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People often ask, or have their own opinion, on the Duties of the Vicar, His duties are laid down in what is known as “Canon Law” of which there are many.
Firstly the Vicar is the Bishop’s representative in the parish he is inducted to. His principle duty is “The cure of souls therein”.
To expand this, his responsibility is for the conduct of Divine Service to be said or sung all Sundays and other principal feast days as well as on Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday. In addition to services prescribed by law there is also a general duty to administer the sacraments and other rites (including baptisms, marriages and funerals) as occasion requires, also a sermon must be preached at least once each Sunday. He can also celebrate Holy Communion when visiting the sick of the Parish including those outside the parish but on the electoral roll.
There are many other canons he must obey but are not for this letter. His other duties include the instruction of children and adults for the preparation and presentation to the Bishop for confirmation, visiting particularly of the sick and infirm and providing parishioners with “Spiritual guidance and advice”. It is the duty of the Incumbent to convene the annual church meeting and to act as chairman. He is also the chairman of the P.C.C. and is responsible for convening its meetings. The allocation of any money collected in church falls upon the incumbent acting jointly with the P.C.C.
He also has to conform to Canon Law regarding dress for all the various services and responsibility for the smooth working of the Ministry Team.
As can be seen the Vicar has a very full time calling in carrying out his duties. So when you are next asked “What does the Vicar do” please remember he is human too.
Yours in Faith,
Don Poole, Churchwarden