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PA Gareth Fuller
PA Gareth Fuller
UK News

A Right Reverend debate as C of E discusses ditching titles

by Donna Birrell

The Church of England's General Synod is to hear a motion calling for titles such as Reverend to be dropped.

The motion is being tabled at the July meeting by Rev James Dudley-Smith, a vicar from Somerset who says the titles lead to a greater culture of deference within the church.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse found that a culture of deference towards clergy was a factor in cases of abuse within a church context. It described a form of clericalism leading to people believing that the moral authority of clergy was beyond reproach.

Titles within the Church of England have been used for centuries depicting a hierarchical structure. They include Reverend, "Venerable" for an Archdeacon, "Very Reverend" for a Dean, through to   "Right Reverend" for a Bishop and the "Most Reverend" for an Archbishop.

The title ‘Reverend’ derives from the Latin, describing a person who should be held in reverence. 

The meeting of the July Synod takes place between 9th and 12th July and will be held online once again due to Coronavirus restrictions.  


 

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