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.
We called her Sheila.
(The Revd Dr) David Vannerley
[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
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