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Too many clergy at cathedral services?

15 December 2011


From Canon Wealands Bell

Sir, — One naturally joins Canon Toy in sympathising with hard-pressed parish clergy (Letters, 9 December), and one is always willing to help out. But there are two caveats.

First, not all clergy robed in cathedrals on Sundays are deans and canons: some will be canons with mainly diocesan responsibilities; many others will be retired, enjoying occasional presbyteral hospitality.

Second, cathedral clergy are not merely liturgical operatives, but members of the cathedral founda­tion and wider community. The building up of the common life of a cathedral requires their regular presence, like that of any pastor in the parish.

The future will undoubtedly require cathedrals to serve their dioceses in a number of new ways (and perhaps some older ones), but turning canons into itinerant mass-priests, especially at 45p a mile, may not be the wisest.

23 The Close, Lichfield WS13 7LD

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