An archdeacon is a senior clergyman, appointed by the bishop, whose duty it is to supervise his fellow clergy and to administer part of a diocese, hence his/her territorial designation. As well as pastoral duties, archdeacons are in charge of the fabric of parish churches and their contents.
In the case where an archdeacon is a female, substitute ‘Madam Archdeacon’ for ‘Archdeacon’ and ‘Mr Archdeacon’. An invitation sent to a married archdeacon who is a woman would be inscribed ‘Mr Lisle and the Archdeacon of Exeter’.
After retirement, an archdeacon is addressed as for other clergy, ie ‘The Rev’ instead of ‘The Venerable’, unless he/she remains a canon or prebendary, or is appointed to emeritus rank, when he/ she is addressed accordingly. The word ‘emeritus’ is only used in official documents.
How to Address an Archdeacon
The recommended (social) style of address is as follows:
|Beginning of letter||Dear Archdeacon (or Dear Mr Archdeacon)|
|Envelope||The Venerable The Archdeacon of Exeter|
|Description in conversation||The Archdeacon (of Exeter)|