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Form of address

22 July 2016


What is the correct form of address for an archdeacon who is also a canon and holds a Ph.D. in theology?


Should I ever meet Canon the Venerable Dr John Smith I hope that he would allow me to call him John.
Ted Harrison
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion


We called her Sheila.
(The Revd Dr) David Vannerley
Swalecliffe, Kent


[This correspondent refers to the Ven. Sheila Watson, Canon of Canterbury, who left her arch­deaconry in the diocese at the end of 2015. She in fact holds an honorary DD, whose holders rarely use the title “Dr”. Crockford advises: on an envelope “The Venerable the Arch­deacon of . . .”, and the form of address “Archdeacon” or, in very formal contexts “Mr/Madam Archdeacon”. The title “Canon” is not added. Editor]


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 . . . ? [Answers, 8 July]


In the 18th century and early 19th century, when so many candidates were being confirmed (on a three-year cycle and often at the same time as the episcopal visitation), it was impractical for the bishop to lay hands on the thousands of assembled candidates.

The Archbishop of York (Edward Vernon Harcourt) ascended the pulpit, and extended his hands over the whole congregation and said the words once. The Bishop of Rochester (Walker King) joined two heads together and laid one hand on each pair of touching heads.

It was the Evangelical bishops who reformed the practice of con­firmation.
(The Revd Dr) Alan Munden
Newcastle upon Tyne


Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.



Thu 26 May @ 13:27
“It is right that we give detailed attention to ensure that academies are placed within a firm legislative context… https://t.co/TiDpzgVQPi

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