I collect prayer books. I've got copies of the Book of Common Prayer dating back to the middle of the Eighteenth Century and all the modern service books that have been approved by the Church of England in recent years. I've checked them all and I cannot find any reference to the new clerical order of "senior priest." This is annoying because it means that I have no definition of what a senior priest is. I know I'm not a senior priest because I've never been ordained as one. I was ordained deacon and then, a year later, ordained a priest. But that's it. I had always assumed that the only other order of priesthood was that of bishop. What is more, these senior priests are very secretive about their ordinations. I know someone who is a canon at Newcastle Cathedral, and I thought we were friends. Obviously not because he never invited me to his ordination to the senior priesthood.

This petty insistence on hierarchy, even within the orthodox orders of the Church, pretty much sums up the attitude of those with the power in the Church of England today. It really used to piss me off the way the Bishop of Newcastle referred to his little caucus of yes men (and one woman who was there to take the minutes) as his "senior staff." It makes a mockery of both tradition and scripture.

"There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus except for the canons of Newcastle Cathedral who are so much better than the rest of you." (Galatians 3:28 "Revised Old School Tie Version")



  1. Perhaps “Senior” is a euphymism for “doddering old fool.”

  2. Power seems to have a way of floating up. When it does that, there must be positions created so people can take advantage of it. Doesn’t take long for a business, school or church to have far too many expensive chiefs for few indians.

  3. Ya know, when you’re in a sewer and you see something floating in the water, you KNOW what it is….. So much for floating upward.