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Crockford's Clerical Directory revamps its website

12 June 2015

Revamped: a screenshot of the new Crockford website

Revamped: a screenshot of the new Crockford website

THE online edition of Crockford's Clerical Directory, the 156-year-old list of Anglican clergy, has been given an overhaul. The new website includes a revamped interface, an improved search feature, and is updated every working day.

Since lists of the clergy began to be published in the 19th century, Crockford has undergone numerous changes. Competitors have been incorporated, and the publishers and format have changed.

But, since 1917, it has been the only place where every rector, vicar, priest-in-charge, assistant curate, chaplain, deacon, prebendary, canon, archdeacon, dean, provost, bishop, and archbishop can be found, together with every benefice.

Of special interest to existing users of the online edition of Crockford will be the new search feature. Instead of having to search by typing in the desired cleric's surname and then first initial, they can type in any combination of first name and surname to produce a result, which can also be filtered by diocese or type of appointment.

The printed edition, which runs to more than 1300 pages, appears every two years, but new information is being added to the website every day. The thicket of abbreviations in each clerical biography, which were originally devised to conserve space in the printed book, is also a thing of the past online.

Crockford was previously published independently by Oxford University Press, with an opinionated anonymous editor's preface. Owing to rising production costs, Church House took it over in the mid-1980s. In 1987, an anonymous preface criticising the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, led to an outcry, and a hunt by the media for the identity of the author, Canon Gareth Bennett, who took his own life. The preface was discontinued.


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