Locally-Trained Priests: When an Incumbent Ceases to be an Incumbent
7.1 When the Incumbent under whom an LTP serves ceases to be Incumbent of the Parish, the following policies and procedures apply during the interim period and the selection process of a new Incumbent for the Parish:
7.2.1 If there is a resident, ordained LTP in the Parish:
7.2.2 The LTP will not be the interim priest-in-charge of the Parish/congregation.
7.2.3 As a member of the permanent staff of the parish an LTP will not be a member of the personnel commission for the new incumbent. Information on the ministry of the LTP will be included in the Parish profile.
7.2.4 The LTP’s particular ministry (if there is one), as well as their usual liturgical role in Sunday worship, will continue during the transition.
7.2.5 The interim Priest-in-charge ought to seek guidance from the LTP(s), the Bishop and/or the Commission about the role of the LTP(s)
7.2.6 During the search process the personnel committee will engage in conversations with candidates for the incumbency about the role and function of an LTP and about perceived areas of concern identified by either or both the Parish and the candidates for the incumbency.
7.2.7 At a suitable opportunity after the Incumbent’s arrival the Incumbent and the LTP(s) will meet to discuss the LTP(‘s) current covenant. The conversation ought to include such topics as the LTP’s role in the parish and any particular ministry the priest carries out; the lines of the LTP(‘s) accountability to the Bishop, the Incumbent, and the Church Committee. The discussion should also include the topics of how the Incumbent and the LTP might work together, agreed upon steps to resolve tension or differences should they arise, the liturgical roles of Presbyter, Deacon and Laity and how they are enacted in that Parish.
7.2.8 A new Incumbency brings the possibility of change in responsibilities. The LTP’s covenant is therefore to be renegotiated after the first six months of the new Incumbent’s arrival. The Commission is available as a resource for this process.
7.2.9 LTPs who have been members of the parish for many years know a substantial amount of parish history. LTPs can be a valuable resource who should only impart information when consulted or when failing to do so would cause the new Incumbent grief or embarrassment.
7.2.10 At all times, the Bishop is responsible for supporting the LTPs and safeguarding the continuity of their ministry/ministries. If an LTP’s covenant with a Parish is not to be renewed, the Bishop will make every effort to resolve the issues around the non-renewal of the covenant.
7.3 If there is a candidate for LTP in the Parish:
7.3.1 It is understood that the candidate may continue with the Diocesan education programme and to attend formation events during the search and selection process of a new Incumbent.
7.3.2 During the search process the personnel committee will engage in conversations with candidates for the incumbency about the role and function of an LTP.
7.3.3 The LTP candidate may continue with her/his education and formation events but generally may not proceed to the next step of the discernment process until the new Incumbent has been in the Parish for six (6) months.
7.3.4 The new Incumbent will need to enter into a number of conversations with the Bishop, the Parish and Wardens, the candidate and possibly the Commission, as to her/his understanding of the role and function of an LTP and his/her willingness to support the candidate in the quest for ordination. At a suitable opportunity after the Incumbent’s arrival the Incumbent and the candidate will meet to discuss the candidate’s current status in the LTPs programme and whether or not the new Incumbent is willing for the candidate to proceed in the process to ordination.
7.4 If someone seeks candidacy as an LTP:
7.4.1 Potential candidates may make inquiries of the Commission, while the Parish is searching for a new Incumbent.
7.4.2 They may not apply for candidacy or in any way formally enter the LTP programme until the Incumbent has been in place for six months.