Would it be appropriate to suggest to the Bishop the
name of a retired priest who has had, and still maintains, an
outstanding ministry for possible appointment as a prebendary or
honorary canon, or would the fact that he is retired and over 70
make him ineligible? If the latter, could his outstanding ministry
be recognised in any other way?
The answer depends on the constitution and statutes of the
relevant cathedral (in Durham, non-residentiary canons
automatically cease to hold office at the age of 70), but also on
the purpose of appointing someone a non-residentiary canon in the
There are few honours a bishop can bestow on faithful and
long-serving clergy; so it is perhaps unsurprising that an
appointment to a non-residentiary canonry might be made as a
long-and-faithful-service "gong". But the College of Canons has an
important, if loosely defined, part to play as an interface between
a cathedral and its diocese.
At its best, and from the cathedral's perpective, members of the
College will enrich the cathedral's ministry and governance, and
encourage the deaneries and parishes to join with the cathedral for
liturgical and other celebrations, events and ministries.
From a deanery and parish perspective, there are plenty of
examples of the involvement of volunteers and clergy from the
cathedral in supporting and collaborating with parish ministry. The
existence of the College of Canons is an important enabler in all
this. Bishops and those they consult over the appointment of canons
should probably regard this as just as important as the need to
reward long service.
Nomination for an MBE or the revived BEM is perhaps an
alternative to appointment as a canon for someone who has served a
community faithfully for a long time. These honours also have the
advantage for someone of mature years that nothing is expected in
Adrian P. Beney (Lay member of Chapter,
A friend is a communicant member of the C of E on
weekdays but a Nonconformist on Sundays. Is this unusual? Would
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