement.

Support in retirement

Many retired clergy are part of local congregations, and both give and receive pastoral support there. The Area Dean has pastoral responsibilities towards retired ministers living in the Deanery and is available for support, if needed, and can advise on participation in the Chapter. Contact details for the Area Deans can be accessed here.

The Retired Clergy Officer is there to help any who wish to consult him or seek help, including both pastoral and welfare support. He may be contacted confidentially by email or phone.

Learning in retirement

There are occasional study days in the diocese specially for retired clergy and partners to help stay in touch with friends as well as learning together. Latest details will be shared here when available. 

Retired ministers have access to the courses and learning opportunities in the open learning programme offered in the diocese.

Retired Clergy Association

The Retired Clergy Association of the Church of England is the national body which represents the interests of retired ministers. Membership is open to all retired clergy. Details of how to join and what the Association offers are available on the website. All clergy retiring from service in the Diocese of Guildford are given life membership.

The latest newsletter from the Association is available on its website.

Ministry in retirement

The ministry of retired clergy is valued and encouraged in the Diocese of Guildford as an important resource in parishes, chaplaincies and other forms of ministry. There are opportunities for those with experience and expertise to support diocesan work in education, continuing learning for ministers and spiritual direction. The Retired Clergy Officer has current details.

Permission to officiate (PTO)

Continuing to minister regularly in the diocese requires the Bishop’s permission to officiate.
Read more on this.  

Permission is given on the basis that retired clergy are willing to work within the policies of the diocese and to remain aware and up to date about their requirements. 

Registry of clergy on-call

The Clergy On-call Registry provides clergy to cover for Sunday duty in parishes across the Diocese. The Registrar welcomes enquiries from retired clergy who are willing to go on to the register. 


It is required that all those with permission to officiate have up to date training in safeguarding to the specified level.  The training is delivered in a way tailored to the situation of the learner and suited to the role of a retired assistant minister and the leadership role this entails. For those who already hold permission, an alert is sent by the safeguarding team when further training is required. Read more about Safeguarding training. 

Conduct of worship

The diocesan policy on public worship is outlined here.

Support for widows and widowers

The partners of retired ministers are fully included in the pastoral care of the Bishop and other diocesan colleagues, and remain so after losing their partner. 

Widows and widowers continue to receive the regular newsletter from the Retired Clergy Officer, along with invitations to the study days and other social and training events.

They are also welcome to contact the Retired Clergy Officer to ask for help and support, including questions about welfare. He may be contacted confidentially by email or phone. It is possible to arrange for a female colleague to help a widow, if they prefer. 

Staying in touch

The Retired Clergy Officer sends a letter to all retired ministers and their partners twice a year, in Lent and Advent. If you are not currently receiving this, please contact the Retired Clergy Officer. You can find the latest newsletter here.

The diocesan office is required to keep an up-to-date record of all retired ministers. Please help us to keep this up to date by informing the Retired Clergy Officer about any changes to your contact details or circumstances.

If you’re retiring into the diocese, please contact the Retired Clergy Officer so that you can be properly welcomed. The system for letting a Bishop know about a newly arrived retired minister is not automatic for reasons of data protection, so please do get in touch!

Who to contact

The Retired Clergy Officer is the Revd Julian Hubbard who may be contacted by email at julianrhhubbard@gmail.com  or on 07930 436 527

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