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Parting words

22 April 2016


Your answers


When our former parish priest, a member of the Society of the Holy Cross (SSC), left, he instructed our churchwardens to allow only SSC priests to stand in during the vacancy. They are extending this ban even to our area dean (who has ignored it) and diocesan bishop. We are a Resolutions A and B parish. Are the wardens correct in their actions?


I think I am right in saying that a previous incumbent has no jurisdiction once he or she has gone. The people in charge are the PCC and churchwardens, who have increased responsibility during a vacancy, and the sequestrators, who assume the responsibilities of the incumbent.

Quite often, probably usually, the Bishop appoints the rural dean and the churchwardens, and perhaps a remaining team vicar. So I’m not quite sure how the wardens could stop the rural dean from coming. Of course, if he is in fact a she, that would be a little insensitive, but still, it really isn’t up to the guy who has left.

Bridget A. Swan


Your questions


At a recent confirmation, the officiating bishop held his hands an inch or so over the heads of the candidates rather than on their heads. Is his act valid, given that the Prayer Book states that he will lay a hand on the candidate’s head?

N. G.


It has generally been possible to distinguish bishops by the colour of their shirt, unless they choose to wear black. Now, however, the tables seem to be turning with a reddish colour sold as “plum” by a well-known clerical outfitter. It is easy to mistake “plum” for the episcopal “red purple” sold by the same outfitter. What is the origin of the colour distinction, and should it continue to be honoured?

R. W.


I have been told that only one man could not be saved: the impenitent thief on the cross. I had no answer to this, and would appreciate how to best reply to this very firm assertion.

J. A.


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