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Source: (consider it) Thread: Eccles: Of Archdeacons
Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Peter Owen:
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Does it indeed? I thought that there were one or two female archdeacons before women were ordained priest.

Canon C22 as currently enacted states:

1. No person shall be capable of receiving the appointment of archdeacon until he has been six years complete in holy orders and is in priest's orders at the time of the appointment.

Earlier the canon specified a minimum period in priest's orders.

I am confident that it has never been possible for a person not in priest's orders to be an archdeacon. But I have a vague recollection (which may of course be mistaken) that at least one bishop appointed a women deacon to a post where she did as much of an archdeacon's normal duties as can be done without actually being an archdeacon. Perhaps this is what Angloid is thinking of.

I do not know of this specific incident, does not but the Archbishop of Canterbury have powers of dispensation in such matters, provided that he does not interfere with an act of parliament?
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womanspeak
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I know two women Australian female Archdeacons who were Deacons on appointment.

One is in charge of the household of deacons in her Diocese ( Canberra and Goulburn) and remains a strong advocate for those called to the Diaconate and ministers as Deacon to the aged.

The other ( Tasmania) began focusing on Children and family ministry as deacon and Archdeacon and has since been priested and is involved in parish ministry.

These two are greatly loved and respected throughout their Diocese and in the wider church in Australia.

But of course a woman's place is everywhere.

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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by Metapelagius:
One of the minor mysteries of the CoE is why, despite the title (and the custom of the early church), a deacon cannot become an archdeacon. It lays down that archdeacons have to be in presbyter's orders. [Confused]

One theory that I have read is that it is linked to the diminution of the order of the diaconate in the west, which started very early on for a number of reasons, and by late mediaeval times had reached the point at which the diaconate was essentially defunct as a part of the lived experience of church life. Few were ordained deacons to serve as deacons but rather the order of the diaconate was seen as a stepping-stone to the priesthood: a legacy that prevails in the Church of England today.

I have known a couple of Anglican deacons who had intended to remain as such, but who later were ordained to the priesthood. One of them was American and had originally been ordained and served in ECUSA (as it then was). Over a few years of diaconal service in the UK, it became apparent to her that there wasn't a consciousness of the diaconate in the CofE, and that most people - clergy and laity alike - didn't really understand what to make of her or her role, or understand how a deacon fitted into parish life. To many people's minds, an ordained person was a "vicar", and the concept of a deacon just didn't compute. I can see how that could be wearing after a while.

She found herself being asked to perform priestly tasks, for which she came to realise that she had an aptitude and love, so was eventually ordained to the priesthood.

Returning from the digression, this diminution meant that roles that had originally been assigned to deacons, who at one time had wielded immense ecclesiastical power, were transferred to priests, including the title of the office of archdeacon.

The factors leading to the fading of the diaconate seemed not to have affected the eastern part of the empire and elsewhere in quite the same way, to the point that the diaconate in the Orthodox Church remained a constant feature of church life (although that too, evolved), and an archdeacon is very much an archdeacon. In some of the non-Chalcedonian churches, the diaconate and expression of diakonia seems to have flourished and evolved in some quite interesting ways. There seem to be numerous ranks of deacon, to the point of complexity. I find it fascinating.

[ 18. January 2013, 07:59: Message edited by: The Scrumpmeister ]

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St Everild
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Woman speak, I love your comment "a woman's place is everywhere" I wish I had thought o it first! If I had it would become my sig...

Re Archdeacons, I have only known one or two...

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Chorister

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Nice little pic in the Church Times today, of an archdeacon in the Truro Diocese, being given a present of a t-shirt. The slogan on the front reads I'm an archdeacon, get me out of here!

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Percy B
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quote:
Originally posted by dj_ordinaire:
They are part-time positions in the Church of Ireland, held by experienced clergy in combination with their parish post.

Some are part time in England too.

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Albertus
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And most or all in Wales are too. I think they all should be, actually, even if it's only a split of 80/20 between being an Archdeacon and other work.

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Angloid
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Ours have just gone full-time after several years running a parish alongside archidiaconal duties. The problem there is that (unless they only have a tiny rural parish, rare in this diocese) they then need a full-time assistant priest, not a curate in training, who costs another stipend anyway so there is no financial saving.

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AberVicar
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
And most or all in Wales are too. I think they all should be, actually, even if it's only a split of 80/20 between being an Archdeacon and other work.

Except that as in all these dual roles it ends up being a 110/50 split with the inevitable problems of either jobs not being done or individuals getting burned out.

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Spike

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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Ours have just gone full-time after several years running a parish alongside archidiaconal duties. The problem there is that (unless they only have a tiny rural parish, rare in this diocese) they then need a full-time assistant priest, not a curate in training, who costs another stipend anyway so there is no financial saving.

Why can't the Archdeacon be assistant priest in a parish?

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Angloid
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Quite.

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Albertus
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Yup. And/or residentiary canon of the Cathedral (I think they quite often are, aren't they?), DDO, that sort of thing. In fact, it'd be worth rejigging parish responsibilities to give them small parishes if necessary.
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Percy B
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The argument goes they should be free to go to different places on Sundays.

If they were in small parishes or assistant priests they would not then have freehold - common tenure style - but they are a freehold post. I speak of England.

Then some say they can't be parishe clergy as they would be in deanery synods or clergy chapters, but may also be disciplining officials, or local clergy may feel inhibited by their presence.

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Mary, a priest??

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Earwig

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quote:
Originally posted by Simon:
I'm giving an after-dinner speech next week at the UK national get-together of C of E Archdeacons, on a Ship of Fools ticket.

How did it go?
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Zappa
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Is it time to 'fess up that I'm an archdeacon?

And, to re-emphasize, deacon-archdeacons were and are a part of the Australian landscape; Melbourne Archdeacon Marjorie McGregor for example has I think remained "unpriested", and was made "Archdeacon Without Territorial Jurisdiction: by Keith Rayner in 1995.

[ 27. January 2013, 20:23: Message edited by: Zappa ]

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
Is it time to 'fess up that I'm an archdeacon?

And, to re-emphasize, deacon-archdeacons were and are a part of the Australian landscape; Melbourne Archdeacon Marjorie McGregor for example has I think remained "unpriested", and was made "Archdeacon Without Territorial Jurisdiction: by Keith Rayner in 1995.

O Venerable Zappa!

PS-- some of us have always liked the deacon archdeacon idea and I am glad that it flourishes (even in Australia!)

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Gee D
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The Venerable Mr Zappa has a nice ring to it. No doubt you call on your pet croc to assist in maintaining discipline amongst the clergy. Does FD still talk to you?

With no women licensed as priests in Sydney, and a few other dioceses, there remains a need for non-priested archdeacons. 4 years ago, the chaplain at school retired and was replaced by 2 new chaplains. One was a deacon awaiting ordination as a minister (Uniting Church school) but the other was ordained as a deacon and intended to continue his ministry in that ordination. He did say that he was far from alone in his church in that intention. Both have since left, but AFAIK the deacon remains a Minister of the Word, not of the Table.

[ 27. January 2013, 22:56: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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cosmic dance
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quote:
Originally posted by Spike:
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Ours have just gone full-time after several years running a parish alongside archidiaconal duties. The problem there is that (unless they only have a tiny rural parish, rare in this diocese) they then need a full-time assistant priest, not a curate in training, who costs another stipend anyway so there is no financial saving.

Why can't the Archdeacon be assistant priest in a parish?
This has recently happened in one diocese in New Zealand.

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Percy B:
....
Then some say they can't be parishe clergy as they would be in deanery synods or clergy chapters, but may also be disciplining officials, or local clergy may feel inhibited by their presence.

Are the Welsh and Irish parochial clergy less well-disciplined than their English counterparts, then? Perhaps they may be, but I've never heard it said.

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Augustine the Aleut
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Hoping that this is not a tangent, has anyone in recent days heard the form of address-- "Mister Archdeacon"? I last heard it used in ca. 1980, by a retired cleric (field chaplain in WWII), but since then only in Trollope.
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Stranger in a strange land
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quote:
Originally posted by Spike:
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Ours have just gone full-time after several years running a parish alongside archidiaconal duties. The problem there is that (unless they only have a tiny rural parish, rare in this diocese) they then need a full-time assistant priest, not a curate in training, who costs another stipend anyway so there is no financial saving.

Why can't the Archdeacon be assistant priest in a parish?
Because the Incumbent would have jurisdiction over them, and they would have jurisdiction over the incumbent. Legally (and practically) not workable, at least in the CofE.
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Stranger in a strange land
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quote:
Originally posted by Metapelagius:
Wasn't Charles Lutwidge Dodgson an Anglican deacon?

At that time, Holy Orders were a prerequisite for holding a University fellowship (at least at the vast majority of colleges in proper Universities). Thus the CofE was blessed with a large number of permanent deacons at that time.
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Basilica
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quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:
Hoping that this is not a tangent, has anyone in recent days heard the form of address-- "Mister Archdeacon"? I last heard it used in ca. 1980, by a retired cleric (field chaplain in WWII), but since then only in Trollope.

I'm fairly sure I've heard it in the context of an induction in the Church of England. I can't, however, find any orders of service to demonstrate this.
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venbede
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My hunch also, basilica.

I've heard the Dean of Salisbury, when asked, say that the formal address in her case would be "Madam Dean".

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american piskie
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quote:
Originally posted by Stranger in a strange land:
quote:
Originally posted by Metapelagius:
Wasn't Charles Lutwidge Dodgson an Anglican deacon?

At that time, Holy Orders were a prerequisite for holding a University fellowship (at least at the vast majority of colleges in proper Universities). Thus the CofE was blessed with a large number of permanent deacons at that time.
I think that it was always Priest's Orders within some specified time; somehow Dodgson dodged round the statute. There are traces in some college statutes eg insisting that the Chaplain "if in Deacon's Orders [he] shall proceed to take Priest's Orders with as little delay as possible."

I doubt if many remained deacons; one needed to be in priest's orders to escape to a college living and matrimonial bliss.

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Zappa
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In the circles I move in I don't often hear any honorifics addressed to anyone ... this being the nation in which his visiting Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury (Runcie) was addressed with a hearty "Gidday Bob".

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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by Stranger in a strange land, replying to my question:
Why can't the Archdeacon be assistant priest in a parish? Because the Incumbent would have jurisdiction over them, and they would have jurisdiction over the incumbent. Legally (and practically) not workable, at least in the CofE.

What is the difference in principle between this, and an Archdeacon as a cathedral canon (common in many places)?

[ 29. January 2013, 14:36: Message edited by: Angloid ]

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Basilica
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by Stranger in a strange land, replying to my question:
Why can't the Archdeacon be assistant priest in a parish? Because the Incumbent would have jurisdiction over them, and they would have jurisdiction over the incumbent. Legally (and practically) not workable, at least in the CofE.

What is the difference in principle between this, and an Archdeacon as a cathedral canon (common in many places)?
The difference is that the incumbent of a parish is responsible to the archdeacon, whereas the dean of a cathedral is not.
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Angloid
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Not even if the cathedral is a parish church? (Several are)

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Basilica
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Not even if the cathedral is a parish church? (Several are)

No. The bishop is always the cathedral's visitor, and therefore personally responsible for the cathedral in extremis. In the regular course of events, the Cathedral Council takes the equivalent role to the archdeacon's. (It is, of course, not unusual for an archdeacon to be on the Cathedral Council.)
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Angloid
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So a cathedral parish is not part of its own archdeaconry! How bizarre.

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Traveller
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
So a cathedral parish is not part of its own archdeaconry! How bizarre.

Why the surprise? This is the Church of England we are talking about - arcane minutiae 'R us. [Big Grin]

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Metapelagius
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quote:
Originally posted by Basilica:
quote:
Originally posted by Augustine the Aleut:
Hoping that this is not a tangent, has anyone in recent days heard the form of address-- "Mister Archdeacon"? I last heard it used in ca. 1980, by a retired cleric (field chaplain in WWII), but since then only in Trollope.

I'm fairly sure I've heard it in the context of an induction in the Church of England. I can't, however, find any orders of service to demonstrate this.
Yes. On May 30th last, to be precise - addressed to the Archdeacon of Cambridge in the context of an institution and induction.

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Metapelagius
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quote:
Originally posted by Stranger in a strange land:
quote:
Originally posted by Metapelagius:
Wasn't Charles Lutwidge Dodgson an Anglican deacon?

At that time, Holy Orders were a prerequisite for holding a University fellowship (at least at the vast majority of colleges in proper Universities). Thus the CofE was blessed with a large number of permanent deacons at that time.
Yes, being in holy orders was a prerequisite for holding a fellowship. However, with some exceptions of course, academia was not at that time reckoned a long term career. Colleges are still the patrons of many livings, but they held far more in the past. Many fellows were biding their time until an attractive living in the gift of their college fell vacant. They could then resign their fellowship, take up the living - and get married. To do this (the living bit, not the marrying) they would have to be in presbyters' orders. I am therefore a bit sceptical about any large pool of permanent deacons. That might have appealed to someone like Dodgson who was content to remain a student of The House, but I don't think that he would have been typical.

[ 29. January 2013, 20:01: Message edited by: Metapelagius ]

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Rec a archaw e nim naccer.
y rof a duv. dagnouet.
Am bo forth. y porth riet.
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lily pad
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quote:
Originally posted by Traveller:
quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
So a cathedral parish is not part of its own archdeaconry! How bizarre.

Why the surprise? This is the Church of England we are talking about - arcane minutiae 'R us. [Big Grin]
Must not apply in the Colonies...then again, a certain Dean who is also Archdeacon would probably be very happy to be released from his secondary duties on a technicality.

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Percy B
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quote:
Originally posted by Stranger in a strange land:
quote:
Originally posted by Metapelagius:
Wasn't Charles Lutwidge Dodgson an Anglican deacon?

At that time, Holy Orders were a prerequisite for holding a University fellowship (at least at the vast majority of colleges in proper Universities). Thus the CofE was blessed with a large number of permanent deacons at that time.
Yes, I believe he was disinclined to become a priest because of his speech impediment. He rarely preached as a deacon.

It is often said that Dodgson (Lewis Carroll of course) became a deacon to be an Oxford fellow. Perhaps. But his father was an Archdeacon and more than one of his brothers were priests, and so he would have had some idea of what the clergy were about, and he was a devout man.

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Mary, a priest??

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John Holding

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[tangent]
Strictly, Dodson was not a Fellow of Oxford (the University doesn't have Fellows, most of its constituent colleges do), but a Student of Christ CHurch (which has never had Fellows). At that time he was indeed required to be ordained in order to keep his Studentship. He was a tutor in mathematics at Christ CHurch and in charge of the Senior Common Room wine cellar.
[/tangent]

John

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Metapelagius
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quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
[tangent]
Strictly, Dodson was not a Fellow of Oxford (the University doesn't have Fellows, most of its constituent colleges do), but a Student of Christ CHurch (which has never had Fellows). At that time he was indeed required to be ordained in order to keep his Studentship. He was a tutor in mathematics at Christ CHurch and in charge of the Senior Common Room wine cellar.
[/tangent]

John

The House is an oddity among Oxford colleges in that it is both a college and a cathedral. In consequence the titles of its senior members don't fit the usual Oxford pattern. Thus the Dean of other colleges is one of the fellows who has responsibility for discipline of junior members (unlike the Dean of a Cambridge college who will be in orders and "looks after" the chapel); the Dean of Christ Church has the same role as the Dean of any other cathedral. The disciplinary person is called the Censor (or one of them). The group who would be called fellows in any other college are called 'students'. Hence the hilarious misunderstanding a while back by a reviewer of a novel by J.I.M. Stewart (who also wrote who dunnits under the pseudonym Michael Innes), along the lines of "a fantastic book given that it has been written by an undergraduate". [Big Grin]

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Rec a archaw e nim naccer.
y rof a duv. dagnouet.
Am bo forth. y porth riet.
Crist ny buv e trist yth orsset.

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american piskie
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That's the present situation. But when Dodgson was alive the Student vs Fellow distinction was real. College Fellows *were* the college in the legal sense. But in Christ Church the corporate body was the Dean and Chapter, so the canons were the equivalent of the fellows.
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Amos

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Not quite right on the Cambridge front, Metapelagius. Some Cambridge Colleges have both a Dean of Chapel and a Dean of College, and it is the latter who is the Dean of Discipline (a title I've actually heard used). Occasionally the same person holds both briefs. And then there are the Colleges that have Chaplains but not Deans of Chapel, and a few that have neither.

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At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

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Metapelagius
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quote:
Originally posted by Amos:
Not quite right on the Cambridge front, Metapelagius. Some Cambridge Colleges have both a Dean of Chapel and a Dean of College, and it is the latter who is the Dean of Discipline (a title I've actually heard used). Occasionally the same person holds both briefs. And then there are the Colleges that have Chaplains but not Deans of Chapel, and a few that have neither.

Thank you: I stand corrected re the details of the position at Cambridge, having over-simplified matters. I should have said that the Dean of a college is often the 'Dean of Chapel' though there may be someone else who is called a chaplain. In Oxford the only ecclesiastical Dean is the Dean of Christ Church. The (disciplinary) Dean of a college could also be the chaplain, but that would be a matter of chance - the Dean of Teddy Hall when I was an undergraduate (whose name escapes me) was also the chaplain. One thing I do recall about him was that as the college statutes forbade the keeping of dogs in college he kept a highly unusual 'cat'. [Ultra confused]

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Rec a archaw e nim naccer.
y rof a duv. dagnouet.
Am bo forth. y porth riet.
Crist ny buv e trist yth orsset.

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Metapelagius
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The name has come back to me - Graham Midgley. A carving of his head - and that of his labrador 'cat' Fred - figure as gargoyles on the tower of the college library.

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Rec a archaw e nim naccer.
y rof a duv. dagnouet.
Am bo forth. y porth riet.
Crist ny buv e trist yth orsset.

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Amos

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[Smile] College Councils have been known to create a legal fiction whereby the Master's dog is deemed to be a cat. That was certainly the case with Rab Butler's poodle.

ETA To return this thread to the subject of the OP, legal fictions are an Archdeacon's stock-in-trade.

[ 24. February 2013, 17:52: Message edited by: Amos ]

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At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

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Metapelagius
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quote:
Originally posted by Amos:
[Smile] College Councils have been known to create a legal fiction whereby the Master's dog is deemed to be a cat. That was certainly the case with Rab Butler's poodle.

ETA To return this thread to the subject of the OP, legal fictions are an Archdeacon's stock-in-trade.

The other such case I recall was that of Sir Morien (sp?) Morgan, master of Downing, who had a similar 'cat'. He arrived at the college to take up the mastership by helicopter, which looks to be unprecedented. <end tangent>

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Rec a archaw e nim naccer.
y rof a duv. dagnouet.
Am bo forth. y porth riet.
Crist ny buv e trist yth orsset.

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Metapelagius:
quote:
Originally posted by Amos:
Not quite right on the Cambridge front, Metapelagius. Some Cambridge Colleges have both a Dean of Chapel and a Dean of College, and it is the latter who is the Dean of Discipline (a title I've actually heard used). Occasionally the same person holds both briefs. And then there are the Colleges that have Chaplains but not Deans of Chapel, and a few that have neither.

Thank you: I stand corrected re the details of the position at Cambridge, having over-simplified matters. I should have said that the Dean of a college is often the 'Dean of Chapel' though there may be someone else who is called a chaplain.
No, at Trinity (Cambridge) we had a Dean of Chapel and a lay Dean of College, who was responsible for discipline. This is the normal arrangement there, I believe.
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John Holding

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quote:
Originally posted by american piskie:
That's the present situation. But when Dodgson was alive the Student vs Fellow distinction was real. College Fellows *were* the college in the legal sense. But in Christ Church the corporate body was the Dean and Chapter, so the canons were the equivalent of the fellows.

On the other hand, (some of) the Students (not the canons as such*) did the teaching and were the tutors, which were the duties of (some of) the Fellows of the other colleges. And you have to differentiate between the pre-1867 and post-1867 regimes at Christ Church.

For that matter, the corporate body of Christ Church is still described as the Dean and Canons, even though the Students have been members of the governing body since, I believe, the 1867 reforms.

* those canons who also held chairs gave their statutory lectures qua professors, not qua canons, but did not tutor undergraduates at the House.

John

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Thank you for this JH it clarifies something I was unclear about.

I take it the Canons were of the college and cathedral, but was there ever ecclesiastical hierarchy like Archdeacons within the canons?

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Mary, a priest??

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quote:
Originally posted by Percy B:
Thank you for this JH it clarifies something I was unclear about.

I take it the Canons were of the college and cathedral, but was there ever ecclesiastical hierarchy like Archdeacons within the canons?

The Archdeacon of Oxford is a canon, and has been (I think) since the foundation.
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The last Archdeacon of Canterbury to actually be a Deacon was a certain Thomas A Beckett. Does anyone know what happened to him?

Once upon a time Archdeacons were Deacons. Until the 19th Century they were parish priests. When I was a curate my incumbent was appointed as an Archdeacon. At the time he had been about to embrace the religious life (much to the chagrin of his parish) and was somewhat surprised to be offered the job. This was in Holy Week. I was being taught how to celebrate the Eucharist at the time and I hooked up with our head server. Twenty minutes late my incumbent turned up, having been to a good lunch with a clergy friend of his and flashing his new mobile phone. I remember thinking "This is not a man who is about to swear vows of poverty, chastity and obedience". Lo and behold, on Easter Sunday, after the vigil he told me he was taking the Archdeacons job. I told him he would be a good Archdeacon. "You are ruthless enough to take difficult decisions but not enough of a bar steward to enjoy it". The parish were so pleased he wasn't going to become a monk they completely forgave him for leaving them.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Amos

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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
quote:
Originally posted by Metapelagius:
quote:
Originally posted by Amos:
Not quite right on the Cambridge front, Metapelagius. Some Cambridge Colleges have both a Dean of Chapel and a Dean of College, and it is the latter who is the Dean of Discipline (a title I've actually heard used). Occasionally the same person holds both briefs. And then there are the Colleges that have Chaplains but not Deans of Chapel, and a few that have neither.

Thank you: I stand corrected re the details of the position at Cambridge, having over-simplified matters. I should have said that the Dean of a college is often the 'Dean of Chapel' though there may be someone else who is called a chaplain.
No, at Trinity (Cambridge) we had a Dean of Chapel and a lay Dean of College, who was responsible for discipline. This is the normal arrangement there, I believe.
Yep. Still is. Trinity Cambridge has, in addition, two chaplains.

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At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

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