View Full Version : Titles for Anglican Clergy?

02-24-2013, 11:08 PM
I've been able to find lots of resources for what lay people should call different levels of Anglican clergy, and I assume that clergy lower in the hierarchy would use these same titles to refer to those higher up, but I'm having trouble figuring out how someone higher up would refer to someone lower down.

More precisely, I have an Anglican bishop meeting with a recalcitrant parish priest. It's a sort of disciplinary meeting, so I want things to be more formal than friendly. Would the bishop call the priest Mr. Webber? Father Webber? (this is an Anglo-Catholic style church, so the priests do go by 'Father'). First name seems too casual, but maybe not - how much contact would a bishop have with a fairly junior parish priest?

Thanks for any help with this. The story's set in Canada, but I'd be happy to hear Anglican conventions from wherever, including those pesky Episcopalians who can't stick to the regular name for themselves!

King Neptune
02-25-2013, 12:00 AM
Why don't you call your local Anglican church?

02-25-2013, 09:16 PM
My educated guess would be that it would be "Reverend [Surname]" if the context were formal. Not sure "Father" would be used unless the bishop himself were a particularly strong Anglo-Catholic; in my experience, it's rare for an entire diocese to be so strongly Catholic that it's used across the board.

On the other hand, I could see a bishop using a priest's first name in this kind of formal context to subordinate him (as he'd speak to a child, or perhaps to avoid honouring his official title).

02-25-2013, 09:34 PM
I always thought that it is a general rule that everyone who outranks you is 'Father' and everyone who is lower than you is 'Son.' So the Bishop would call Father Webber 'my son' just as he would a layman. In a letter he would use 'the Right Reverend,' which is the normal term of formal address for Anglican clergy.

02-27-2013, 01:42 PM
Not sure about Father and Son, but Right Reverend is definitely reserved for bishops. Your bog-standard Anglican priest is just Reverend.

02-27-2013, 06:33 PM
oh, I thought bishops were 'very reverend.'