In Clarence's Time - Mr. Bicknell or the Rev. Bicknell?

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

Graham Avery writes...

"Clarence was active as a pastor, even after he gave up his work in the Church.

"I use the expression 'gave up his work in the Church' because it's misleading to say that he 'left the Church'. He didn't send a letter to the Bishop resigning his post at Bordighera; he didn't need to since, like his predecessors, he was appointed for one season.

"A person ordained as a priest continues to be 'in holy orders' unless the Church expels him, which as far as we know was not the case for Clarence. The canon law of the Church of England says that "No person who has been admitted to the order of bishop, priest, or deacon can ever be divested of the character of his order" though the Church has processes to allow clergy (by own volition or otherwise) to cease to function in the role, see article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defrocking#Anglicanism

"One should therefore consider Clarence after 1879 as a priest of the Church of England without ecclesiastical function - in fact, he was still entitled to be addressed as 'The Reverend' though evidently he didn't want that. "