The Constitution of the Diocesan Council of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR) is based upon the regulations
of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

(Confirmed by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on 26 September/9 October; 27 September/10 October; 28 September/11 November; 29 September/12 October; and 2/15 October 1956; 5/18 June, 1964, and by decision of the Council of Bishops on 30 April/13 May, 2008.)

The Numbers refer to the paragraphs of the General Regulations of the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia though phrased to fit the circumstances of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR). This Constitution was confirmed by the Diocesan Assembly on 05/18 March 2017

43. Every diocese must have a Diocesan Council to assist the Diocesan Bishop in the administration of the diocese and it should be under his direct control and be subject to him.

56. The Diocesan Council must help the Diocesan Bishop in the administration of the diocese:

VII. THE DIOCESAN COUNCIL.

67. The Diocesan Council is an active institution under the presidency and direct guidance of the Diocesan Bishop and meets when directed.

68. The Diocesan Bishop shall be the president of the Diocesan Council and his deputy shall be a person of the rank of priest appointed by the Diocesan Bishop. It shall consist of from six to ten elected members, of whom no less than half shall be of the rank of priest.

69. The Membership of the Diocesan Council consists of 11 members

a.) The Diocesan Bishop shall be (ex officio) chair of the Diocesan Council

b.) The Diocesan Council shall have a Chancellor appointed by the Diocesan Bishop.

c.) Elected members, clerical or lay must be competent in church affairs.

d.) There shall be four members of the Diocesan Council of priestly rank elected by the Diocesan Assembly who are (ex officio) members of the Diocesan Assembly.

e.) There shall be five other members of the Diocesan Council who may be in minor orders or trustees or starostas/ representatives of parishes who are members in good standing of the Diocesan Assembly.

70. The Chancellor of the Diocesan Council shall be appointed by the Diocesan Bishop with notification of his appointment to the Synod of Bishops and the Diocesan Assembly. At meetings of the Diocesan Council, the Chancellor shall record the minutes and shall provide certification with the Diocesan seal on behalf of the Diocesan Bishop, but he does not have the right of a casting vote.

71. The Diocesan Council shall decide on Annual Diocesan Dues and personal membership subscriptions and shall administer a Diocesan Bank Account. It shall arrange for half of what it raises to be sent to the Synod of Bishops annually. Any remaining funds shall be kept for the administration of the Diocese.

72. The Treasurer is appointed by the Diocesan Bishop, from among the lay members of the Diocesan Council, and as such, ensures that financial affairs are correct and makes a regular report concerning them, facilitating payment of expenses connected with the bishop’s needs, the chancery and meetings of the Diocesan Council, and to secure gift aid if possible for Diocesan Dues. (U.K.) The Treasurer will be a joint signatory of the Diocesan Bank account. These responsibilities may be shared by a Deputy Treasurer.

73. All members of the Diocesan Council are nominated by members of the Diocesan Assembly and elected by their fellow members of the Diocesan Assembly for three years. Their appointment is confirmed by the Diocesan Bishop with notification of their appointment to the Synod of Bishops. They should not normally be younger than 30 years of age and should possess, as far as possible, sufficient education and be of sufficient piety and devotion to the Church to be able to advise the Diocesan Bishop.

74. The Diocesan Bishop shall appoint from amongst the clergy on the Diocesan Council a cleric of priestly rank to ensure the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults* and a Council member as his deputy from amongst the lay members of the Council who has sufficient expertise to support the safeguarding of the diocese as a whole.  *{Not the original “74” but rewritten to conform to UK Law…see the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy}

75. In the case of illness, death or absence of the Diocesan Bishop, a person should be expressly appointed by the Synod of Bishops to carry out the duties of a temporary president; if there is no such appointment, the most senior member of the Council, of priestly rank, should be temporarily appointed.

76. In order to provide replacements for people who, for various reasons, are no longer members of the Diocesan Council, the Diocesan Assembly may elect deputies for them, or candidates for membership of the Diocesan Council, being half of the active members in proportion to the number of clerical and lay members. The Chancellor shall write to the members of the Diocesan Assembly to secure their consent to any replacements.

77. The Diocesan Council has control over all matters entrusted to its consideration and resolution by the Diocesan Bishop, in particular:

a) the safeguarding and spreading the Orthodox faith;

b) the erection and adornment of churches;

c) general church management;

d) the opening and legalization of new parishes and the canonical status of existing missions or parishes;

e) the gathering of information about parishes and the clergy and about pastoral and educational activities in parishes;

f) the organization of church festivals and festive services;

g) matters concerning the opening of church schools and youth organizations in parishes;

h) consideration and resolution of parishioners’ complaints against clergymen;*

i) matters concerning dues and monetary collections in diocesan churches for the maintenance of  the Synod of Bishops, The Diocese and for philanthropic purposes, etc.;

j) compiling various reports and financial accounts for presentation to the Diocesan Bishop and the Diocesan Assembly;

k) all matters connected with safeguarding within the diocese; *{Not the original “k” but rewritten to conform to UK Law…see the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy}

l) executing resolutions of the Diocesan Assembly after confirmation by the Diocesan Bishop, and directives of the Diocesan Bishop on various matters;

m) advising the Diocesan Bishop in all matters pertaining to his diocese.

n) the Diocesan Council will give due consideration and resolution of matters of an administrative nature involving disputes between parishes  and private individuals, and social and governmental bodies concerning church property; the defence of  the rights of the diocese, parishes and clergy.*

78. All matters in the Diocesan Council are to be decided by majority vote and go into effect after confirmation by the Diocesan Bishop, who has the casting vote.

79. In the unlikely case of disagreement of the Ruling Bishop with the decision of the Diocesan Council, he may either resubmit it for consideration to the Council or make a decision at his own discretion.

80. No resolution or directive of the Diocesan Council, issued during the tenure of office of a lawful Diocesan Bishop, shall be valid if issued without his knowledge or confirmation. The Chancellor shall be responsible for the publishing of minutes and Diocesan decrees and directives.

Signed                                                 Date

 

Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia, Ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland (ROCOR)

*Note: Lay members of the Diocesan Council should not participate in: 1. the discussion and resolution of matters concerning accusations against clergy and their conduct; 2. in divorce trials.