Transfers of Patronage

A right of patronage may no longer be sold, but it may be the subject of a voluntary lifetime transfer. This may be appropriate where the Patron has moved away from the area and is no longer able to take a meaningful interest in the affairs of the benefice, or perhaps because the Patron has become elderly, or is unable to make the declaration that he or she is a communicant member of the Church of England, though it should be noted that none of these circumstances places any obligation on the Patron to transfer his or her rights of patronage.

A right of patronage will also pass upon the death of a Patron to his or her personal representatives, who may then vest the right of patronage in the person or persons who inherit the right from the deceased patron. Patrons often forget to specify in their wills what should happen to their patronage rights. This may mean that their executors are left to decide what should happen to the rights. It is preferable for Patrons to address this question in their wills, or to pass on their rights before they die, by a voluntary lifetime transfer.

The following are the prescribed forms to be used by Patrons or their personal representatives in connection with the transfer of rights of patronage.

Form 8   Notice to the Bishop and to the Registrar of Proposed Transfer
A patron wishing to transfer a right of patronage during his or her lifetime should complete this form and send copies to the Bishop and to the Registrar of the Diocese. Upon receipt of Form 8, the Registrar will send copies of the notice to the PCC(s) of the benefice, who will have a month in which to make representations to the Bishop concerning the proposed transfer.

Form 12   Transfer of Patronage Inter Vivos
If no representations are made by the PCC(s), the patron will be asked to complete a transfer in Form 12 and lodge it in the Diocesan Registry, when it will be registered by the Registrar, who will send the new patron a Certificate of Registration. A new patron may not exercise the right of patronage until his name has been entered by the Registrar in the Register of Patrons, and no transfer shall take effect during a vacancy in a benefice.

Form 13   Transfer upon Appointment of New Trustees
Where a right of patronage is vested in trustees, and a trustee dies, or retires, or a new trustee is appointed, the other trustees should apply to the Registrar, using Form 13, for the change of trustees to be recorded in the Register of Patrons.

Form 14   Transfer of Patronage by Personal Representatives
Personal representatives wishing to transfer a right of patronage to the person or persons entitled to the right under a deceased patron’s will, or upon an intestacy, should complete a transfer using Form 14 and send it to the Diocesan Registrar for registration, together with an Office Copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.