Canon Law

Recognised and licensed ministry in the Anglican Church of Australia includes:

  • Lay Pastoral Ministers
  • Lay Liturgical Ministers
  • Ordained Deacons and Priests
  • Bishops, called from among the ordained priests
  • Missionary and evangelist

Ordination as Deacon or Priest means being set apart by the Bishop to be a:

  • Missionary and evangelist
  • Minister of the sacraments
  • Pastor and leader
  • Visible focus for the local Christian community as part of the wider Church

The Diocese of Perth has adopted the Canon Concerning Holy Orders 2004 (Canon No. 10, 2007) which sets out some fundamental criteria around ordination and should be carefully noted by all prospective candidates. It is not possible for any provision of Canon Law to be altered or waived, nor considered negotiable or flexible in any way

Age

4.   (1)       Subject to sub-section (2)–

(a)    a person shall not be ordained deacon unless the person is at least 23 years of age;
(b)   a person shall not be ordained priest unless the person is at least 24 years of age.

(2) The Metropolitan of the Province in which the ordination of a deacon occurs or, where the ordination occurs in an extra-provincial diocese, the Primate, may, for reasons which seem to the Metropolitan or the Primate appropriate, dispense with the provisions of sub-section (1)(a).

Deacons

5.   (1)       A person shall not be ordained deacon unless on good and credible evidence the authorising bishop is satisfied that the person –

(a)    has been baptised; and
(b)    is a confirmed communicant member of this Church or has

(i)     been received into this Church under the Reception Canon 1981 or any other law of this Church providing for the reception of persons into this Church; or
(ii)    been received into a Church in communion with this Church under a law of that Church corresponding to the Reception Canon 1981 or a law of that Church providing for the reception of persons into that Church; and

(c)    has a firm conviction of a calling by God to minister in Holy Orders as a deacon; and
(d)   is of good character, as testified by a person specified by the authorising bishop; and
(e)   is an active member of this Church or of a Church in communion with this Church and has been for no less than one year; and
(f)    has completed appropriate training in theological and ministerial formation; and
(g)    has a sufficient knowledge of Holy Scripture; and
(h)   has a sufficient knowledge of and accepts the doctrine, discipline and principles of worship of this Church; and
(i)     has a sufficient knowledge of the forms of worship of this Church;  and
(j)     has demonstrated the physical and mental capacity to minister.

(2)       A person shall not be ordained deacon unless the authorising bishop is satisfied that the person has been designated to receive an appointment as a deacon in this Church in accordance with the Constitution and ordinances of this Church and the ordinances of the relevant diocese and Province.

(3)       Notwithstanding sub-section (1)(e), a person–

(a)    who has been ordained minister of another Christian Church; and
(b)    of whom the authorising bishop is satisfied in respect of the other requirements of sub-section (1) – may be ordained deacon.

Priests

6. (1)       A person shall not be ordained priest unless on good and credible evidence the authorising bishop is satisfied that the person–

(a)    is a deacon of this Church; and
(b)    has ministered satisfactorily as a deacon for not less than 9 months or, for reasons satisfactory to the authorising bishop, for such shorter period as the authorising bishop approves; and
(c)    has a firm conviction of a calling by God to minister in Holy Orders as a priest; and
(d)    is of good character as testified by a person specified by the authorising bishop; and
(e)   has completed appropriate training in theology and ministerial formation; and
(f)     has a sufficient knowledge of Holy Scripture; and
(g)    has a sufficient knowledge of, and accepts, the doctrine, discipline and principles of worship of this Church; and
(h)    has a sufficient knowledge of the forms of worship of this Church; and
(i)     has demonstrated the physical and mental capacity to minister.

(2)       A person shall not be ordained priest unless the authorising bishop is satisfied that the person has been designated to receive an appointment as a priest in this Church in accordance with the Constitution and ordinances of this Church and the ordinances of the relevant diocese or Province.