Unless otherwise stated, deans, provosts, archdeacons, canons and prebendaries should be addressed formally in writing as ‘Very Reverend Sir or Madam’, and the letter concluded ‘I have the honour to remain, Very Reverend Sir or Madam, your obedient servant’ or ‘Yours sincerely’.
Women have been ordained into the Church of England since 1994. On 14 July 2014 the General Synod gave final approval for women to become bishops in the Church of England.
Titled Members of the Clergy
Ordained clergymen of the Church of England, and other churches within the Anglican Communion, do not receive the accolade of knighthood, though the letters signifying an order of knighthood are placed after a name (for example, ‘The Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Brompton, KCVO’). If a clergyman succeeds to a title or has a courtesy title or style, the ecclesiastical style precedes the temporal, eg ‘The Venerable Sir John Garrick, Bt’; ‘The Reverend the Hon John Brewer’.
Doctorate degrees are added on the envelope where appropriate.
Armed Forces and The Clergy
When it is desired to show that a clergyman has served in the armed forces – in a list of retired officers, for example – the following form is used: ‘The Reverend Nicholas Swallow, Commander, Royal Navy’.
Use of the Forename
In reference to a member of the Anglican clergy or in starting a social letter or in speech, use the forename in place of initials.
‘The Reverend’ is often abbreviated to ‘The Rev’, although some clergymen prefer it to be written in full; others prefer the abbreviation ‘The Revd’. Where a personal preference is known, it is courteous and advisable to follow it. When referring to an Anglican clergyman in letters or in speech, never use the form ‘The Reverend Hays’ or ‘Reverend Hays’ – this is an American style. If the forename or initials are unknown, use ‘The Reverend Mr/Mrs/Miss Swallow’ instead.