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It is a further part of the duties of churchwardens to make such order relative to seats in the church and chancel, not appropriated to particular persons, as the ordinarywho has in general the sole power in this matter (n)-shall direct ; and, in practice, the arrangements with regard to the sittings are usually made by the church wardens, without any special direction from the ordinary (o). It is incident also to the office of churchwarden, to enforce proper and orderly behaviour in the church and its precincts during the performance of divine service (p); and, to this end, it has been held, that a church warden may justify the pulling off a man's hat irreverently worn in the church, or the removal of the offender from the church (4). And besides these, there are a multitude of other parochial powers committed to the charge of the church wardens which cannot be here particularized with minuteness. Formerly, also, the church wardens were entitled (and even obliged), by the Act of Uniformity of 1558, to levy a tax of one shilling on every householder who failed to resort to his own parish church on Sundays or holidays. But the Act of 1558 was repealed by the Religious Disabilities Act, 1816. Formerly, also, the churchwardens were joined with the overseers in the care and maintenance of the poor ; but this duty is now also in general taken from them by the Local Government Act, 1894, s. 5, in rural parishes (r). And by the provisions of the London Government Act, 1899 (8), church wardens of every parish within a metropolitan borough have ceased to be overseers.

(n) 3 Inst. 202 ; Clifford v. Wichis (1818), 1 B. & Ald. 506; Wats. C. L. 288.

(0) Rogers, Eccl. Law, 179 ; Rit. chings v. Cordingley (1868), L. R. 3 A, & E. 113.

(p) Worth v. Terrington (1845), 13 M. & W. 781 ; Asher v. Cal. craft (1887), 18 Q. B. D. 607;

Taylor v. Timson (1888), 20 Q.B.D. 671.

19) Hawk. P. C. bk. 1, ch. 63, s. 29; Hawe v. Plunner (1666), 1 Saund. 10; S. C., 1 Sid. 301.

(r) Vide post, bk. iv. pt. III. ch. III.

(x) 62 & 63 Vict. c. 14, s. 23.

Such, then, in general, are the duties of church wardens; and for the better discharge of their duties, or of such of them as require legal knowledge, they may in general have a restry clerk to assist them (t). We will add, in conclusion, that church wardens, in case of their wasting the goods of the church, or being guilty of other misbehaviour, are liable to removal (u); and that, at the end of their of office, they are bound to render an account of all their receipts and disbursements (w).

Sidesmen, or synods men, are elected in many old parishes : by the canons they are to be chosen yearly in Easter week in the same manner as church wardens.


VIII. Parish CLERKS and SEXTONS are also persons connected with the church ; and by the common law, they have freeholds in their offices (y). But, under the Lecturers and Parish Clerks Act, 1844, s. 5, parish clerks may be suspended or removed by the archdeacon or other ordinary for misconduct or neglect. The parish clerk, in some few instances, is in holy orders (2); but, in general, his qualification is only that he should be at least twenty years of age, and known to the rector, vicar, or other minister, to be of honest conversation, and to be sufficient for his office (a). He is generally appointed by the incumbent (), but, by custom, he may be chosen by the inhabitants of the parish (c); his appointment may be either in writing or by word of mouth (d); and his remuneration usually depends upon the custom of the particular parish (e). In the case of churches which are

(1) Vestries Act, 1830, ss. 6–8. (u) Steer, Parish Law, 95.

(3) Ibid. 92; Leman v. Goulty (1789), 3 T. R. 3; Axtlev. Thomas (1823), 2 B. & C. 271.

(y) Steer, 96.

(3) 7 & 8 Vict. (1844), c. 59, ss. 2, 3, 4.

(a) Canon 91 of 1603.
(b) Ibid.

ic) 13 Rep. 70; Jermyn's Cuse (1624), Cro. Jac. 670 ; Peak v. Bourne (1733), Str. 942; Hartley v. Cook (1833), 9 Bing. 728.

(d) R. v. Inhabitants of Bobbing (1836), 5 A. & E. 682.

(e) Steer, 97.

subject to the Church Building Acts, he is appointed annually by the minister (f); and in the case of a parish constituted under the New Parishes Acts, he is appointed by the incumbent and also removeable by him, but in each case with the consent of the bishop (9).

The sexton (1) is, in the ordinary course, chosen by the incumbent, though sometimes by the parishioners, where a usage to that effect prevails (i); and his salary depends on custom, and is paid by the church wardens out of any funds in their hands for that purpose. The duty of the sexton is to cleanse the church, to open the pews, to dig the graves for the dead, to provide candles and other necessaries, and to prevent, or assist in preventing, disturbance in the church (k). In the case of parishes constituted under the Church Building Acts, the sexton's appointment, and his duties and emoluments, are prescribed by these Acts (l); and in new parishes, his appointment is like that of the parish clerk (m).

In conclusion, we will observe, that, besides the parish clerk and sexton, there is sometimes attached to the church a beadle, whose business is to attend the vestry, to give notice of its meetings to the parishioners, and to execute its orders (n); and in most churches, there are pew-openers, collectors, and the like. But none of these are (as such) ecclesiastical persons.

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R. v. Inhabitants of Bobbing, ubi 8ир. ; Cansfield v. Blenkinsop (1849), 4 Exch. 234.

(k) R. v. Inhabitants of Lirer. pool (1789), 3 T. R. 118; Shaw, Parish, ed. 1892, 123.

(9) 19 & 20 Vict. (1856), c. 104, 8. 9.

(h) Apparently, from sacristan, the keeper of things belonging to divine worship.

(2) Rogers, Eccl. Law, p. 884 ;

(l) 59 Geo. 3 (1819), c. 134, ss. 6, 10.

(m) 19 & 20 Vict. (1856), c. 104,

8. 9.

(n) Shaw, 121.




THOUGH this nation has from the earliest times adhered to the principle of an established church, yet no claim was at first made by the law to interfere with the faith, ceremonies, or discipline of the church. But at the era of the Reformation, it was found necessary to resort to the legislature for an authoritative exposition of the true Protestant faith, and for the establishment of appropriate forms of worship ; and from that era, the power of the ecclesiastical authorities, even in matters of religion and of worship, has been exercised in subordination to the positive enactments of the legislature (a).

Accordingly, the Articles of Faith, originally forty-two in number, but afterwards reduced to thirty-nine, (and commonly called the Thirty-nine Articles,) were framed by Archbishop Cranmer, with the assistance of other persons of distinguished learning and piety, in the reign of Edward the Sixth ; and were reduced to their present form in the convocation of the archbishops and bishops of both provinces, held at London in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, A.D. 1562. By these Articles (among other matters) the canonical authority of the different books of the Bible was settled, a new version of the Holy Scriptures being afterwards made in the reign of James the First, which

(a) Noble v. l’oysey (1871), L. R. 3 P. C. 357 ; Sheppard v. Bennett (1871), ibid. 4 P. C. 371.

is still in use under the denomination of King James's Bible, of which there are certain revisions of a comparatively recent date, and having no statutory authority.

The Form of Prayer and Church Service, commonly called the Liturgy, was also first framed in the reign of Edward the Sixth, and by the same prelates. Prior to the Reformation, various liturgies had been in use in different parts of the realm (1). But a new ritual (chiefly founded, however, on the antient services), with rubrics prescribing the order and form to be pursued, was then compiled, under the direction of that prince, for the uniform observance of the whole reformed Church of England (c). This ritual (which is, for the most part, the same with our present Book of Common Prayer) was established by the statute 2 & 3 Edw. VI.(1548), c. 1; and, being afterwards revised, was confirmed by 5 & 6 Edw. VI. (1551), c. 1, and 1 Eliz. (1558), c. 2. After two other successive revisions, in the reigns of King James the First and Charles the Second, it was confirmed in its present form, by 14 Car II. (1662), c. 4, usually described as the Act of Uniformity (d).

As to the Crown's Supremacy in matters ecclesiastical, it was definitely established by the 1 Eliz. (1558) c. 1,

(b) See the preamble to the statute 2 & 3 Edw. 6 (1548), c. 1. Our Liturgy is taken principally from the form called in such preamble the use of Sarum; but most of it can be traced to periods before the Conquest. (See Palmer, Originex Liturgice.)

(c) Elphinstone Purchas (1870), L. R. 3 A. & E. 66 ; Martin Mackonochie, ibid. (1874), 4 A. & E. 279; 3 P. C. 52, 409; Heblert Purchas (1871), ibid. 605.

(d) Watson C. L. p. 321. Since the Act of Uniformity, the follow

ing changes have been made,
viz., the church services for
30th January, 29th May, 5th
November, and 23rd October,
were abolished by 22 Vict. (1859),
C. 2; the table of lessons contained
in the calendar was revised and
re-arranged by the 34 & 35 Vict.
(1871), c. 37 ; and certain modifi- ,
cations were made in the order of
prayer, for use on any day except
Sunday, Christmas-day, Ash Wed.
nesday, Good Friday, and Ascen-
sion-day by the 35 & 36 Vict.
c. 35 (Act of Uniformity Amend-
ment Act, 1872).




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