Canon

A canon is either residentiary, with duties in his/her 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.

The address is as for other clergy. Canons are referred to in traditional form as ‘The Reverend Canon John May’ and in less formal circumstances and speech as ‘Canon May’.

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.

How to Address a Canon

The recommended style of address is as follows:

Beginning of letter Dear Canon (or Dear Canon Smith)
Envelope The Rev Canon John Smith
Verbal address Canon (or Canon Smith)
Description in conversation The Canon (or Canon Smith)

 

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