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Diocese of The British Isles and Europe

(This law relates only to this province, not to the worldwide communion)


In Western culture, Canon Law is the law of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. The Eastern Orthodox concept of Canon Law is similar to, but not identical to, the more legislative and juridical model of the West. In both traditions, a Canon is a rule adopted by a council (From Greek kanon/êáíïí, for rule, standard, or measure.

In the Church of England, the ecclesiastical courts that formerly decided many matters such as disputes relating to marriage, divorce, wills, and defamation, still have jurisdiction over certain church-related matters (e.g. discipline of clergy, alteration of church property, and issues related to churchyards). Their separate status dates back to the 12th century when the Normans split them off from the mixed secular/religious county and local courts used by the Saxons. In contrast to the other courts of England, the law used in ecclesiastical matters is a civil law system, not Common Law but heavily governed by parliamentary statutes. Since the Reformation, ecclesiastical courts in England have been royal courts, and the Church of England Canon Law, unlike all others, is the law of the state. The teaching of Canon Law at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge was abrogated by Henry VIII; thereafter practitioners in the ecclesiastical courts were trained in Civil Law, receiving a Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.) degree from Oxford, or an LL.D. from Cambridge. Such lawyers (called "Doctors" and "Civilians") were centered at "Doctors Commons," on the southern approaches to St Paul's Cathedral in London, where they monopolized Probate, Matrimonial, and Admiralty cases until their jurisdiction was removed to the Common Law courts in the mid-19th century. Other churches in the Anglican Communion around the world (e.g., the Episcopal Church in the United States, and the Anglican Church of Canada) still function under their own private systems of Canon Law. The Canons of the Anglican Independent Communion are a recognised s

Diocese of the British Isles and Europe

Introduction and Preamble

We The Right Reverend Doctor Norman Sydney Dutton, by the Grace of God and Divine Permission Presiding Bishop of the above said jurisdiction, after prayer and deliberation, in consultation with our advisors, herewith promulgate the following Canons for the good order and governance of the Church this First day of February in the Year of Our Lord 2003.

We The Most Reverend Doctor Norman Sydney Dutton, by the Grace of God and Divine Permission Archbishop of the above said jurisdiction, after prayer and deliberation, in consultation with our advisors, herewith promulgate the following Amended Canons for the good order and governance of the Church this Fifteenth day of March in the Year of Our Lord 2004.

We The Most Reverend Doctor Norman Sydney Dutton, by the Grace of God and Divine Permission Archbishop of the above said jurisdiction, after prayer and deliberation, in consultation with our advisors, herewith promulgate the following Amended Canons for the good order and governance of the Church this First day of August in the Year of Our Lord 2005

Structure & Communion

  1. These are the Canons of the Anglican Independent Communion in the British Isles and Europe, also known as A.I.C. (UK) in abbreviated form. The British Diocese shall be known as the Diocese of King Charles the First of England the Martyr, and is referred to herein after as 'the Church'.
  2. The Church will be in Full Communion with our beloved brothers and sisters of the Anglican Independent Communion Worldwide, and with such other churches of like faith and doctrine as may be from time to time agreed by the College of Bishops.
  3. The Church is rooted in the teaching of the historic Church enshrined in the Catholic Creeds and the teaching of all the Ecumenical Councils of the Christian Church, as developed and amended in the Anglican tradition. As such it is a Continuing Church of the traditional Anglican Communion.
  4. The Church is a Communion of traditional Anglican clergy who are in union acknowledging the Faith as once given to the Apostles. We are in union to ensure that our orthodoxy is maintained for the hope and salvation of all mankind and to the Glory of God. To that end it is therefore resolved
    • We acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church and that we are his servants in this world, keeping to the Faith as given.
    • That we hold to the doctrine as revealed by God in the Holy Scriptures, the Canon known as the King James Version of the Holy Bible including the Apocrypha, as holding all things necessary for salvation.
    • We use the Book of Common Prayer in any such version as may be duly authorised to maintain orthodox liturgy and a common practice of worship.
    • We hold to the 39 Articles of Religion as may be applied to time and place, holding the principle that in Scripture, Tradition and Reason, all things may be for God's peoples necessity and common welfare.
    • We hold to the Holy Orders of Bishop Priest and Deacon, and we believe that in accordance with the teaching of Holy Scripture and the traditions of the church that all who hold these Orders must be men of high moral character.
    • We hold that all congregations are independent and own any properties in common. The clergy are held in common by all and for all. The Communion serves its parishes whilst the clergy serves the Body of Christ.
  5. No bishop of the Church will enter into any agreement for Inter-Communion with any other church or ecclesial body without the consent of the Archbishop in writing.
  6. No bishop of the Church will take it upon himself to act as Episcopal Visitor to any body or Religious Order whatsoever without the consent of the Archbishop in writing.
  7. No bishop of the Church will enter into any arrangement whereby he engages in a personal Prelature with any Clerk in Holy Orders in any circumstances whatsoever without the consent of the Archbishop in writing.
  8. No bishop or priest of the church will con-celebrate the Eucharist with any woman priest or bishop of any other jurisdiction whatsoever.
  9. Within the Anglican Independent Communion shall subsist the monastic Order of priests known as 'The Priestly Order of Companions of Jesus', herein after known as 'the Order'. Following the traditions of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, it shall be an integral part of the Church, and the Archbishop of the Church shall be the Lord Abbot of the Order. Membership of the Order is open to all priests of the church, and in addition the Lord Abbot may extend an invitation to membership to any male priest or minister of any other denomination of like Faith and doctrine. Members of the Order are required to set aside some part of each day for personal prayer and the study of God's Word in Holy Scripture, and for helping those less fortunate than themselves. When attending meetings of the Order all members shall wear a while alb with a rope cincture/girdle. No oblations are collected from members.
  10. The Military and Religious Order of St. Cornelius the Centurion shall be under the Spiritual Protection of the Church

Holy Orders & Lay Ministry

  1. By divine institution, there are in the Church sacred ministers who are also called clergy, the others are called lay people. The orders of the clergy shall be the traditional orders of bishop, priest and deacon handed down to us from earliest times.
  2. According to the tradition of the earliest church, no woman shall be ordained into any state of Holy Orders. Men and women of good character and Godly disposition are warmly welcomed into Lay Ministry as Lay Readers, with all the rights and privileges associated with that traditional office. Candidates for the office of Lay Reader must be not less than twenty-three years of age, and must be baptised and confirmed.
  3. The ancient Lay Order of Deaconess shall be preserved, and it shall be open to the Archbishop to admit any woman of devout character and proved fitness to the Lay Order of Deaconess. The Archbishop shall define the duties of the Deaconess at the time of her appointment. No-one shall be admitted to the Order of Deaconess under the age of twenty three years, and until she shall have laid before the Archbishop such form of application as shall be required. No woman shall be recognised as a Deaconess until she has been admitted to that office by a bishop, at a Service prescribed for that purpose, as approved by the Archbishop.
  4. In addition, the duties of Vicar General, Diocesan Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, Diocesan Theologian, Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Treasurer, Diocesan Registrar, Diocesan Director of Vocations, Diocesan Director of Education and any other necessary and appropriate appointments may be conferred by the Archbishop in his absolute discretion as the need arises. The Archbishop is not obliged to fill any such vacancy as may arise. The Archbishop may create any other new appointment as may in his judgment become necessary for the good order and governance of the church.
  5. The appointments of Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Treasurer, Diocesan Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, and Diocesan Registrar shall be open to the Laity.
  6. No cleric or lay office holder in the church shall be an employee of the Church under any circumstances. It is a Condition Precedent of any License or appointment in the Church that the Licensee or appointee understands and accepts this ab initio.
  7. In accordance with the ancient traditions of the Catholic Church an Archbishop will carry the title The Most Reverend, and will be customarily addressed as Archbishop (Christian name). Holders of the degree of Doctor will carry the title The Most Reverend Doctor. Holders of the appointment of Professor will carry the title The Most Reverend Professor
  8. Bishops will carry the title The Right Reverend, and will be customarily addressed as Bishop (Christian name). Holders of the degree of Doctor will carry the title The Right Reverend Doctor. Holders of the appointment of Professor will carry the title The Right Reverend Professor
  9. Priests will carry the title The Reverend, and will customarily be addressed as The Reverend or Father (Christian Name). Holders of the degree of Doctor will carry the title The Reverend Doctor. Holders of the appointment of Professor will carry the title The Reverend Professor
  10. Deacons will carry the title The Reverend and will be customarily addressed by their Christian name. Holders of the degree of Doctor will carry the title The Reverend Doctor. Holders of the appointment of Professor will carry the title The Reverend Professor
  11. Deaconesses will carry the title The Reverend Deaconess and will be customarily addressed by their Christian name. Holders of the degree of Doctor will carry the title The Reverend Deaconess Doctor. Holders of the appointment of Professor will carry the title The Reverend Deaconess Professor.
  12. A priest holding the appointment of Vicar General shall carry the title The Very Reverend, and will otherwise be customarily addressed as a priest. Holders of the degree of Doctor will carry the title The Very Reverend Doctor. Holders of the appointment of Professor will carry the title The Very Reverend Professor.
  13. A cleric other than a bishop holding the appointment of Diocesan Theologian shall at the discretion of the Archbishop carry the title The Reverend Canon in addition to any other distinctions, and shall ordinarily be referred to as the Canon Theologian.
  14. A cleric other than a bishop holding the appointment of Diocesan Secretary shall at the discretion of the Archbishop carry the title The Reverend Canon in addition to any other distinctions and shall ordinarily be referred to as the Canon Secretary
  15. A cleric other than a bishop holding the appointment of Diocesan Treasurer shall at the discretion of the Archbishop carry the title The Reverend Canon in addition to any other distinctions and shall ordinarily be referred to as the Canon Treasurer
  16. A cleric other than a bishop holding the appointment of Director of Vocations shall at the discretion of the Archbishop carry the title The Reverend Canon in addition to any other distinctions.
  17. The Chancellor shall be a person recognised as learned in the law of any national legal jurisdiction within the Diocese and shall carry the customary title of The Worshipful in addition to any other distinctions in accordance with custom, and when sitting in the Chancellor's Court shall be addressed as Your Worship.
  18. It shall be open to the Archbishop to approve the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor upon the request of the Chancellor, should the need arise.
  19. The Registrar of the Diocese shall ordinarily be a person admitted to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales, or Scotland, or Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, and in any such case must hold a current Practising Certificate under the Solicitors Act to practice in England and Wales. The appointment of the Registrar shall be on the recommendation of the Chancellor, subject to the approval of the Archbishop. A cleric holding the appointment of Registrar shall at the discretion of the Archbishop carry the title The Reverend Canon, and shall be referred to ordinarily as the Canon Registrar.
  20. The Registrar shall be a legal advisor to the clergy and laity as required, and shall sit as Clerk to the Chancellor's Court in accordance with ecclesiastical custom. It shall be open to the Chancellor to ask any Vice-Chancellor to sit as his Clerk should he judge it necessary and expedient.
  21. It shall be open to the Archbishop to confer such traditional honorary titles as they see fit on ordained holders of any diocesan appointment, or not as the case may be. It shall be open to the Archbishop to confer honorary titles on any member of the clergy in recognition of special service or other worthy contribution.
  22. All titles of honour except that appertaining to the Chancellorship and the appointment of Diocesan Registrar endure for life unless the College of Bishops exercises its authority to remove them for good and pressing reason. Only the current Chancellor is The Worshipful although it shall be open to the Archbishop to confer the title Emeritus on former holders of the office in his absolute discretion.
  23. In accordance with the Archbishop's historic position as the representative of the true Catholic Church deriving from the Medieval Succession it shall be open to the Archbishop to grant academic honours in the form of honorary degrees in Theology, Divinity, Ministry, Church Music and Canon Law. These will be in the form of HonDD, HonThD, HonDMin, HonDCMus, HonDCL.etc. They will be granted in the Archbishop's absolute discretion. The use of such degrees by clergy in their non-clerical life without the abbreviation Hon is absolutely forbidden, and may result in a Chancellor's hearing if so used.
  24. Where the needs of the Church require and ministers are not available and at the request of a bishop when appropriate, lay people can exercise the ministry of the word, preside over liturgical prayers, confer emergency baptism and distribute Holy Communion of the pre-consecrated host. In extreme emergency any baptised person may ask for God's blessing on the soul of a person about to die.
  25. Before candidates are accepted for ordination, they must submit documentation of their baptism and confirmation. In cases where such documentary attestation is impossible, the candidate may instead at the discretion of a bishop swear an oath before the Chancellor or the Diocesan Registrar that they are baptised and confirmed, giving such information as they are able.
  26. In order correctly to confer the orders of priesthood or diaconate, it is required that, in the judgement of the Bishop, the candidate possesses the requisite qualities and is considered beneficial to the ministry of the Church.
  27. The bishop must ensure that before a person is promoted to any order, they are properly instructed concerning the order itself and its obligations. The Archbishop shall have absolute discretion as to the nature of such instruction, the need for it, or otherwise.
  28. The bishops of the Church agree not to discriminate with regard to the promotion in Orders on the basis of race, ethnic group, physical disability, social group, means or academic achievement. Any refusal to promote in orders any person will only be for good, sufficient and stated reason in the judgment of a bishop, for example, mental incapacity.
  29. Only those are to be promoted to orders who, in the prudent judgement of the bishop, all things considered, are of good faith, motivated by the right intention, endowed with wisdom, held in good esteem by a group of people who know them well and have achieved a moral probity and virtue and possess the emotional, psychological and spiritual qualities appropriate to the order to be received.
  30. The priesthood may be conferred only upon those who have completed their twenty-fifth year of age, and possess a sufficient maturity. There would normally be an interval of at least six months between the diaconate and the priesthood. The diaconate may be conferred only upon those who have completed their twenty-third year of age.
  31. Clergy who have been ordained already according to the tradition of the one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church can be incardinated into the Church. If they wish to be incardinated into it and licensed for their ministry then they should apply to the Archbishop, who will admit them, or not, in his absolute discretion, subject to any conditions he may lay down. Clergy from other churches who have not been episcopally ordained, or who are unsure whether they have been ordained, can choose to have the sacrament of order conferred or conferred conditionally (sub-conditione)
  32. An ordination is to be celebrated during public Holy Communion. The minister of sacred ordination is without exception a consecrated Bishop.
  33. After an ordination, the names of the individuals ordained, the name of the ordaining minister, and the place and date of ordination are to be entered into a Register.
  34. The ordaining bishop is to give to each person ordained priest an authentic certificate of the ordination received. Such document is normally referred to as Letters of Orders. It must contain the place and date of ordination, a statement that it took place during a public celebration of Holy Communion and the signature and seal of the ordaining bishop.
  35. It is usual though not essential for the principal consecrating Bishop at an Episcopal consecration to have at least two other consecrating Bishops with him. However, where this is not practicable, letters from those who would wish to co-consecrate will be accepted in absentia.
  36. No rites of ordination will be used without the approval of the Archbishop and such rite will be based on those openly approved within the Church.
  37. All bishops have power to ordain deacons, deaconesses and priests of the Church. They must both satisfy themselves of the correctness of the rite used and the required intention to ordain. Each ordaining Bishop must issue their own respective ordination documents. The Archbishop shall be informed in advance of all ordinations, and shall have an absolute rite of veto upon any ordination that he considers undesirable. His decision shall be lead by the Holy Spirit and will be unquestionable in the Diocesan Court.
  38. No Bishop within the Church can consecrate another Episcopal candidate within the Church with out the consent and participation of the Archbishop.
  39. No bishop will take part in the consecration of anyone as bishop in any other jurisdiction without the consent of the Archbishop in writing
  40. No bishop will take part in the ordination of any woman as deacon or priest, or the consecration of any woman as bishop in any other jurisdiction.
  41. To be a suitable candidate for the Episcopate, a person must be outstanding in his ability to show Christian love to all. A person who in the prudent judgement of the Archbishop all things considered, are considered to be of exceptional faith, wholly motivated by the right intention, deeply endowed with wisdom, held in the highest esteem by a group of people who know him well and have achieved a developed sense of moral probity and virtue and clearly possess the emotional, psychological and spiritual qualities appropriate to the order to be received. They must be at least 35 years of age.
  42. In exercising his pastoral office, a Bishop is to be solicitous for all people without exception. He is to have a special concern for all clergy and for all vocations.
  43. A Bishop is bound to give an example of holiness in charity, humility and simplicity of life. Since he is the principal dispenser of the mysteries of God he is to strive constantly that Christ's faithful may grow in grace through the celebration of the sacraments, and may know and live the paschal mystery.
  44. As a parish is not limited by geographical territory, it embraces all who have contact with a particular priest. The priest is their proper pastor. He exercises the pastoral care of the community entrusted to him under the guidance of a Bishop, whose ministry of Christ he is called to share, so that for this community he may carry out the offices of teaching, sanctifying and serving with the cooperation of other priests or deacons, and with the assistance of lay members of Christ's faithful.
  45. A priest has the obligation to ensure that the word of God is proclaimed in its entirety to those within his parish. He is to see that the lay members of Christ's faithful are instructed in the truths of the faith. He is to foster works that promote the spirit of the Gospel, including its relevance to social justice. He is to have a special care for the Christian education of children and young people.
  46. A priest is to strive to ensure that Christ's faithful are nourished by the devout celebration of the sacraments.
  47. So that the priest may fulfil his office of pastor diligently, he is to strive to know those entrusted to his care. He is therefore to visit their families, sharing especially in their cares, anxieties and sorrows, comforting them in the Lord.
  48. He is to help the sick and especially the dying in great charity, solicitously restoring them with the sacraments and commending their souls to God. He is to be especially diligent in seeking out the poor, the suffering, the lonely, those who are exiled from their homeland, and those burdened with special difficulties.
  49. The priest is to recognise and promote the special role that the lay members of Christ's faithful have in the mission of the church, fostering their associations that have loving purposes. He is to ensure that the faithful are concerned for the local community and that they take part in and sustain works which promote the community.
  50. The functions especially entrusted to the priest are as follows, the administration of baptism, the administration of the sacrament of confirmation to those in danger of death or at the request of a bishop, the anointing of the sick and the imparting of the Apostolic blessing, the conduct of marriages and the nuptial blessing, the conducting of funerals, the celebration of the Eucharist.
  51. A priest is to be responsible for the keeping of proper registers, that is of baptisms, of marriages and of deaths, and any other services conducted. He is to ensure that entries are accurately made and that the registers are carefully preserved.

Clerical Dress (with Advice to Clergy)

  1. The Church requires its clergy to wear clerical dress and to use appropriate vestments when celebrating the sacraments and leading other liturgies. Clergy wear clerical dress not to indicate their status but as witness to their vocation. Clergy wear appropriate vestments in order to be more effective channels of sacramental grace, so that they may personally be decreased and Christ within them increased.
  2. Wearing clerical dress is itself a form of ministry. Not only do those who wear it bear witness to the fact that they are citizens of the kingdom of Christ but they also present themselves to the world as people who can be approached when people are in need of the love of Christ. At ordination clergy are set apart and their very beings aligned with Christ in a special way precisely so that he might touch the world through us and use us as a catalyst for his grace. It is therefore logical that they should look different and be easily identifiable as people who stand in persona Christi.
  3. Ordinary clerical dress consists of a shirt and a clerical collar. Clerical shirts may be black or grey. Black is the traditional colour because black was understood to absorb negativity, which is then neutralised in the ordained person. In the Anglican tradition Roman purple and violet shirts are worn only by bishops. Shirts of rainbow colours for clergy are not acceptable. Clerical collars may be of the Roman type or inserted type as many be most convenient.
  4. Clergy may also wear cassocks as part of their ordinary clerical dress and indeed traditionally the cassock was not worn over other clothes but was considered a garment in its own right. Cassocks are worn in liturgical celebrations, particularly choir Offices when they are worn with surplice, scarf/tippet, and academic hood where applicable. The ordinary colour of a cassock for clergy is black, a black cincture and cape may also be worn. Cassocks come in broadly two styles, a Roman style which buttons up the front and a Sarum or wrap around style. The Sarum cassock is preferred but either is acceptable.
  5. Clergy who serve in a bishop's 'household' (for example as secretary or chaplain) may wear a Roman purple cincture. Any Vicar General, Archdeacon, Dean and Canons may have red buttons and braiding on their cassocks and capes and wear a Roman purple cincture. For many liturgical celebrations clergy will wear a surplice over their cassocks with a scarf/tippet. Clergy may also wear a Canterbury cap when in a cassock, but the Roman biretta is discouraged.
  6. When celebrating the Eucharist in normal circumstances all clergy should wear an alb. An alb is a long white garment that covers the body from neck to ankles. When a clergyman puts on the alb it symbolises the over writing of their own persona by that of Christ's. They no longer act as themselves but in persona Christi. If the alb is not hooded an amice should be worn under it. An amice is a rectangular piece of white cloth with strings which cross over the breast and are tied around the waist. It may have an embroidered upper edge known as the apparel which may be coloured according to the liturgical season (see below). The amice serves to hide the collar of the shirt underneath the alb. No 'secular' clothing should be visible once the alb is on.
  7. Over the alb the girdle is fastened. This recalls the rope worn round the waist of the high priest at the temple in Jerusalem that was used to pull him out should he collapse in the Holy of Holies. The colour of the girdle can match that of the liturgical seasons, but is generally white.
  8. Deacons and priests may then place a maniple on their left forearm (though this is entirely optional). This is a small band of coloured cloth. It was originally used as a wiping cloth. This has been non-obligatory in the Roman Church since Vatican II in the early 1960's but has been retained in some other Catholic jurisdictions.
  9. It is obligatory for deacons and priests to wear the stole. At the Eucharist the priest may wear the stole crossed over his breast and fixed it in position with the ends of the cincture/girdle. This symbolises the sacrifice of Christ that is about to be remembered. However, some modern sets of vestments are designed for the stole to be worn over the chasuble. Deacons wear stoles over the left shoulder with the ends tied by the right hip. The stole is the symbol of the authority of the priesthood/diaconate. The colour of the stole will usually match that of the liturgical season.
  10. It is highly desirable that a priest should wear a chasuble when celebrating the Eucharist. The word means 'little house' because it covers the priest completing the transformation of the priest into an icon of Christ. It has also been traditionally seen to represent the love of Christ which 'covers all things' (Colossians 3:14). It derives from the normal outdoor wear during the times of the Roman Empire.
  11. Deacons may wear a dalmatic over their alb and stole The colour of the chasuble and dalmatic will usually match that of the liturgical season.
  12. The ordinary wear of the Deaconess shall be a white blouse or shirt (plain pastel colours may also be acceptable) with clerical collar, and dark blue, grey or black skirt or trousers. Liturgical wear shall be choir office dress or a white alb with girdle, and a Deaconess stole. The girdle may be the colour of the liturgical season or plain white.
  13. The ordinary wear of the Lay Reader shall be a cassock and surplice with a blue scarf.
  14. When sacraments are celebrated in the context of the Eucharist then Eucharistic vestments should be worn. Eucharistic vestments (i.e. the chasuble and maniple) will not be worn when the Eucharist is not being celebrated. In an emergency sacraments can be celebrated without vestments but, if possible, a reconciliation stole should be worn.
  15. Baptism: Priests may wear either an alb and white/gold stole (with the stole hanging down, not crossed) or a cassock, surplice and scarf/tippet. Deacons & Deaconesses should wear alb and stole (with the stole worn in the deacon style) or a cassock, surplice and scarf.
  16. Reconciliation/Penance/ 'Confession': In a formal context the priest should wear cassock and violet/Roman purple stole. In an informal context a stole suffices. Small reconciliation stoles (which are double-sided white/violet/Roman purple) are available and priests should carry one around with them all the time in case they are asked to administer the sacraments in an emergency
  17. Marriage: Priests may wear an alb and white/gold stole (with the stole hanging down, not crossed) or a cassock, surplice and stole. Deacons should wear alb and stole (with the stole worn in the deacon style) or a cassock, surplice and stole.
  18. Sacrament of the Sick/Extreme Unction: Priests may wear an alb and violet/Roman purple stole (with the stole hanging down, not crossed) or a cassock, surplice and stole. In an emergency the reconciliation stole alone will suffice.
  19. Funerals: Priests may wear either an alb and violet, black or Roman purple stole (with the stole hanging down, not crossed) or a cassock, surplice and stole. Deacons & Deaconesses should wear alb and stole (with the stole worn in the deacon style) or a cassock, surplice and stole.
  20. Blessing of Houses: Priests may wear an alb and white/gold stole (with the stole hanging down, not crossed) or a cassock, surplice and scarf/tippett
  21. Copes: Copes may be worn for the solemn celebration of the sacraments outside of the Eucharist and for solemn processions and the formal celebration of the Divine Office.
  22. Bishops: The normal wear of a bishop shall be a cassock with rochet and red chimere, and tippet, although a black chimere may be worn for funerals. A zucatta may be worn, with cope and mitre on ceremonial occasions. In the alternative a Roman style cassock may be worn with a shoulder cape.

The Colours of the Liturgical Seasons

  • White/Gold: The sum of all colours so can be worn at any time. Used particularly for the great feasts of Our Lord, The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Angels, Confessors and Virgins. It is worn during Christmastide and Eastertide. It may also be worn at funerals to symbolise the resurrection.
  • Red: Red as the symbol of fire and blood is worn on Pentecost and on the feasts of martyrs, Palm Sunday and may be worn on Good Friday.
  • Green: Green, the colour of hope, is worn during what the Church calls 'Ordinary Time'.
  • Violet: Violet is the symbol of penitence, humility and longing. It is worn during Lent and Advent and on All Soul's Day and may be worn for funerals
  • Rose: Rose as the symbol of refreshment and joy is traditionally worn on the third Sunday of Advent and the fourth Sunday of Lent.
  • Black: Black is the symbol of sadness and mourning. It may be worn on Good Friday, All Soul's Day, and Funerals . It has become less fashionable in recent years and has largely been replaced in other jurisdictions by violet. The Church will continue to allow its clergy to wear black if they so wish.
  • The minimum required accoutrements for those in Holy Orders would thus consist of:
    • A white/gold stole (because white can be worn at any time)
    • An alb and amice (if necessary), with girdle.
    • A reconciliation stole
    • A white/gold chasuble
    • A cassock
    • A surplice
    • A black scarf/tippett

The Holy Sacraments

The sacraments of the Church are the sacraments of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic church, and are the outward of visible signs of an inward and spiritual Grace.

  1. The sacraments of the New Testament were instituted by Christ the Lord and entrusted to the Church. As actions of Christ and of the Church, they are signs and means by which faith is expressed and strengthened, worship is offered to God and our sanctification brought about. Thus they contribute in the most effective manner to establishing, strengthening and manifesting ecclesiastical communion.
  2. Sacred ministers may not properly deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them.
  3. Because they imprint a character, the sacrament of baptism, and the rites of confirmation and holy orders cannot be repeated.
  4. By Baptism people are freed from sins, are born again as children of God and, made like to Christ by an indelible character, are incorporated into the Church.
  5. Baptism is to be conferred either by immersion or by the pouring or sprinkling of water, with the appropriate words, using any rite that may be approved by the Archbishop. The ordinary minister of baptism is a bishop, a priest or a deacon or deaconess.
  6. In so far as possible, in the case of infant baptism, the person being baptised is to be assigned at least one Godparent. The parents are to choose the Godparents and they can be any baptised Christian of full age.
  7. The priest must carefully and without delay record in the Register of Baptism the names of the baptised, the minister, the parents, the Godparents and the place and date of baptism. He must also enter the date of birth.
  8. The rite of confirmation confers a character. By it the baptised continue their path of Christian initiation. They are enriched with the gift of the Holy Spirit and are more closely linked to the Church. They are made strong and more firmly obliged by word and deed to witness to Christ and to spread and defend the faith.
  9. The rite of confirmation is performed by anointing with chrism on the forehead and by the laying on of the hand of the confirming bishop, and by the appropriate words.
  10. The chrism to be used in the rite of confirmation should have been consecrated by a bishop.
  11. The ordinary minister of confirmation is a bishop. Where it is not expedient or convenient for a bishop to confirm, a priest can also validly confirm at the request of a bishop. In the normal course of events the nominated priest shall be a Canon.
  12. To establish that confirmation has been carried out the names of those confirmed, the bishop, the parents and the place and date of the confirmation are to be recorded in the Register.
  13. The most august sacrament is the blessed Eucharist, in which Christ the Lord is present and received and by which the Church continually lives and grows. The Eucharistic sacrifice, the memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, is the summit and the source of all worship and Christian life. By it the unity of God's people is signified and brought about, and the building up of the body of Christ is perfected.
  14. The ordinary minister of the sacrament of the Eucharist is a Bishop or a priest and where there are a number of such present they may concelebrate.
  15. All baptised and confirmed people are invited to receive Holy Communion. This includes all those from other Christian churches .
  16. The most Holy sacrifice of the Eucharist must be offered in bread, and in wine to which a small quantity of water is to be added. Reception of the consecrated host in the hand is permitted in accordance with Anglican tradition.
  17. In the rite of penance/reconciliation those who confess their sins to a priest, are sorry for their sins and have a purpose of amendment, receive from God, through the absolution given by that minister, forgiveness of sins they have committed after baptism, and at the same time they are reconciled with the church, which by sinning they wounded.
  18. Only a bishop or priest is the minister of the rite of penance/reconciliation.
  19. The anointing of the sick, by which the church commends to the suffering and glorified Lord those who are dangerously ill so that he may support and save them, is conferred by anointing them with oil and pronouncing the relevant words.
  20. The oil to be used in the anointing of the sick is normally blessed by a bishop but in the case of necessity any priest can bless the oil, but it should be blessed in the actual celebration of the rite.
  21. The minister is to anoint with his own hand, unless a grave reason indicates the use of an instrument and using the relevant words.
  22. A bishop or a priest or a deacon or deaconess can validly administer the anointing of the sick.

Holy Matrimony and Family Life

  1. Matrimonial consent is an act of will by which a man and a woman by an irrevocable covenant mutually give and accept one another for the purposes of establishing a marriage.
  2. From a marriage there arises between the two people a bond which of its own nature is permanent and exclusive.
  3. Those who have the care of children have the most serious obligation and the primary right to do all in their power to ensure their children's physical, social, cultural, moral and spiritual upbringing.
  4. Pastoral care must be provided for all who experience divorce. There shall be no impediment to the re-marriage of divorced people provided that the priest is satisfied that such remarriage is not undertaken lightly or without commitment, and after he has made due and diligent enquiry to ascertain the authenticity and godliness of that which is being sought.
  5. A priest can impart blessings, except for those reserved to the bishop. In accordance with the traditional practice of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church throughout the world a deacon or deaconess may bless people, but not objects.
  6. No cleric should attempt to exorcise the possessed without the special and express permission and guidance of a bishop, using the Form of Exorcism provided by the Church. Due to the possible legal ramifications, those undertaking exorcisms are strongly advised to consult the Chancellor in advance for advice.
  7. Ministers of the Church are authorised to conduct a baptism, a marriage, a funeral, or any other service according to the authority of their orders for any Christian person.

Church Buildings & Sacred Places

  1. All the services of the church can be held in any appropriate place, at the discretion of a Minister, church or lay people involved.
  2. Sacred places are those which are assigned to divine worship or to the burial of the faithful by the dedication or blessing provided for this purpose.
  3. It is appropriate that places set aside for the use of a church, oratories and private chapels be dedicated and blessed. The dedication and blessing of a place belongs to a bishop, but may be delegated to another appropriate clergyman if necessary.
  4. Where more than one person gathers regularly for worship, a bishop of the Church can be asked to dedicate the church building and agree a title for it.
  5. If a church regularly uses a place for their worship then such a place can be set aside and can be named after the church that uses it.
  6. An Oratory or a Private Chapel means a place that is set aside for divine worship, for the convenience of one or more individuals. Oratories and Private Chapels may be used for other church and secular purposes when not in use for worship provided such use is of a respectable and Godly nature according with the holiness of the place.
  7. A document is to be drawn up to record the dedication or blessing of a place and retained by the cleric in charge
  8. Sacred places are violated by acts done in them which are gravely injurious and give scandal when, in the judgement of a Bishop, these acts are so serious and so contrary to the holiness of the place that the harm needs to be repaired by means of a penitential rite.
  9. Sacred places lose their dedication or blessing if they have been in great measure destroyed, or if they have been permanently made over to secular usage, whether by decree of a Bishop or simply in fact.
  10. There shall be no impediment preventing the Church using any building belonging to any other Christian group or denomination with the consent of the ordinary authority of that place.
  11. There shall be no impediment preventing any Christian group or denomination using any building under the control of the Church with the consent of the cleric normally in charge of that place.

Financial Matters

  1. The Archbishop shall appoint a suitably qualified person to act as Treasurer for the Diocese. The Diocesan Treasurer shall be responsible to the Archbishop for maintaining the accounts of the central administration. The Diocesan Treasurer shall not be responsible for the accounts of individual clergy and parishes, but will be available to give advice if required.
  2. A bishop, priest, deacon or deaconess may be involved in full time ministry or they may also have secular employment. The Church will make no distinction between the works of stipendiary or non-stipendiary clergy for any purpose. All will be treated as equal.
  3. Offerings given for a specified purpose may be used only for that purpose. In the event that the specified purpose is impossible or is contrary to civil law, the offering shall be disposed of according to any requirements of the civil law. Where there are no such requirements, the matter shall be determined by the priest. In the event of dispute arising amongst the faithful, or between the faithful and their priest, any party may refer the matter to any bishop for guidance, and thereafter to the Chancellor if necessary.
  4. Offerings given for an unspecified purpose may be used, by the one/s to whom it has been given, for whatever good purpose the bishop, priest, deacon or deaconess or church decides. In the ordinary case the priest in charge of any parish or mission shall decide upon the proper distribution of assets. In the event of dispute arising amongst the faithful, or between the faithful and their priest, any party may refer the matter to any bishop for guidance. The bishop may refer the matter to the Chancellor if necessary.
  5. A bishop, priest, deacon or deaconess church must administer goods and finances with due diligence in accordance with the civil law and with integrity.
  6. Clergy should keep records, available for public inspection, of all offerings received and how they were allocated.
  7. A bishop, priest, or CJ can ask for a contribution towards their ministry for the services they take, although such services should not be withheld due to financial considerations. A parish may wish to provide a stipend or expenses for their clergy or make some other financial arrangements according to their own discretion.

Church Discipline & Legal Guidance

  1. The Chancellor, assisted by the Diocesan Registrar when required shall be the legal advisor to the College of Bishops, and the Judge of the Chancellor's Court.
  2. The ordinary officer of the discipline of the Clergy is the Archbishop. This duty will be ordinarily delegated to the Chancellor, sitting as Judge of the Chancellors Court. The Clerk of the Court shall be the Registrar.
  3. In the case of the behaviour of a bishop, priest, deacon or deaconess giving rise to scandal, the Archbishop will arrange pastoral care and advice for all those involved. If the behaviour of a bishop, priest, deacon or deaconess continues to give rise to scandal, despite the pastoral care and guidance provided by the Archbishop, then the Archbishop can issue a public statement disassociating the Church from the behaviour in question, and removing its commendation for those involved, and in the case of a cleric suspending his licence.
  4. If the bishop, priest, deacon or deaconess subsequently desists from the behaviour in question and repents of it and carries out appropriate reparations, then the Archbishop may issue a public statement to that effect and can commend the bishop, priest, deacon or deaconess again to the public and in the case of a cleric can restore their licence.
  5. Where clergy of the Church fall into dispute or uncertainty, either with each other or with their congregations, which dispute cannot be resolved in love between them the matter will normally be referred to a bishop for guidance. If the matter is not then resolved it shall be the prerogative of the bishop to refer the matter to the Chancellor. The Chancellor may give judgment in writing, or in appropriate cases may hear the matter personally. The Chancellor will give advisory judgments to the parties, and judgment on any point of the civil law that arises. The conduct of such matters shall be within the discretion of the Chancellor in accordance with normal accepted legal practice.
  6. Hearings of the Chancellor's Court shall be in public, and legal representation of the parties shall be allowed in accordance with the requirements of open justice and of Human Rights law. Legal representation shall be at the expense of the party employing it.
  7. Right of audience before the Chancellors Court shall be enjoyed as of right by any person on the Roll of Solicitors of any national legal jurisdiction within the church, by any member of any national Bar, and by any Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives. In addition the Chancellor will entertain applications for advocacy rights from any lawyer of any other non-domestic jurisdiction, any Member of the Ecclesiastical Law Society, and any person otherwise trained in advocacy.
  8. Where any member of the clergy is brought before the Chancellors Court for misconduct, such complaint of misconduct may be laid by a parish or by a bishop. In every case the complaint shall be 'Conduct Unbecoming a Clerk in Holy Orders'. The details of the conduct complained of shall then be laid out. Where such complaint is laid by a parish, said complaint must be in writing and must carry the signatures of not less than five parishioners of that parish. Where such complaint is laid by a bishop, the bishop shall make the complaint in writing and sign it. Where such complaint is against a bishop, it shall be countersigned by the Archbishop.
  9. The ordinary prosecutor of a complaint of mis-conduct shall be appointed by the Court from those persons enjoying rights of audience before the court. The advocate so appointed may not be a member of the Church, and must be a demonstrably independent practitioner
  10. The Chancellor may find the cleric complained of 'Guilty' or 'Not Guilty'. Upon a finding of 'Guilty' the Chancellor may formally admonish the cleric, may order limits to be placed upon his licence, may order a period of suspension from his licence, or may order that he be deprived of his Orders. All Orders of the Chancellor except Admonishment are subject to the approval of the Archbishop which will be given in writing no later than fourteen days after the date of the hearing.
  11. Any cleric found Guilty of misconduct may Appeal to the Archbishop within 21 days of the judgment against him. The appeal shall be in writing, stating therein the full grounds of the appeal. The Archbishop will deal with the appeal, and may confirm the Chancellor's findings, or may vary them as he sees fit after due prayer and consideration.
  12. Where any cleric of the Church resigns from the Church and thereafter applies to rejoin the Church, he will not be readmitted until there has been a Chancellor's hearing of his desires and reasons. The Chancellor may hear him in private or in open Court as the Chancellor so directs. The Chancellor will supply his findings and recommendations to the Archbishop who will take any such action upon them as he may determine. No bishop of the church will offer Episcopal oversight to any such person until the Archbishop so directsystem in English Private Law.
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