A Canon is either residentiary, with duties in his Cathedral, or honorary. The latter role is usually given to incumbents with a record of honourable service in the diocese.

A Minor Canon is a cleric attached to a Cathedral or Collegiate Church to assist the daily services.

How to Address a Canon

The recommended (social) style of address is as follows:

Beginning of letter Dear Canon (or Dear Canon Smith)
End of letter Yours sincerely
Envelope The Rev Canon John Smith
Verbal address Canon (or Canon Smith)
Invitation The Rev Canon John Smith
Joint invitation* The Rev Canon John and Mrs Smith
Description in conversation The Canon (or Canon Smith)
List of Directors or Patrons Canon John Smith
Place card Canon John Smith

*Note: Traditionally, invitations to a married couple, when sent to their home address, are addressed to the wife alone, with both names being inscribed on the invitation card. It has become increasingly acceptable, however, to address the envelope with both names.

How to Address a Retired Canon

After his retirement he is addressed as other clergy, unless he is appointed a Canon Emeritus, when he is addressed as previously.  The word "emeritus" is only used in official documents.



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