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A deanery (or decanate) is an ecclesiastical entity in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, the Evangelical Church in Germany, and the Church of Norway. A deanery is either the jurisdiction or residence of a dean.
In the Catholic Church, Can.374 §2 of the Code of Canon Law grants to bishops the possibility to join together several neighbouring parishes into special groups, such as vicariates forane, or deaneries.
Each deanery is headed by a vicar forane, also called a dean or archpriest, who is—according to the definition provided in canon 553—a priest appointed by the bishop after consultation with the priests exercising ministry in the deanery. Canon 555 defines the duties of a dean as:
Additionally, the dean must follow the particular norms of the diocese. Canon 555 also particularly mentions that a dean must visit the parishes of the district in accord with the regulations made by the diocesan bishop.
In the Church of England and many other Anglican churches a deanery is a group of parishes forming a district within an archdeaconry. The more formal term, rural deanery, is less often used, though the superintendent of a deanery is the Rural Dean. Rural deaneries are very ancient and originally corresponded with the hundreds. The title "dean" (Latin decanus) may derive from the custom of dividing a hundred into ten tithings. In medieval times rural deans acted as officers of the diocesan bishop, but archdeacons gradually took over most of their duties. However, the office was revived during the 19th century. Modifications to deanery boundaries may be made according to the provisions of the Archdeaconries and Rural Deaneries Act of 1874 (37 & 38 Vict., cap. 63).
The deanery synod has a membership of all clergy who are licensed to a parish within the deanery, plus elected lay members from every parish. They were established in the 1970s.
The term is also often used to refer to the house, or official residence, of the dean of a cathedral. The term is also used to apply to the ecclesiastical districts of Jersey and Guernsey, which are Royal Peculiars and whose deans hold a status more nearly equivalent to an Archdeacon than a rural dean.
In the Episcopal Church, deaneries are synonymous with convocations and are headed by deans.
Deaneries also exist in the Eastern Orthodox Church, where they are subdivisions of a diocese.
A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest, often termed a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates, and who operates from a parish church. Historically, a parish often covered the same geographical area as a manor. Its association with the parish church remains paramount.
A synod is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word synod comes from the Greek: σύνοδος [ˈsinoðos] meaning "assembly" or "meeting" and is analogous with the Latin word concilium meaning "council". Originally, synods were meetings of bishops, and the word is still used in that sense in Catholicism, Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not. It is also sometimes used to refer to a church that is governed by a synod.
A vicar is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior. Linguistically, vicar is cognate with the English prefix "vice", similarly meaning "deputy". The title appears in a number of Christian ecclesiastical contexts, but also as an administrative title, or title modifier, in the Roman Empire. In addition, in the Holy Roman Empire a local representative of the emperor, perhaps an archduke, might be styled "vicar".
An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in the Syriac Orthodox Church, Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, St Thomas Christians, Eastern Orthodox churches and some other Christian denominations, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. In the High Middle Ages it was the most senior diocesan position below a bishop in the Catholic Church. An archdeacon is often responsible for administration within an archdeaconry, which is the principal subdivision of the diocese. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church has defined an archdeacon as "A cleric having a defined administrative authority delegated to him by the bishop in the whole or part of the diocese." The office has often been described metaphorically as that of oculus episcopi, the "bishop's eye".
A vicar general is the principal deputy of the bishop of a diocese for the exercise of administrative authority and possesses the title of local ordinary. As vicar of the bishop, the vicar general exercises the bishop's ordinary executive power over the entire diocese and, thus, is the highest official in a diocese or other particular church after the diocesan bishop or his equivalent in canon law. The title normally occurs only in Western Christian churches, such as the Latin Church of the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. Among the Eastern churches, the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Kerala uses this title and remains an exception. The title for the equivalent officer in the Eastern churches is syncellus and protosyncellus.
The ecclesiastical title of archpriest or archpresbyter belongs to certain priests with supervisory duties over a number of parishes. The term is most often used in Eastern Orthodoxy and the Eastern Catholic Churches and may be somewhat analogous to a monsignor in the Latin Church, but in the Eastern churches an archpriest wears an additional vestment and, typically, a pectoral cross, and becomes an archpriest via a liturgical ceremony.
The hierarchy of the Catholic Church consists of its bishops, priests, and deacons. In the ecclesiological sense of the term, "hierarchy" strictly means the "holy ordering" of the Church, the Body of Christ, so to respect the diversity of gifts and ministries necessary for genuine unity.
A dean, in a church context, is a cleric holding certain positions of authority within a religious hierarchy. The title is used mainly in the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic Church, and many Lutheran denominations. A dean's assistant is called a subdean.
The Diocese of Chester is a Church of England diocese in the Province of York covering the pre-1974 county of Cheshire and therefore including the Wirral and parts of Stockport, Trafford and Tameside.
In the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion as well as some Lutheran denominations, a rural dean is a member of clergy who presides over a "rural deanery" ; "ruridecanal" is the corresponding adjective. In some Church of England dioceses rural deans have been formally renamed as area deans.
The Very Reverend is a style given to members of the clergy. The definite article "The" should always precede "Reverend" as "Reverend" is a style or fashion and not a title.
The Anglican ministry is both the leadership and agency of Christian service in the Anglican Communion. "Ministry" commonly refers to the office of ordained clergy: the threefold order of bishops, priests and deacons. More accurately, Anglican ministry includes many laypeople who devote themselves to the ministry of the church, either individually or in lower/assisting offices such as lector, acolyte, sub-deacon, Eucharistic minister, cantor, musicians, parish secretary or assistant, warden, vestry member, etc. Ultimately, all baptized members of the church are considered to partake in the ministry of the Body of Christ.
In the Roman Catholic Church, a parish is a stable community of the faithful within a particular church, whose pastoral care has been entrusted to a parish priest, under the authority of the diocesan bishop. It is the lowest ecclesiastical subdivision in the Catholic episcopal polity, and the primary constituent unit of a diocese. In the 1983 Code of Canon Law, parishes are constituted under cc. 515–552, entitled "Parishes, Pastors, and Parochial Vicars."
In 1983 the Catholic Church introduced the possibility of entrusting the pastoral care, of one or more parishes to a team of priests in solidum. This provision in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which resembles ancient models of pastoral care in the Roman titular churches with their colleges of priests, was introduced to help resolve some of the difficulties facing many dioceses. These difficulties include shortages of priests, overpopulated urban parishes, depleted and scattered rural parishes, and decline in attendance at Mass. This model of pastoral care is viewed as a practical way of promoting pastoral co-responsibility, as well as fostering a greater sense of the presbyterium among the priests of a diocese.
Precedence signifies the right to enjoy a prerogative of honor before other persons; for example, to have the most distinguished place in a procession, a ceremony, or an assembly, to have the right to express an opinion, cast a vote, or append a signature before others, to perform the most honorable offices.
The Archdeacon of Ashford is a senior office-holder in the Diocese of Canterbury. The Archdeacon of Ashford is an Anglican priest oversees the Archdeaconry of Ashford, which is one of three subdivisions of the diocese. The first incumbent was Philip Down, who was collated Archdeacon of Ashford on 13 March 2011 and who retired effective 15 October 2017. The second and current archdeacon is Darren Miller, who was collated on 13 January 2018.
A rector is, in an ecclesiastical sense, a cleric who functions as an administrative leader in some Christian denominations. In contrast, a vicar is also a cleric but functions as an assistant and representative of an administrative leader.
Julian Tudor Henderson is a British Anglican bishop. Since 2013, he has been the Bishop of Blackburn, the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Blackburn in the Church of England. From 2005 to 2013, he was the Archdeacon of Dorking in the Diocese of Guildford.
Robert Wilfrid Springett is a British Anglican bishop. He has served as the Bishop of Tewkesbury since his consecration as a bishop on 30 November 2016. He previously served as the Archdeacon of Cheltenham in the same diocese from 2010.
Innocent Uchechukwu Ordu is a Nigerian Anglican bishop.