Tuesday, 21 July 2009

canon fodder

Spent an enjoyable hour this morning at Bishop’s Court being licensed as a non-residentiary Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral by Bishop John. The licensing took place during Morning Prayer in Bishop John’s chapel and Revd David Banting was also licensed. David and I helped lead a CYFA venture together back in 1988. I was pleased that my friend and colleague Canon Roger Matthews was able to attend along with Lydia Gladwin, Chris Newlands (the Bishop’s Chaplain) and Bishop Daniel,the Bishop of Kirinyaga, Kenya (link diocese with Chelmsford). It was a real privilege as this is the second to last official engagement before +John’s retirement; the final event will be the installation of Canon Martin Webster as Archdeacon of Harlow on Sunday evening.

I heard last Saturday that my Canon’s stall in the Cathedral will be St Mellitus, which is fitting as I’m on the staff of St Mellitus College. Somewhat relieved as Roger ended up with Queen Maud when he became a Canon. The installation in the Cathedral will be 24th August when I hope friends and family will be able to come along. I’ve been asked what is involved in being a Canon and the answer is not a lot! I get to hand over £20 a year, attend a dinner, an afternoon tea and a Canons’ day with lunch. Other onerous tasks include guarding the statutes of the Cathedral and being locked in the Cathedral with the other Canons to elect the new Bishop of Chelmsford. In the Church of England, when a diocesan bishop retires, moves to another diocese or dies, the monarch will summon the Greater Chapter to elect a successor. This election is ceremonial as the monarch also tells the members of the Greater Chapter whom to elect. If members of the Greater Chapter fail to attend they are declared to be contemptuous, so I've been warned. I understand that each Canon is given a Psalm which they are supposed to say every day; wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up with Psalm 119, though being a drummer I’d quite like Psalm 150.

canon5 The Declaration of Assent


The License

canon3Phil Ritchie, Bishop John, Bishop Daniel, David Banting

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