Monday, March 11, 2002

"Minister" in the C of E

Several people from the USA have asked me why I use the term "Minister" of myself in England.

The answer is that in the legal documents of the C of E the word "Minister" is a fixed and technical expression. Here is what is said in the "Churchwardens Measure of 2001," one of the latest official documents of the established C of E.

Minister refers to

(a) the incumbent of the parish

(b) a curate licensed to the charge of a parish or a minister acting as priest-in-charge while presentation to the living is suspended

(c) a team vicar in a team ministry....

(in all these instances the Minister has to be in presbyteral orders for deacons are not placed in charge of parishes or missions in the C of E. Minister of course is a long used expression in the reformed C of E -- see the BCP 1662 rubrics -- but these days it is useful in that it can refer to male and female persons who are presbyters/priests)

The Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon
Minister of Christ Church, Biddulph Moor, England & Vice-President and Emissary-at-Large of The Prayer Book Society of America

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