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Old 10-06-2012, 05:58 PM
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Tyburn Tyburn is offline
Angry @ Injustice!
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: England
Posts: 17,097

Interestingly enough, almost all Proper Clergy positions at Cathedral Level are Crown Appointments. Bishop and Archbishop Consecrations, and Translations, Cathedral Deans, and even Residential Canons of the Cathedral Chapter are Crown Appointments.

I am uncertain about Prebendary Canons, but, frankly, I wouldnt be suprised if they have to have the Queens seal of approval also

Sometimes the Cathedral Charters will actually spell out for example how big a Chapter can be. At Saint Paul's Cathedral, Ironically, the Chapter was always Three Residential Canons...When Lucy Winkett was a Minor Canon and was Installed as a Residential Canon, The Dean wanted to keep her, which is most unusual and unorthodox...usually she would be a Canon at another cathedral...

I think there was an aggreement that if the Dean be allowed to Keep Lucy as a Canon, a Fourth Residentiary Canon had to also be appointed. Its like Canon Warner was the consequence for the Deans insistance that the Cathedral keep Lucy

So there was an amendment that the Chapter would have Four Residentiary Canons, a Treasurer, a Chancellor, a Precentor...and "A Pastor" its like he was thought up in a rather uninspired rush.

But not all Chapters have Four and sometimes they have others, Canon Theolgian for example...or many have whats called a Sub-Dean. To make matters even more complex...some Cathedrals will say some positions like Precentor for example, is important enough to be a Canon, and some will say its only important enough to be a Minor Canon.

In my knowledge of Cathedrals, the hierachy somewhere must include a Dean, a Succentor and a Precentor at the very least. This is because you need someone to lead, someone to service plan, and someone to be incharge of music. But you dont really need a Sub Dean...or a Theologian, or a Chancellor...and you can pass the post of Treasurer, and Sacrist, onto people who are not ordained.

I suppose the actual Charter specifics will depend entirely on the circumstances at the time the city was given its charter and responded by building a Cathedral. The changes along the way being political circumstances...many of which will probably have occured in the early 2000s when finally the Church decided that its Clergy had to retire, and that no new Canons could be given life Tenure...YES, originally, these people appointed to these positions were there until they died...thats why they had to be crown theory, they could be incontrol of cathedrals for decades...and only ever replaced when they die

around the Millenial Year the church decided that these posts would be Tenures, Five Years for a Minor Canon, Between Eight and Ten Years for a Residential Canon...and that Cathedral Deans and Prebendary Canons and Bishops, they had to be gone by retirement age....The Archbishops were given ten year tenures, which they could choose to continue with as long as they wanted until they either died, or had to retire.

But before 2000, at least for the Cathedrals, these people, once appointed, sat for ever. Now when they changed it, many of the Chapter of Saint Paul's freely chose to be did nearly all Prebendaries.

One exception was Chad Varah...who was the founder of the Samaritans. One day I turned up early in the morning to open the Cathedral, and there was this old man with a zimmer frame at the doors who said he wanted to come in and pray...of course I let him...but after the early services, I could see him...and then discovered he was sat in a prebendal stall in the Quire...which is not permitted to visitors...So I kindly asked him to leave, and that he was not allowed to sit in the Quire ...and he told me it was his stall... He was old...and...I wasnt sure if he was all compus I let him be as he wasnt causing any harm...he just sat there. Finally when another older verger came in, they were able to inform me that he really was a Preb and because he was so old, he still owned the stall from a time when the Prebs had life tenure. The chair was his, until he gave it up, or died, whichever came first.

Chad Varah, sat, unmovingly in his Stall the ENTIRE day...for about Eleven Whole Hours. He was waiting for the doors to open at 7ish...he was still sitting in the Quire at mid day mass....and, bless him, he couldnt find his way back to his stall when he got up to receive...he couldnt remember which seat was we made sure he sat back in the right place. Then he was still there for Choral Evensong...soooo we got him dressed up, and he processed in, with his squeaky Zimmer frame and all.

He stayed in the seat until we were ready to close...and then he said he was going now. My Friend told me he had decided to give up his seat at long last, and he said "now he will probably go home and die"

I dont think Chad Varah ever came back to Saint Paul's Cathedral...and he died not too long afterwards This was in 2004 when he also left the Samaritans organisation, upset that they had changed what he felt was their fundemental reason for being. He fell ill and died about two years later aged 96. He was the oldest Prebendary Canon of Saint Paul's...some say he had to be one of the oldest people in the entire church of England not to have either died at an earlier age or been forced to retire.

I shall never forget that day.
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