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chaplains seems now to depend on common law only. The number of the royal chaplains, also of the honorary chaplains, was fixed by Order of 1860. The Chaplain of the House of Commons is appointed and removed at the will of the Speaker. Military chaplains are governed by a special code of rules, being under the supervision of a Chaplain-General to the Forces. In 1868 an Act was passed (31 & 32 Vict. cap. 83) which removed many military chapels from parochial control. Navy chaplains are also under separate regulations. Chaplains to gaols are regulated by stat. 28 & 29 Vict. cap. 126. The chaplain of a poor law union is, as such, under the complete control of the Local Government Board, by whose order he may be removed; and, his appointment having been confirmed by the Bishop, he is not within the jurisdiction of the incumbent of the parish in which he ministers. The chaplain of a lunatic asylum is licensed by the Bishop, but he is to a large extent under the sole control of the board of visitors of the asylum. Chaplains to cemeteries, although appointed (with the Bishop's approval) by the cemetery authorities, are more fully under the jurisdiction of the Bishop, by whom alone they can be removed. (10 & 11 Vict. cap. 65, sec. 27.)

Church Building and Extension Acts. Omitting mention of many statutes passed in the last century for building churches in London and other populous places, the first Act of general importance was 58 Geo. 3, cap. 45, of which however many of the clauses have been much affected by the long series of later enactments. Under stat. 8 & 9 Vict. cap 70, sec. 15, the incumbent of a parish out of which a district shall have been formed under the Act of Geo. III. may resign as to such district, whereupon the latter becomes a perpetual curacy and benefice. New parishes may now be formed by the Eccl. Commissioners under 6 & 7 Vict. cap.

37, amended by 19 & 20 Vict. cap 104, the latter enactment being designed to render new parishes more perfect and self-contained. All the offices of the Church may be performed in new parishes created under these Acts.

The perpetual curate or incumbent of a modern parish, if entitled to the surplice fees, may now be styled "Vicar," and his house a "Vicarage," under stat. 31 & 32 Vict. cap. 117. It would be impossible to enumerate, much less to explain, the many and complicated enactments which relate to the building of churches and division of parishes. They are summarised in Cripps, and in Phill. Eccl. Law (Part IX.)

Church Officers.

The Churchwarden and the Sidesman are considered elsewhere, under those headings: as also the Parish Clerk.

The sexton (or sacristan) is keeper of the church and its contents, and of the churchyard. The incumbent and churchwardens have the joint nomination of the sexton, unless a special custom can be proved under which the rector alone, or churchwardens alone, or the parishioners, can claim the appointment. In many of the rural parishes this office is united with that of parish clerk, which may the more readily be done since the latter is little required where an organ is in use. There were very few organs when Canon 91 prescribed a knowledge of singing as a qualification for the parish clerk. Now an organ is a proper if not an absolutely requisite ornament of a church. A faculty should be obtained, and the cost provided for, before the organ is put up. When the organ is erected (and for this the consent of the parishioners is not absolutely necessary) the instrument and the organist are alike under the sole control of the incumbent. Even where the organist is appointed and paid by the vestry, he cannot play at any time contrary to the

wish of the incumbent. (Wyndham v. Cole, 1 P. Div. 130). The churchwardens may charge a salary for the organist in their accounts. (Phill. Eccl. Law 928.) Choirmen, and other assistants (if any), are equally with the organist under the rule of the incumbent. The beadle seems to be the especial officer of the vestry. (2 Steph. Comm. 701.)


These were for centuries levied for the purpose of providing funds for the expenses of the fabric and services of the church, until it was decided, in the Braintree Case, that a majority of the parishioners duly assembled in vestry might lawfully refuse to levy any rate. It then became evident that this source of income was no longer to be relied on as before; and the disputes which raged in several parishes led to the passing of the Act of 1868 (31 & 32 Vict. cap. 109), which put an end to the compulsory levy of church-rates. A large mass of legal learning thus became obsolete.

Although a rate cannot now be enforced by legal process, it may be, and in many cases ought to be, made as of old. Not only will many parishioners comply readily, but trustees are (by the Act referred to) authorized to pay their assessments out of the trust funds in their hands. Sect. 8 of the Act recognises very justly that those who refuse to contribute have no claim to vote or to object. Having regard to the terms of this Act, and to the special circumstances of the parish, the incumbent and churchwardens must now in each case consider and decide whether to have recourse to a voluntary church-rate, or to rely on the offertory, or on subscription lists, or any other sources of income which may be available. If they have no funds in their hands, that fact will absolve them from payment of fees on the archdeacon's visitation. (Veley v. Pertwee, L. Rep. 5 Q. B. 573.)


This office is so fully considered in the 'Churchwarden's Guide,' that only a brief sketch is here called for.

Two churchwardens are supposed to be elected at the Easter vestry by the incumbent and parishioners jointly; but in practice one is named by the former, and the other by the people. In some parishes there are special customs as to the election of churchwardens: but the general law is so firmly established that it will not be set aside even by a new local statute, unless the language of the latter is explicit. (Green v. Reg., 1 Ap. Ca. 513.) At the Easter vestry the outgoing churchwardens should present their accounts, which should be then audited and approved


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The furniture and fittings of the church, and all its ornaments" are for many purposes vested in the churchwardens, and are placed in their charge; but the incumbent has the control over them and over the keys of the church. (Cripps, 181: Ritchings v. Cordingley, L. Rep. 3 A. & Eccl. 113.) A churchwarden has no right to seize and remove an ornament or decoration, although the same may not have been legally placed in the church. (Durst v. Masters, 1 P. Div. 373.) One of the chief duties of a churchwarden is to preserve order during divine service; and for this end he has authority to remove any disturber. The Act to which recourse is now had for the repression of offences of this kind is 23 & 24 Vict. cap. 32, under which any person guilty of riotous, violent, or indecent behaviour in church, may be apprehended, and summarily punished by fine or imprisonment.

The churchwarden is justified in asking any stranger clergyman who may officiate to produce his letters of orders. With regard to his own parish and its incumbent, he is at liberty to "present" or complain to the Bishop of any irregularities, want of repair, &c.

Under the P. W. R. Act, sentation to the Bishop.

1874, he may make a repreVide DISCIPLINE.

The register book of marriages is supposed to be in the legal custody of the churchwardens, not of the incumbent; and it is their duty to enter therein marriages, even when celebrated in private houses by special license. (Phill. Eccl. Law, 821.)


It is well known that the freehold of the churchyard is in the incumbent, subject to the ancient rights of parishioners. The incumbent is entitled to the grass or other produce of the churchyard; but he ought not to cut down trees, except for repairs of church, parsonage, or outbuildings. (Cripps, 448.) Can. 85 and 88 direct the churchwardens to see to the fences and the condition of the churchyard, and to prevent any desecration of the same.

Every parishioner has the right of burial for any member of his family in the churchyard. But the incumbent may choose the spot; and he has a discretion as to the tombstone or memorial to be erected, and the inscription to be placed thereon. This discretion is subject to review in the Ecclesiastical Court, the latest case being that of Keet v. Smith (Owston Ferry Case), where the incumbent objected to an inscription, and was supported in his objection by the Bishop's Court and the Court of Arches; but on appeal the inscription was allowed. (1 P. Div. 73.)

No parishioner can require an interment without the usual religious service: and with this service the incumbent cannot dispense, unless in one of the three excepted cases. Vide BURIAL.

According to the old law, the incumbent may graze his sheep in the churchyard; but if he do so, he may reasonably be expected to keep the churchyard in good order, seeing that no compulsory rate can now be levied for any such purpose.

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