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bishop of the diocese by any dean or canon that he is desirous of resigning his deanery or canonry, by reason that he is incapacitated by age or some mental or permanent physical infirmity, from the due performance of his duties, the bishop shall, if satisfied of the incapacity of the dean or canon by whom the representation is made, certify such incapacity, in writing under his hand to Her Majesty, the archbishop, bishop, body corporate, or person in whom the patronage of the deanery or canonry held by such dean or canon is vested, and from and after the date of such certificate, such deanery or canonry shall be vacant.
In order that a person should be qualified to be a dean, he must have been in priest's orders for six years complete (1).
With regard to the residence of deans and canons, it is provided by statute (2) that in every cathedral and collegiate church the term of residence to be kept by every dean thereof shall be eight months, and the term of residence to be kept by every canon thereof shall be three months at the least in every year.
The archdeacon is denominated by the canon law the bishop's eye, oculus episcopi. His chief duties are to visit the clergy in his archdeaconry as the bishop visits those of the diocese. A statute of William IV. provides that all archdeacons throughout England and Wales are to have and exercise full and equal jurisdiction within their respective archdeaconries, any usage to the contrary notwithstanding (3). A man cannot be an archdeacon under the age of twentyfive.
The Ecclesiastical Commissioners (post, p. 1123), have power, with the consent and confirmation of the bishop, to recommend that any archdeaconry may be further endowed, provided that the augmentation shall not be such as to raise the average annual income of any archdeaconry to an amount exceeding £200. But no archdeacon shall be entitled to hold any endowment or augmentation, or other emolument as such archdeacon under these provisions, unless he shall be resident for the space of eight months in every year within the diocese in which his archdeaconry is situate (4).
An archdeacon may, under certain limitations, hold together with his archdeaconry two benefices, one of which is situated within the diocese of which his archdeaconry forms a part, or
(1) 3 & 4 Vict. c. 113, s. 27.
(3) 6 & 7 Wm. 4, c. 77, s. 19.
one cathedral preferment in any collegiate or cathedral church Archof the diocese of which his archdeaconry forms a part, and one benefice situate within such diocese.
The surveyors of dilapidations appointed under the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Act, 1871, are elected by the archdeacons and rural deans of the diocese, and a subsequent section of the same Act empowers archdeacons and rural deans to make complaint in writing as to the buildings of a benefice (1).
On the institution of an incumbent to any rectory or vicarage, the bishop's mandate under his hand and seal is issued to the archdeacon to cause the incumbent to be inducted to the temporalities of his benefice, and if the archdeacon does not himself induct, the official of his Court issues a like mandate to the incumbents in the Archdeaconry.
(1) 34 & 35 Vict. c. 43, ss. 8, 12.
his own land; but not in person, if the sale be in open market; (1) Disabilities he may also be a member in a banking co-partnership, but not of clergy. a manager or director, or personally act therein.
A clergyman so illegally trading may be suspended for a year for the first offence; for the second offence so long as the judge shall think fit; and for the third offence he shall be deprived; but his contracts are, nevertheless, valid, and such trading renders him subject to the bankrupt law.
A license from the bishop to an incumbent to farm more than eighty acres, must specify the number of years, not exceeding seven, for which the permission is given. The penalty for farming more than eighty acres without permission, is 40s. per acre per annum..
A clerk in holy orders is privileged from arrest eundo morando Privileges aut redeundo from divine service, or in carrying the Sacrament of clergy. to sick persons, or in attending visitations, and any one by threats or force obstructing him in discharge of his clerical duties, or arresting any clergyman or minister so engaged, upon any civil process, or under the pretence of executing any civil process, is guilty of a misdemeanour. A clergyman is also exempt from sitting on a jury, and cannot be compelled to serve any temporal office.
No person ordained to the office of priest or deacon is capable of being elected to serve in Parliament as a member of the House of Commons.
And if any person, being a member of the House, shall be so ordained, or become a minister of the Church of Scotland, his seat becomes instantly ipso facto void. And if, in either of such cases, he presumes to sit or vote as a member of the House of Commons, he is liable to forfeit the sum of £500 to the party suing for every day in which he has so sat or voted. And he is, moreover, thenceforth incapable of taking, holding, or enjoying any benefice, living, or promotion ecclesiastical whatsoever, or any office of honour or profit under the Crown.
A question arose in a case which attracted much attention at the time, whether the term "reverend" was confined to clergy of the Established Church. This was decided in the negative.
It was pointed out, that in ancient days the term had been used by persons who were not clergymen at all, and that it was employed in common parlance with regard to ministers of denominations separate from the church, e.g., Wesleyans and Presbyterians.
(') 1 & 2 Vict. 106, s. 27, et seq.; Stephen's Law of the Clergy; Lewis v. Bright, 4 E. & B. 917.
"It is," said the Lord Chancellor, "an epithet, an adjective used as a laudatory or complimentary epithet, a mark of respect and of reverence, as the name imports, but nothing more" (1).
Under the law as it existed prior to 1870 no man admitted a deacon or minister could voluntarily relinquish the same, and though he became a dissenter, he was subject to canonical obedience to his bishop for what he might do according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England (2). Now, under the Church and Clerical Disabilities Act, 1870, a minister in the Church of England, after resigning " any and every preferment" Act, 1870. held by him, may do the following things:
(1) May execute a deed of relinquishment in the prescribed form.
(2) May cause the deed of relinquishment to be enrolled in the High Court of Chancery (now Chancery Division).
(3) May deliver an office copy of the enrolment to the bishop of the diocese; and
(4) Give notice of his having so done, to the archbishop of the province.
Six months after an office copy of the enrolment of the deed of relinquishment has been delivered to the bishop, the deed is to be recorded in the registry of the diocese, and thereupon the minister becomes incapable of officiating or acting in any manner as a minister of the Church of England; loses all privileges and exemptions, and is freed from all disabilities, &c., attached to the office of minister in the Church of England.
In a case where a clergyman had, with the view of relinquishing his office, executed the deed in the prescribed form, but had not taken any of the proper steps required by the Act, the Court considered that he had "not gone too far," that there was still a locus penitentiæ left him, and that accordingly the enrolment might be vacated (3).
An Act of 1868 provides that the incumbent of every new parish for ecclesiastical purposes who is authorised to publish banns of marriages in his church, and to solemnise marriages, churchings, and baptisms, and entitled to secure for his own sole use and benefit the entire fees arising from such offices, is to be deemed and styled the vicar of such new parish (*).
(1) Keet v. Smith, 1 P. D. 73, where the question arose with regard to a Wesleyan Minister inscribing his daughter's tombstone with the words the Reverend before H. K., Wesleyan Minister, and where the history of
the subject is carefully considered.
(2) Canon, 76; Barnes v. Shore, 8 Q. B. D. 640.
(3) Ex parte a Clergyman, L. R. 15 Eq. 154.
(*) 31 & 32 Vict. c. 117.