The Anglican Independent Communion – Worldwide

The Anglican Independent Communion Worldwide was created to promote a Traditional Anglican Communion, as handed down by the preceding generations of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of England; by adhering to the orthodox Christian faith, through witness and service to the community, in this age of religious liberalism, and secular decadence.

This Communion will offer sanctuary to the frightened and vulnerable in our society, regardless of background, and offer the hope of salvation to the disenfranchised and ex-communicant from other denominations within our society; through friendship, fellowship, and by offering material assistance to those in need.

It will be the duty of all clergy and laity, within the Church to visit and befriend the young and old, the needy and vulnerable, the homeless, the sick and the sinner, the dying, and to whomever is perceived as needing the comfort of a listening ear, and a helping hand, regardless of status, colour, class or creed.  And from whomever there is a call for help.

By means of practised faith and Christian witness, the Church will build-up worshipping and supporting congregations from which, and through the receipt of external charitable bequests, the Church will create and establish centres of administration, accommodation, and worship throughout the continent of Europe and clergy in other countries who support our vision and ministry, to promote and facilitate its programme of commitment and service, to the wider community; through faith, and within its published Canons.

THE CANONS AND STANDING ORDERS 

Introduction and Preamble

We the Most Reverend Doctor Norman Sydney Dutton, by the Grace of God and Divine Permission Archbishop of the above jurisdiction, after prayer and deliberation, in consultation with our advisors, herewith promulgate the following Canons and Standing Orders for the good order and governance of the Church this First day of May in the Year of Our Lord 2008.

Structure & Communion

1. These are the Canons of the Anglican Independent Communion – Worldwide, a totally independent communion of Churches and Clergy committed to, and follow the Anglican traditions in doctrine and worship, and herein after referred to as “the Church”.

2. The Archbishop and the College of Bishops shall govern the Church.  During any vacancy in the office of Archbishop the College of Bishops shall discharge all the duties of the Archbishop until a successor has been elected, installed and enthroned in his stead.

3. The College of Bishops shall in the event of a vacancy in the office of Archbishop convene an Electoral College to choose a new Archbishop from amongst their number.  Each Bishop shall be entitled to a single vote; the Archbishop shall be elected on a first past the post ballot system.  When elected by the majority of his peers the Archbishop shall be Installed and Enthroned at an early opportunity in accordance with the established customs of the Church.  At the time of his election the length of his initial term of office shall be determined and on the completion of the said term, he may be re-appointed for a similar period of time, at the end of his second period in office, he shall however not be eligible for re-election, but will then and then only be given the honorary title of Archbishop Emeritus.  An Archbishop Emeritus shall be entitled to retain his seat in the College of Bishops and to speak on any subject but will not have any voting rights.

4. The Church will be in Full Communion with all Churches of like Faith and Doctrine especially with the Continuing Anglican Churches throughout the world.

5. 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.

6. 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 Bishops, Priests and Deacons, 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. No Bishop or Priest of the Church will con-celebrate the Eucharist with a woman priest or bishop of any other jurisdiction whatsoever.

Holy Orders & Lay Ministry

11. 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 Bishops, Priests and Deacons handed down to us from the earliest times.

12. According to the traditions of the earliest church, no woman shall be ordained into any state of Holy Orders.

13. The ancient non-sacramental Order of Deaconess shall be preserved, and it shall be open to the Archbishop to appoint any woman of devout character and proved fitness, to the 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 five years, and until she shall have laid before the Archbishop testimonials showing that she is a communicant of the church in good standing, and that she possesses such characteristics as, in the judgment of the persons testifying, fit her for the duties of that office.  No woman shall be recognised as a Deaconess until she has been ‘Set apart’ for the office by a Bishop, at a special service prescribed for that purpose, as approved by the Archbishop.

14. In addition, the duties of Archbishop, Vicar General, Chancellor, Theologian, Secretary, Treasurer, Registrar, Director of Vocations 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.

15. The appointments of Secretary, Treasurer, Chancellor and Registrar shall be open to the Laity.

16. 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 (from the beginning).

17. There shall be no compulsory retirement age for any office holder within the Church, clergy or lay; all appointments shall be ad vitam, sed quamdiu se bene gesserit (for life unless indisposed by ill health).

18. 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.

19. Bishop will carry the title The Right Reverend, and will customarily be addressed as Bishop (Christian name).

20. Priests will carry the title The Reverend, and will customarily be addressed as The   Reverend or Father (Christian name).

21. Deacons will carry the title The Reverend and will customarily be addressed by their Christian name.

22. Deaconesses will carry the title Deaconess and will customarily be addressed by their Christian name.

23. A Priest holding the appointment of Vicar General or Dean of Theology shall carry the title of The Very Reverend, and will otherwise be customarily addressed as a priest.

24. A cleric other than a Bishop holding a Diocesan appointment as a Secretary, Treasurer, and Director of Vocations etc shall at the discretion of the Archbishop carry the title The Reverend Canon in addition to any other distinctions.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. The Registrar 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.

28. 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.

29. It shall be open to the Archbishop to confer such traditional honorary titles as he sees 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 members of the clergy in recognition of special service or other worthy contribution.

30. All titles of honour except that appertaining to the Chancellor-ship and the appointment of 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 at his absolute discretion, to confer the title Emeritus on former holders of the office after long and distinguished service to the Church.

31. 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 (Hon) D.D., (Hon) Th.D., (Hon) D.Min., (Hon) D.C.Mus., (Hon) D.C.L. etc.  They will be granted at 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.

32. Where the needs of the Church require and ministers are not available and only at the request of a Bishop when appropriate, lay people may 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.

33. 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 affidavit before a Magistrate or a Commissioner for Oaths, that they have been baptised and confirmed, giving such information as they are able.

34. In order correctly to confer the Orders of Priesthood or Deaconate, 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.

35. 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.

36. 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.

37. 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.

38. 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 Deaconate and the Priesthood.  The Deaconate may be conferred only upon those who have completed their twenty-third year of age.

39. Any person over the age of fifty-five years, believing that he has a genuine call to the ministry of God’s word may apply to a Bishop, to have his vocation tested and, subject to a favourable outcome, and with the approval in writing of the Archbishop may be ordained as a Permanent Deacon.  And in that capacity be appointed to assist a Priest in his own locality.

40. Clergy who have been ordained already according to the traditions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church can be incardinated into the Church.  If they wish to be incardinated into and licensed for their ministry then they should apply to the Archbishop, who will admit them, or not, at his absolute discretion, subject to any conditions that he may lay down.  Clergy from other churches who have not been Episcopally Ordained, or who are unsure whether they have been ordained in a valid Apostolic Succession may choose to have the Sacrament of Orders conferred or conferred conditionally (sub-conditione).

41. An Ordination is to be celebrated during public Holy Communion.  The minister of sacred ordination is without exception a Consecrated Bishop.

42. After an ordination, the names of the individuals ordained, the name of the ordaining Bishop, and the date and place of ordination are to be entered into a Register of Services.

43. The ordaining Bishop is to give to each person ordained Priest or Deacon an authentic certificate of the ordination received.  Such document is normally referred to as Letters of Orders.  It must contain the date and place of ordination, and a statement that it took place during a public celebration of Holy Communion and the seal and signature of the ordaining Bishop.

44. It is usual though not essential for the principal consecrating Bishop at an Episcopal Consecration to have at least two other Bishops with him.  However, where this is not practicable, letters from those who would wish to co-consecrate will be accepted in absentia.

45. 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.

46. All Bishops have the power to ordain Deacons 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.

47. No Bishop within the Church can consecrate another Episcopal candidate within the Church without the consent and participation of the Archbishop.

48. No Bishop will take part in the consecration of anyone as a Bishop in any other jurisdiction without the consent of the Archbishop in writing.

49. No Bishop will take part in the ordination of a woman as a Deacon or Priest, or the consecration of a woman as a Bishop in any other jurisdiction.

50. 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.

51. 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.

52. 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.

53. In the Church, a parish is not limited by geographical boundaries; 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 office of teaching, sanctifying and serving with the cooperation of other Priests or Deacons, and with the assistance of lay members of Christ’s faithful.

54. 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.

55. A Priest is to strive to ensure that Christ’s faithful are nourished by the devout celebration of the Sacraments.

56. So that the Priest may fulfil his office of pastor, 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.

57. 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.

58. 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.

59. 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 Sacraments of Reconciliation, Penance and Confession, the anointing of the sick and the imparting of the Apostolic blessing, the conduct of marriages and the nuptial blessing, the conduct of funerals, the celebration of the Eucharist.

60. 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 all entries are accurately made and that the registers are carefully preserved.

Clerical Dress (with advice to the Clergy)

61. 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.

62.   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.

63. Ordinary clerical dress consists of a shirt and a clerical collar.  Shirts may be either 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 or Violet shirts are only worn by Bishops.  Shirts of rainbow colours for the clergy are not acceptable.  Clerical collars may be of the Roman type or inserted type as may be most convenient.

64. Clergy may also wear cassocks as part of their ordinary clerical dress and traditionally the cassocks was not worn over any other clothes but was considered as a garment in its own right.  Cassocks are worn in liturgical celebrations; particularly choir Offices when they are worn with a surplice, scarf/tippet, and academic hood where applicable.  The ordinary colour of a cassock for the clergy is black, a black cincture and cape may also be worn.  Cassocks come broadly in two different 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.

65. Clergy who serve in a Bishop’s ‘household’ (for example as secretary or chaplain) may wear a Roman Purple cincture.  Any Vicar General, Archdeacons, Deans 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.

66. 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.

67. 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.

68. 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 1960s but has been retained in some other Catholic jurisdictions.

69. 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 in position with the ends of the cincture or 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.  Deacon’s stoles are worn over the left shoulder with the ends tied on the right hip.  The stole is the symbol of the authority of the Priesthood / Deaconate.  The colour of the stole will usually match that of the liturgical season.

70. 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 God, which ‘covers all things’.  It derives from the normal outdoor wear during the time of the Roman Empire.

71. 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.

72. The ordinary wear of the Deaconess shall be a white or pale blue blouse or shirt with a clerical collar, and dark blue or black skirt or trousers.  Where a skirt is worn it shall cover the knees in the standing position.  Liturgical wear shall be a white alb with girdle.  The girdle may be the colour of the liturgical season or plain white.  A Deaconess may also wear a specially designed collaret with a small pectoral cross attached to its point.  The collaret may also match the colour of the liturgical season.  Deaconesses will not normally wear the cassock and surplice, which are reserved solely for male clerical wear.

73. Male Licensed Lay Readers when appointed and commissioned shall wear the cassock and surplice and a readers blue scarf / tippet.

74. When the 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 the Sacraments can be celebrated without vestments but, if possible, a reconciliation stole should be worn.

75. Baptism: Priests may wear an alb and white stole (with the stole hanging down, not crossed) or a cassock, surplice and scarf / tippet.  Deacons should wear alb and stole (with the stole worn in the Deacon style) or a cassock, surplice and scarf.

76. Reconciliation / Penance / ‘Confession’: In a formal context the Priest should wear a cassock and a purple stole.  In an informal context a stole will suffice.  Small reconciliation stoles (which are double-sided white / purple) are available and Priests should carry one around with them at all times in case they are required to administer the Sacraments in an emergency.

77.  Marriage: Priests may wear an alb and a white 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.

78. Sacrament of the Sick / Extreme Unction:  Priests may wear an alb and purple stole (with the stole hanging down, not crossed) or a cassock, surplice and stole.  In an emergency the reconciliation stole alone will suffice.

79. Funerals: Priests may wear either an alb and a black or purple 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 Deacons style) or a cassock, surplice and scarf / tippet.

80. Blessing of Houses: Priests may wear an alb and white stole (with the stole hanging down, not crossed) or a cassock, surplice and scarf / tippet.

81. 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.

82. 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.

83. The Colours of the Liturgical Seasons

  • White: The sum of all colours so it 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’.
  •  Purple: Purple 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 some jurisdictions by Purple.  The Church will continue to allow its clergy to wear Black if they so wish.

84. The minimum required accoutrements for those in Holy Orders would thus consist of:

  • A White Stole (because white can be worn at any time).
  •  An alb and amice (if required), with girdle.
  • A Reconciliation stole.
  • A White chasuble.
  • A Cassock.
  • A Surplice.
  • A Black scarf / tippet.

The Holy Sacraments

The Sacraments of the Church are the Sacraments of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and are the outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual Grace.

85. 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.

86. Sacred ministers may not properly deny the Sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them.

87. Because they imprint a character, the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders cannot be repeated.

88. By Baptism people are freed from sins, and are born again as children of God and, made like Christ by an indelible character, and are incorporated into the Church.

89. Baptism is to be conferred either by total immersion or by 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, Priest or a Deacon, but may in cases of emergency be carried out by a Deaconess, a Lay Reader or any confirmed member of the Church.

90. In so far as possible, in the case of Infant Baptism, the child being baptised shall be assigned at least one Godparent.  The parents are to choose the Godparents and they can be any baptised Christian of full age.

91. The Priest must carefully and without delay record in the Register of Baptism the full names and date of birth of the baptised, the minister, the parents, the Godparents and the place and date of the baptism.

92. The Sacrament 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.

93. The Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred by anointing with chrism on the forehead and by the laying on of the hands by the confirming Bishop, and by the appropriate words.

94. The chrism to be used in the Sacrament of Confirmation should have been consecrated by a Bishop.

95. The ordinary minister for the Confirmation is a Bishop.  Where it is not expedient or convenient for a Bishop to confirm, a Priest can also validly confer this Sacrament at the request of a Bishop.  In the normal course of events the nominated Priest should be a Canon of the Church.

96. To establish that Confirmation has been conferred the full names of those confirmed, the Bishop, the parents and the place and date of the Confirmation shall be recorded in the Register of Confirmations.

97. 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 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.

98. 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.

99. All Baptised and Confirmed people are to be invited to receive the Holy Communion.  This should include all those from other Christian denominations the only requirement being a love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

100. The most Holy sacrifice of the Eucharist must be offered in bread, and in wine to which a small quantity of water has been added.  Reception of the consecrated host in the hands is permitted in accordance with the Anglican tradition.

101. In the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation those who confess their sins to a Priest, and 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.

102. Only a Bishop or Priest is the minister of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.

103. 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 Holy Oil and pronouncing the relevant words.

104. The Holy Oil to be used in the anointing of the sick is normally blessed by a Bishop but in the case of necessity any Priest may bless the oil, but it should only be blessed during the celebration of the Sacrament.

105. The minister is to apply the anointing oil with his own hands, using the relevant words.

             If for some very special medical reason it is indicated that anointing by hand would be inappropriate then and then only may an anointing spoon be used.

106. A Bishop, Priest or a Deacon can validly administer the Sacrament of the anointing of the Sick

Holy Matrimony and Family Life

107. 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 purpose of establishing a marriage.

108. From a marriage there arises between the two people a bond which of its own nature is permanent and exclusive.

109. 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.

110. Pastoral care must be provided for all who experience divorce.  There shall be no impediment to the remarriage of divorced people provided that the Priest is fully 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.

111. 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 may bless people, but not objects.

112. No cleric should attempt to exorcise the possessed without the special and express permission and guidance of the Archbishop, using only the Form of Exorcism provided and approved by the Church.  Due to the possible legal ramifications, those undertaking any form of exorcisms are strongly advised to consult the Chancellor in advance for advice.

113. A Bishop, Priest or Deacon of the Church is available to conduct a Baptism, a Marriage, a Funeral, or any other service according to the authority of their orders.

114. In the case of a marriage service in England and Wales, they may only take place in a building, which has been properly licensed for that purpose by the local authority and only then in the presence of an authorised person (the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths).  Marriage blessing services following a civil ceremony may however take place at any convenient location.

115. The Church does not under any circumstances recognise the civil partnership ceremonies, which take place between homosexual males or lesbian females.  Clergy members found to have attended or given a blessing at such ceremonies will be subject to a disciplinary hearing in the Chancellor’s Court, which will ultimately lead to their expulsion from the Church.  There will be no right of appeal against such decisions.

Church Buildings & Sacred Places

116. All the services of the Church can be held in any appropriate place, at the discretion of a Bishop, Priest, Deacon, church or lay people involved.

117.  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.

118. It is appropriate that places set aside for 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.

119. Where more than a single person gathers regularly for worship, a Bishop of the Church can be requested to dedicate the church building and agree a title for it.

120. If a Church regularly uses a building as a place for their worship then such a place can be set aside and can be named after the Church that uses it.

121. 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 that such use is of a respectable and Godly nature according with the holiness of the place.  Such buildings that may be available could include, Village Halls, Cemetery Chapels, Scout Headquarters, Social Clubs, etc, or a room which has been set apart for the purpose within a private house.

122. A document is to be drawn up recording the dedication or blessing of the place, which must be retained by the Priest in charge.

123. 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.

124.

125. 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.

126. There shall be no impediment preventing the Church from using any building belonging to another Christian group or denomination with the full consent of the ordinary authority of that place.

127. There shall be no impediment preventing any Christian group or denomination using any building owned by or under the control of the Church with the consent in writing setting out the agreed terms and conditions of the usage, from the cleric normally in charge of that place.

Financial Matters

128. The Archbishop shall appoint a suitably qualified person to act as Treasurer for the Archdiocese. The Treasurer shall be responsible to the Archbishop for maintaining the accounts of the central administration.  The Treasurer shall not be responsible for the accounts of individual clergy and parishes, but will be available to give advice if required.

129. A Bishop, Priest or Deacon may be involved in full time ministry or 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.

130. Offerings given for a specified purpose may be used only for that purpose.  In the event that the specified purpose is impossible to achieve or is contrary to civil law, the offering shall be returned to its donor or 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 a dispute arising amongst the faithful, or between the faithful and their Priest, any party may refer the matter to a Bishop for guidance.  The Bishop may if he feels the necessity refer the matter to the Chancellor.

131. Offerings given for an unspecified purpose may be used, by the ones to whom it has been given, for whatever purpose the Bishop, Priest, Deacon 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 a Bishop or the Archbishop for guidance.

132. A Bishop, Priest, Deacon or Church must administer goods and finances with due diligence in accordance with the civil law and in accordance with good accounting practices.

133. Clergy shall keep records, available for public scrutiny, of all offerings received and how they were allocated.  A copy of the annual accounts shall be sent each year after being audited by either a professional auditor or a suitably qualified member of the Church to the Treasurer of the Archdiocese.

134. A Bishop, Priest or Deacon can ask for a contribution towards their ministry for the services that they take, although such services should not be withheld due to financial considerations.  A parish may wish to provide a stipend or assist with the expenses for their clergy or make some other financial arrangements according to their own discretion.

Church Discipline and Legal Guidance

135. The Chancellor, assisted by the Registrar when required shall be the legal advisor to the College of Bishops, and Judge of the Chancellor’s Court.

136. The ordinary officer of the discipline of the clergy is the Archbishop.  This duty will be normally delegated to the Chancellor, sitting as Judge of the Chancellor’s Court.  The Clerk of the Court shall be the Registrar.

137. In the case of the behaviour of a Bishop, Priest or Deacon giving rise to scandal, the Archbishop will arrange pastoral care and advice for all those involved.  If the behaviour of a Bishop, Priest or Deacon 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.

138. If the Bishop, Priest or Deacon 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 or Deacon again to the public and in the case of a cleric can restore his licence.

139. 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 his judgment in writing, or in appropriate cases may hear the matter personally.  The Chancellor will give his advisory judgements to the parties involved, and judgement on any points 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.

140. Hearings of the Chancellor’s Court shall be open to the public, and legal representation for the parties involved shall be allowed in accordance with the requirements of open justice and of Human Rights law.  Legal representation shall be at the personal expense of the party employing it.

141. Right of audience before the Chancellor’s 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.

142. Where any member of the clergy is brought before the Chancellor’s 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 a parish lays such complaint, the said complaint must be in writing and carry the signatures of not less than five parishioners of that parish.  Where a Bishop lays such a complaint, the Bishop shall make the complaint in writing and sign and seal it.  Where such a complaint is made against a Bishop, it shall be countersigned and sealed by the Archbishop.

143. 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 must not be a member of the Church, and must be a demonstrably independent practitioner.

144.  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.

145. 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.

146. Where a 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 desire 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 directs.

Child Protection Policy

Experience has shown that churches, church organisations and religious groups are often an open target for those with paedophilic tendencies, and therefore a high level of awareness and protection must be exercised by those individuals who work with children, young people, and vulnerable adults, and to whom is entrusted their exercise, teaching or training.

It is the responsibility of this Church to ensure that where any member; ordained or lay, is involved in any capacity with the young or vulnerable in our society, that adequate safeguards are in place to protect those placed in his or her charge from physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.  And also to put in place good practise to protect our members so engaged, from criticism, insinuation, or false accusation.

The guidelines below set out the Church’s child protection policy, for those working on their own, or in groups, with children and young people.  For the purposes of this policy, a child or young person is deemed to be under the age of eighteen years.

The Church is committed to supporting, and training those who work with children, and providing some form of supervision and accountability, even though its sources are limited.

It is the responsibility of the Bishop’s to ensure that every person working with children in his area receives a copy of this policy, before starting to work with children, and that they are fully aware of its contents; and are prepared to accept its recommendations without any reservations.

General Requirements and Recommendations

1. Criminal Records Searches.  In the current social climate of Britain, it has become necessary that those working with children or vulnerable people have an exemplary behavioural history.  To this end, it is required that those intending to work with children, produce an appropriate and up-to-date enhanced CRB Certificate, not a copy, which has been seen and validated by his or her Bishop, or by the Child Protection Office of the Church, before authorisation is given to engage in that activity of ministry.

2. Good practice with colleagues.  Clergy and lay-workers should encourage an atmosphere of mutual support and care which allows the open discussion of inappropriate attitudes and behaviour, and their prompt resolution.  Concerns regarding actions that may be misconstrued should be sensitively relayed back to the person or persons concerned, and if they are a cause for serious concern, relayed to the Bishop immediately, for investigation and action.

3. Touch.  Touch is an important aspect of human relationships and Christian ministry, but those working with children and young people should be sensitive to what is appropriate, and what is not, both in general terms and in relation to particular individuals.  Ministers and workers should always be alert to situations developing either around themselves or their colleagues, however well intended, that could be misconstrued by those in their charge, or by others, which could lead to difficult situations, or damaging accusations.

4. Time alone.  Time spent alone with any child or young person should be avoided or minimised.  If it is absolutely necessary to be alone with an individual, ensure that a colleague, parent, or some other responsible adult is informed of the situation, where you will be, and why.  If possible always avoid being alone with a child, i.e., behind a closed door, or in another room.  Always try to be in full sight of another adult.

5. Giving lifts.  Try to avoid giving lifts to children or young people unless accompanied by another adult.  And never without the permission of their parents or guardians, (even in an emergency).  If children are alone, you must insist that they sit on the back seat of the car and that they wear a seat belt.  The drivers must ensure that his or her insurance policy covers both the vehicle and passengers fully.

Group activities involving children and young people

All Bishops, Clergy and Lay helpers in the Church who work with groups of children and young people, whether regularly or occasionally, are subject to the following:

1. Health and safety awareness when working with groups.  A responsible adult must take responsibility to ensure that places where activities are taking place, are open in good time, to ensure that the members of the group are not left standing around outside unattended, and also to ensure that children under the age of eleven are collected at the end of a meeting by parents or guardians, or some other responsible adult who has been authorised to collect a specific child.

No child should be allowed to go home on their own unless satisfactory arrangements have been agreed between the parents and the group supervisors, and a full risk assessment has been carried out.

All leaders must know the location of the nearest available working telephone, or be in possession of a fully charged and working mobile phone, that is capable of sending and receiving messages at the geographical location of the group’s activity.

All adults working with a group of children on any particular day, must know the exact location of the nearest fire extinguisher, and know how to use it if required.  The extinguisher must be in good working condition, and be certificated to that effect, by the maintenance contractor of that equipment.

Smoking is not permitted in the vicinity of children, on any activity, indoors or outdoors.

Children must produce a signed parental consent and health form before being admitted to any residential or hazardous activity, and the leaders when going off-site must take these forms with them.

All accidents and incidents must be recorded in an accident book.  Any actions taken must also be recorded by the supervisor, and signed by the group leader.

A suitable first-aid kit must be available in any premises used by young people and children, and all adult assistants must know its exact location.

No medication must be administered, including plasters, bandages, disinfectant wipes, creams or lotions, without the prior written consent of the parents, such information must be included on the parental consent and health form.

2. Administration of group activities.  An up-to-date Register, recording the names of children, their parents, addresses, and contact telephone numbers, and attendance record, must be kept.  Other useful information regarding allergies and medical conditions, and history, if relevant, should also be annoted in the Register.  The person in charge of the group will be responsible for its safekeeping, and ensuring that it is readily available, and accessible in case of an emergency.

3. Adult to child ratio.  The suggested ratio of leaders to children for all organised activities is listed below:

  • 0-2 years – 1 leader to every three children  (1:3)
  • 2-3 years – 1 leader to every four children   (1:4)
  • 3-8 years – 1 leader to every eight children  (1:8)
  • Over 8’s  – 1 leader to the first eight followed by one to twelve  (1:12)

These guidelines should be adhered to, unless in exceptional circumstances, or in an emergency situation: i.e. if a child’s life is endangered.

Regardless of the above, no group no matter how small should have less than two adult leaders.  If through illness or incapacity this cannot be achieved, the parents must be notified immediately.

4. Insurance.  One should never assume that any building hired for children’s group       activities are adequately insured.  If in any doubt consult the insurance providers prior to holding any planned event.  The Church does not supply insurance cover for any activities, and will not accept any responsibility for the members or their helpers negligent actions.

5. Money.  Any money that is collected by way of subscriptions, or for specific outside activities, must be properly accounted for, the account books must be made available for inspection by the Church Treasurer, or the group supervisor when requested.

6. Volunteers.  Volunteers may only work under the supervision and direction of the Group Leader, after the receipt of a satisfactory CRB check by the Bishop or the Child Protection Officer.  Volunteers under the age of eighteen, must never work unsupervised, and must be given clear guidance and support at all times.

7. Casual Visitors.  Casual Visitors may not have access to the children entrusted to the group without the presence of an adult who is deemed responsible for the group.  If there is any doubt about the bona fides of any casual visitor, he or she must be asked to leave immediately, and appropriate action taken if they refuse, or delay their departure.  This may involve calling the police for assistance.

8. Communicating with parents.  Parents and guardians must be clearly informed about all the activities that are planned for the group, and of any alternative plans, should inclement weather etc. cause the abandonment of the proposed activity.  It must not be assumed that parents have given permission for their children to take part in these activities even if they are fully aware of them.  Always check that permission has been given, in writing.  Formal risk assessments should be completed for all activities, and previous records of risk assessments should be made available for parents to view, as a matter of course.

9. Management advice and instructions.  All children and young people must be treated with the respect and dignity befitting their age.  Special attention must be given to language, tone of voice and use of the body.

Leaders and helpers must not engage in any of the following:

  • Invading the privacy of children when they are showering or toileting.
  • Rough, physical or sexually provocative games.
  • Making sexually suggestive comments about or to a young person even in fun.
  • Inappropriate and intrusive touching of any kind.
  •  Any scapegoating, ridiculing, or rejecting a child or young person.
  •  Leaders and helpers must control and discipline naughty children without using physical punishment.
  •  No child or young person should be involved in excessive attention seeking that             is overtly sexual or physical in nature.

No child or young person may be invited to a leader’s home on his or her own.  Only a group may be invited.  The leader must ensure on any such occasion that another adult is in the house at the time, and that the parents know where their children are, and the purpose of any such a meeting.

A leader must not under any circumstances share sleeping accommodation with any children or young people if a group is taken away.

Use of Liturgical Materials

The Liturgical Commission of the Church have approved the following list of Service Books and Holy Bibles, which may be used, however it is strongly recommended that the 1662 version of the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Version of the Holy Bible should be used during Public Worship.

It is intended that by reference to this list our ministers will have ready reference to what might be considered normal usage in worship.  Of course, the study of theology is another matter, and a serious student will read widely amongst many other versions of the Scriptures, and many different historic and current liturgical texts

Approved

  • The English Missal.
  • The First English Prayer Book (1549).
  • The Book of Common Prayer (1662).
  • The Book of Common Prayer (1928).
  • The Australian Prayer Book (1978).
  • The Independent Anglican Church (Canada Synod)
  • Book of Common Prayer (1989).
  • The P.E.C.U.S.A. Book of Common Prayer (1928).
  • The Tyndale Bible (1534).
  • The Authorised King James Bible (1611).
  • The Amplified Bible (1958).
  • The Revised English Bible (1989).
  • The Third Millennium Bible (1998).
  • The New King James Version Bible (2002).
  • Any Services Books specifically published by the Church.

Limited Approval 

Limited approval is given for the use of the following three editions, which may be found helpful when preparing special services which are not covered by the Book of Common Prayer, i.e. Blessing of Palms, Maundy Thursday, Passion Narratives, Easter Garden, Carol Services, Remembrance Services etc. Lent, Holy Week and Easter

  • ISBN 07151370500
  • The Promise of His Glory (All Saints to Candlemas) ISBN 0715137387.
  • They shall grow not old  (Liturgies for remembrance)

Not Approved

The following list are the versions of the Bible and Service Books, which are not approved for Public Worship:

  • Common Worship.
  • The Alternative Service Book (1980).
  • The Good News Bible.
  • The Revised Standard Version Bible (1946 – 1971).
  • The New Revised Standard Version Bible.
  • The New International Version Bible.
  • The New English Bible (1961).
  • The Jerusalem Bible.

Amendments to the Canons and Standing Orders

1. The Canons and Standing Orders of the Church may only be amended or otherwise modified by the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of the membership of the College of Bishops pursuant to due notification in writing giving full details of the proposed amendment or modification.

2. In the event of any subject not being covered by these Canons and Standing Orders, the Archbishop may after due consultation with the College of Bishops of the Church      promulgate such new Standing Orders, as he shall deem necessary to cover the situation, providing always that such standing orders are not inconsistent with the published Canons of the Church.