In Anglican canon law
, the incumbent
of a benefice
, usually the parish priest
, holds the temporalities
or assets and income.
Depending on the terms of governance of each parish an incumbent might be either:
- a vicar appointed by the bishop of the diocese or
- a rector appointed by a patron with the consent of the bishop
A bishop holding an advowson may also appoint a rector. In addition a bishop may, after a stipulated delay, fill a vacancy if a patron has omitted to do so.
At one time an incumbent rector might choose to enjoy the assets and receive all the tithes of a parish yet appoint a curate
to discharge all the spiritual duties of the office at a lesser salary.
The incumbent has legal possession of the church
for the term of his office, but shares with the churchwardens the responsibility for them.
A parish priest who does not receive the temporalities and would then not be the incumbent would be a priest in charge
or bishop's curate
Institution and induction
In the Church of England, an incumbent is admitted to office by institution and induction as provided in Canons C10 and C11. The bishop
reads the sealed document of institution, committing the care or 'cure' of souls to the priest who kneels before the bishop and holds the seal; the bishop then instructs the archdeacon
to perform the induction, which is done by placing the hand of the priest on the key or ring of the door and reciting a formula of words. The priest advertises his... Read More