Episcopal direction


Baptisms and confirmations
  • The liturgical colour will be: baptism (white), confirmation and baptism (white), confirmation only (red).
  • For confirmation, Bishop John will stand or sit, according to parish custom. Candidates must bear a name tag he can easily read.
  • The Paschal Candle will be lit and available for baptism but not confirmation.
(Pastoral letter, 2009)

Bishop's Clergy Conference
These annual gatherings are a time for full-time and permanent part-time clergy to be together in prayer, laughter, sacraments, and learning.
(Pastoral letter, 2009)
In addition, the Bishop convenes Clergy Days, generally in May and November, with a featured presenter.

Clergy weddings
  • Clergy planning to marry will plan their wedding in a manner of their own choosing.
  • If clergy would like Bishop John to perform the wedding or otherwise take part, he would be delighted.
  • If it is a second marriage, clergy are required to meet with Bishop John first prior to making any arrangements.
(Pastoral letter, 2009)

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Common cup

Concelebration (when two or more clergy celebrate the Eucharist together)
Unless it is a matter of celebrating the unity of the church, for example when the Bishop concelebrates with the newly ordained, concelebration should be avoided. On those rare occasions when it occurs, the principal celebrant only will read the prayer and engage manual acts.
(Pastoral letter, 2009)

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My roster of parish visits often doesn't match with the time that a parish may have candidates ready for confirmation. Every Pentecost, I am scheduled to be present as the celebrant and preacher at the Cathedral. It is my intention, each year at Pentecost, to offer the sacrament of confirmation at the morning liturgy. Any candidate in the diocese, and their clergy, will be welcomed at this liturgy. And, recognizing the importance of this sacrament for our candidates and their parishes, it is my hope that each parish will do all they can to ensure "Sunday coverage" so that our candidates will have their own priest present at the liturgy for presentation, prayer and support.
(Crosstalk column, March, 2011)

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Departing incumbents - protocol
All departing incumbents will help their previous parish understand priestly function and responsibility as they prepare for transition, help your previous faithful parishioner to contact their new incumbent-make the introductions, and behave as a friend not a pastor where you have developed a friendship that goes beyond a pastoral relationship. Your task is to help a previous parishioner develop a relationship with their new priest. Please honor your colleagues by observing a respectful transition when you have been called to a new parish or to retirement.
(Pastoral letter to clergy, 2011)

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Healthcare concerns and liturgical practices

The practice and ministry of hospitality should be a standing item on the parish council agenda. Visitors should be greeted and spoken to when visiting our parishes.
(Pastoral letter, 2009)

Two options for services of induction are available in the book of occasional services and now one within the context of Evening Prayer (text appended to Pastoral Letter 3). Every effort should be made to avoid the appearance of the congregation handing over their ministry to the new priest. This is a service of the whole church, it does not belong to the incumbent or parish corporation.
(Pastoral letter to clergy, 2011)

Only those items that typically symbolize the ministry and leadership of the ordained will be presented: water, bread and wine, bible, keys, oils, prayer books, CBRs.
  • The new incumbent will
  • put together and print the liturgy
  • wear choir habit or alb and stole and with cope or chasuble if it is the custom
  • join in the procession but be seated in the front pew until the time of induction
  • concelebrate the Eucharist with the Bishop or the Archdeacon.
(Pastoral letter, 2009)

Interim clergy
The function of interim clergy is predominantly liturgical except for those duties agreed by the priest and the parish corporation. If the vacancy requires a longer than usual interim, they are named "Priest in charge" and hold, temporarily, the same authority as an incumbent. Interim clergy or priests in charge may under no circumstances "apply" for the position of incumbent of the parish.
(Pastoral letter, 2009)

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Licensed Lay Reader
In a diocese like ours, comprising of many small multipoint rural parishes, an effective ministry could not occur without the valued assistance of a dedicated group of lay readers. It is very clear to me that anyone offering himself or herself... must be prepared to participate in the training pattern laid down in the manual. This means attending training workshops and classes that will be provided from time to time. (Lay Reader's Manual, 2008)

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Open table (Communion to the nonbaptised)
The House of Bishops unanimously reaffirms that the Eucharist is the sacrament for the baptized. They also recognize that this is a practice that cannot nor should not be "policed" in any way. This position should be articulated clearly as the teaching of the church by our leadership. It is not appropriate for parish leaders to invite the nonbaptised to receive Holy Communion in writing or public spoken announcements.
(Pastoral letter to clergy, 2011)

Participation in the Holy Eucharist
All visitors who have been baptized with water, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are welcome to share the Holy Eucharist. Many visitors who receive the Eucharist in our church find in it the means to strengthen their life within the Christian family.

Performance reviews
Evaluations are a normal requirement of the Diocese of Ottawa, arranged by Archdeacons. Clergy who must defer the exercise are required to follow up. Clergy must complete an annual evaluation before being considered for moves or to receive salary increases above cost of living.
(Pastoral letter, 2009)

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Regular pastoral visitations to parishes are a principal responsibility and delight of our Bishop. As the chief pastor of the diocese, he is coming home when he arrives at your door. These visits, therefore, should be both business-as-usual and a special occasion in the life of the parish. This guideline sets out his expectations and requests for that homecoming.

In advance
  • at least four weeks in advance, please send correctly spelled names, and dates of baptism for confirmation candidates, to the Episcopal Office, for the preparation of certificates
  • discuss any changes to the usual liturgy (see below)
  • send the Episcopal Office the church's GPS-friendly street address
  • confirm any post-liturgy social event or meeting you wish Bishop John to attend

The day of the visit
  • Bishop John will attend the parish's main liturgy.
  • He will arrive no less than 30 minutes before the service, in time to go over the liturgy with the parish clergy, musicians, and acolyte. He will make any necessary alterations, and meet as many parishioners as possible before the celebration.
  • He will gladly take time to greet and be with children before, during or after the liturgy.
  • As a general rule, he will remain for any planned social event, Q & A, or time with Council and Wardens.

He requests when he arrives:
  • the incumbent be present and prepared for the day
  • an acolyte be present and assigned to help him with crozier, books and mitre throughout the liturgy
  • he be introduced to parish members as Bishop Chapman or Bishop John.

Mrs. Catherine Chapman generally accompanies Bishop John and is grateful when there is someone to greet her, guide her to a seat, introduce her to a few folks, and perhaps see she is not seated alone.

The liturgy of the day
  • The service of Holy Eucharist from the Book of Alternative Services is expected, unless previously discussed and arranged.
  • The Proper of the Day will be used even in the event of baptism or confirmation, including readings from the revised common lectionary, unless previously discussed.
  • The incumbent will announce hymns, set the Altar, read the Gospel, do the ablutions, and make any necessary parish announcements at the usual time. Bishop John will celebrate and preach.
  • The liturgical colour of the day will be used, with these exceptions: baptism (white), confirmation and baptism (white), confirmation only (red).

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