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A Worcester canon’s rights

23 August 2019

August 22nd, 1919.

THE Bishop of Worcester [E. H. Pearce] seems to have acted prematurely, to say the least, in announcing that the Rev. H. O. Hubble would resign the canonry of Worcester, and that the Rev. C. F. Williams would be appointed to it. The Rev. H. O. Hubble has not tendered his resignation, nor does there appear to be any reason why he should do so. He held a diocesan post, and for that reason Dr Yeatman-Biggs appointed him to a stall, in the cathedral, which he retained, with the late Bishop of Worcester’s assent, after the diocesan post had been relinquished for a benefice. Mr Hubble now holds a benefice in the diocese of Coventry. But he had not left the diocese as it was when he was appointed a canon, the part to which he moved was cut off. Canons are canons of the cathedral, and are not affected by changes in diocesan boundaries. The Act of Parliament specially provides that honorary canons in the severed portion can keep their stalls, and if Mr Hubble’s appointment to his new living had been made a little earlier he would have come under this provision. For a new bishop to demand a resignation which he has no power to enforce, and when the late bishop had taken no action, was an arbitrary act which might lead to a general weeding-out of canons who happened to be of other views than the bishop. Mr Hubble appears to us to be absolutely justified in his retention of his stall, and the invidious statements which have appeared in the Press have done him no little injustice

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