The Anglican Church is a large religious organization of Christians operating world-wide. The main hierarchy on the basis of which the Anglican Church functions is the Bishop, Priest and the Deacon. The details and definitions of rights and responsibilities of these positions are given below, which will help you understand the hierarchal and organizational structure in a better way.
- Bishop: The Bishop is the member of the Clergy who has been commissioned to oversee the working of the entire church structure and the work of a group of congregations, which is called a diocese. The Bishop has the sole rights to ordain people to the order of priests and deacons. The Bishop also has the rights to ordain another bishop, in the company of other bishops. The Bishop has to be ordained as a priest before ordaining others. They take important decisions of the Anglican Church by conducting regular meetings.
- Priest: The Priest is a member of the clergy of the Anglican Church who has been commissioned to preside at gatherings around the Holy Communion and to extend the assurance of God’s forgiveness to the faithful. A person who is a priest has to be previously being ordained as a deacon and has to continue with the responsibilities of being a deacon even after he has been promoted as a priest. He has to be a deacon as well as a priest at the same time. The priests are also known as presbyters in some quarters.
- Deacon: The Deacon is a member of the clergy of the church who has an authority to proclaim the Gospel and assist the Holy Communion in performing important religious rites at the church. They have to assist in the ministry of service and healing, which is an important part of the Church activities. They have the authority to set an example for the believers and have the responsibility to proclaim the gospels and encourage the Church in its ministries to the community.
- Other Positions: The Other Positions include the Chaplains, who provide help at hospitals and prisons. There are Commissaries who are appointed temporarily in order to fulfill the administrative function of the bishops in absence of the bishop. There is a title called the ‘Canon’ which is an honorary title conferred upon both the members of the clergy as well as the lay people who faithfully serve the church for years together and have set worthy examples to be followed.