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Reader on ‘fast track’ to curacy

09 May 2014


A Reader in our parish for two years is to be "fast-tracked" to ordination and be the curate this year, not having been to a Bishops' Advisory Panel. The churchwardens have not been consulted about character or suitability. Can this legally be done? Can any appeal be made, and to whom, as our Bishops are not listening?

If, as this question suggests, a real concern about the suitable character and capability of the ordinand is so widespread among members of the congregation and in the opinion of the churchwardens, there is an occasion when lawful impediments to ordination can be alleged.

An important notice, known by the Latin title, Si Quis, is always given, that "if any person knows any just cause or impediment for which [the ordinand] ought not to be admitted to the Holy Office of Deacon/Priest, he is now to declare the same or to signify the same forthwith to the Lord Bishop. . ."

This banns of ordination has to be called during public worship in the church of the parish in which the ordinand resides, and countersigned by the officiating minister and churchwardens.

This canonical procedure provides a legal opportunity for anyone to disclose serious moral or other reasons of which the Bishop may previously have been unaware, for which ordination may be withheld until the matter is thoroughly investigated.

(Canon) Terry Palmer
Magor, Monmouthshire


Although some aspects of this situation seem to be unusual, and although references are normally required as a part of the selection process, the churchwardens do not have to provide these references; neither does the bishop have to consult churchwardens or any other church officers about whom he ordains.

A deacon or priest is ordained as a deacon or priest of the Catholic Church, not of any one place. Whether a licence as a curate in that or any other parish is subsequently received is a different issue.

(The Revd) Geoffrey Squire
Barnstaple, Devon


Where can I get a copy - CD or tape or even vinyl - of the radio play by Dorothy Sayers of the life of Christ? T. B.

How can I (a clergy widow, and therefore in an awkward position to comment) encourage our Rector to conduct the only service on a Sunday which is a eucharist with dignity? He is unconcerned about how the altar is dressed; his cassock-alb is very creased, and dirty, as are his shoes; but the most upsetting part of the service, taken at a gallop, is that after he takes communion to a disabled lady at the back of the church, he walks back to the sanctuary, munching the remaining consecrated wafers on the way.


Are there any continuing branches, structures, or offices of the former church organisations AYPA (Anglican Young People's Association), CEMS (Church of England Men's Society), and the William Temple Association, or are they all long gone and forgotten? D. J. M.


Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.


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