Office of Archdeacon

Pope· Fabian, in the middle of the 3rd Christian Century, established a College of Deacons composed of seven deacons to assist him in the administration of The Diocese of Rome. The number seven is traditionally accorded with the seven deacons of Acts 6:5. This number served as executive officers to the Bishop and was responsible for ensuring discipline and the temporal administration of all ecclesiastical properties. As the need for more charitable assistance increased, the seven Deacons were augmented with another seven titled sub-deacons. The chief of the deacons was called an archdeacon and had a right to succession as bishop before changes were made in the eleventh century.

The 1662 Canons of the Church of England state that an Archdeacon must be a priest who has been ordained for six years. In the Canons of the Church in the Province of the West Indies, a priest must be ordained for five years before they can hold this position.

The Archdeacon in some circles is described as the eyes and ears of the Bishop. They delegate authority to assist the Bishop in matters of liturgical, financial and administrative importance. The official title for this officer is “the Venerable, the Archdeacon of…, and persons hold this office at the Bishop’s pleasure.

The Archdeacon assists the Bishop in their pastoral care and office. The Archdeacon examines and reports to the Bishop upon all plans and work in progress in connection with the building, restoration or alteration of Churches and other buildings that are the property of the Church.

The Archdeacon is expected to visit each parish in their Archdeaconry at least once a year, inspect the registers, minute books and account books, and check the inventory of real and personal property.

The Archdeacon encourages collegiality among all ordained and non-ordained members in his Archdeaconry.

The Archdeacon gives leadership in the implementation of all Diocesan plans and programmes.

The Archdeacon shall see that all such who hold any ecclesiastical office within the Archdeaconry perform their duties with diligence, and shall bring to the Bishop’s attention any matter which calls for correction or merits praise.