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Clergy can take a leave of absence if suitable alternate arrangements can be made to continue the parish’s activities. Leaves of absence are generally less than two years, except for those elected to provincial or federal governments. Leaves can be renewed by the bishop once they receive a letter of application.

Eligibility & approval

Clergy and lay staff are eligible after they complete one year of full-time service in the Diocese, except as otherwise required by law or specified under the specific type of leave. Requests for leaves of absence by parish clergy need the churchwardens’ concurrence and your bishop’s approval.

Request process

Your request for a leave of absence should:

  • be made within the time frame identified for each type of leave
  • specify the amount of time you’re requesting

Requests will be granted provided that:

  1. your absence won’t significantly harm the efficient operation of the parish or diocesan service
  2. the reason for the leave of absence is warranted

Reasons for granting

The following reasons warrant a leave of absence:

For full information, procedures and details on each type of leave of absence, refer to the Parish Human Resources Manual.

Mini-Sabbatical program

Pastoring congregations and maintaining community through the pandemic took a significant toll on the mental, physical and spiritual health of our clergy. The College of Bishops believes that every cleric – priest and deacon – is in need of a Sabbath rest.

Between July 1, 2022, and Aug. 31, 2023, every priest and deacon currently in an appointment in the Diocese of Toronto, and who worked a minimum of 12 months between March 2020 and June 2022, is entitled to one 10-day Sabbath Leave or “Mini-Sabbatical,” which includes one Sunday when the liturgical colour is green (i.e., in “ordinary time”).

Mini-Sabbatical Program Policy

Learn when and how you can take your mini-sabbatical.

Mini-Sabbatical Form

Submit this form to your regional dean at least four weeks before the first requested date.

Mini-Sabbatical Morning Prayer with Hymns

A simple morning prayer rite that a deacon or lay person can use.