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before a competent court (9)) within two years after the commission of the offence, but when the same offence is subsequently repeated, the time runs from the last offence; and in a case where there has been a conviction at common law, the time is six calendar months from the date of the conviction (1). It is to be observed that this Act does not prevent any person from instituting as voluntary promoter any suit which, though in form criminal, shall have the effect of asserting a civil right, nor does it prevent the archbishop from citing clerks under 23 Hen. 8, c. 9 (sect. 19). But no criminal suit or proceeding against a clerk in holy orders for any offence against the laws ecclesiastical shall be instituted in any ecclesiastical court, otherwise than is provided in the Act (sect. 23). This does not affect proceedings for penalties under the statutes, nor proceedings under the Public Worship Regulation Act, and nothing in the Act contained is to be construed to affect any authority over the clergy of their respective provinces or dioceses, which the archbishops or bishops of England and Wales might, at the date of the passing of the Act, according to law, exercise personally and without process in Court (sect. 25). It has, however, been decided that this clause does not preserve any power of depriving summarily which the bishops may have possessed at the time of the passing of the Act (i). (See OFFENCES.)
CHURCH RATES are rates made by parishioners for ecclesiastical purposes, i.e., according to the Compulsory Church Rate Abolition Act, 1868 (k), “the building, rebuilding, enlargement, and repair of any church or chapel and any purpose to which by common or ecclesiastical law a church rate is applicable, or any of such purposes.” They are made by the majority of the parishioners present at a vestry summoned for the purpose by the churchwardens, and are assessed on
(9) Denison v. Ditcher (1857), 11 Moo. P. C. 324.
(h) The 27 Geo. 3, c. 44, does not extend the time.
(i) Reg. v. Archbishop of York (1841), 2 Ad. & El. N. S. 1.
(k) 31 & 32 Vict. c. 109, s. 10.
the occupiers of all lands or houses in the parish. Payment of these rates cannot now be enforced, except (1) as to certain rates which, though called church rates, are applicable to secular purposes (sect. 2); or (2) where money is due on the security of such rates, and then only for the purpose of paying off such money; (3) where such rates are levied under local or private Acts of Parliament in lieu of tithes, or for other valuable consideration (). The Act, however, expressly saves the right of making rates, as heretofore, and persons refusing to pay are to have no voice in the distribution of the proceeds (m). The vestry, however, is not justified in sending out an application for payment of a church rate on the same form as that for compulsory rates (n).
If the occupier of any premises makes default for one month after demand in payment, the owner may pay the church rate, and thereupon is entitled, until the next succeeding rate is made, to stand in the place of the occupier for all purposes relating to church rates, including the attending at vestries and voting thereat (o).
Bodies corporate, trustees, guardians, and committees who, or whose cestui que trust, are in the occupation of any lands, houses, or tenements, may lawfully pay, if they think fit, church rates made in respect of such property, and the same shall be allowed them in their accounts (p).
There is nothing to prevent a person who does not intend to pay the rate from attending the vestry meeting called for the making of the rate (2).
CLERGY. The clergy of the Church of England are men who have been admitted by episcopal ordination to one of the three Holy Orders (2. v.). The term clergy is also applied to ministers of other churches. The term “protestant clergy”
(1) Ib., ss. 2, 3 and 5, and see Bell v. Bassett (1882), 52 L. J. Q. B. 22; and Vestry, fc. v. Perkins (1886), 53 L, T. 634 ; 50 L. T. 65.
(m) 31 & 32 Vict. c. 109, ss. 6 and 8.
(n) See question asked in Parlia. ment-Daily papers, 13 June, 1890.
(0) 31 & 32 Vict. c. 109, s. 8.
in 31 Geo. 3, c. 31, includes the clergy of the Churches of England (episcopal) and Scotland (presbyterian) (»).
Privileges of Clergy of Church of England. During attendance on divine service (s), and also at meetings of convocation (t), and at a visitation (u), i. e., coming, tarrying, and going, they cannot be arrested in any civil suit. As in the case of members of parliament, this privilege does not extend to indictable offences and actual contempt of Court (v). During their ministrations they are specially protected from assault (w). They cannot be compelled to serve on a jury (y).
x While on parochial duty they do not pay tolls (q. v.). Their ecclesiastical property is not taken in execution in the usual way, but is sequestrated (r). Offences against the ecclesiastical law are allowed to be tried in the ecclesiastical Courts. They alone, of ministers of religion (excepting Quakers and Jews), can perform a legal marriage, and their chief ministers are entitled to seats in the House of Lords. They had formerly benefit of clergy (q. v.). They also are in exclusive
possession of the ancient cathedrals and churches, the tithes, and other property of the pre-Reformation Church.
Disabilities. Persons ordained priest or deacon, ministers of the Church of Scotland (a), and clergy of the Roman Catholic Church (6), may not be members of the House of Commons. The words in the Act of Geo. 3 are "priest or
“ deacon" simply, but they evidently apply to the Church of England only (e); and therefore it would seem that clergymen of the Church of Ireland and of dissenting episcopal churches, e.g., the Free Church of England and the Protestant Episcopal Church of Scotland, are exempt from this disability. There is no law to prevent a non-episcopal dissenting minister from becoming an M. P.
(r) Sects. 38—40, and 3 & 4 Vict. c. 78; Hans. Parl. Deb. vol. 53, pp. 1156—1158, cited Phill. E. L. (8) 1 Bla. Com. 377. (1) 8 Hen. 6, c. 1 ; 4 Inst. 322. (2) McGrath v. Gerahty (1866), 15 W. R. 127.
(v) See 2 Ste. Com. 364.
(x) See BRAWLING.
(a) 41 Geo. 3, c. 63. Penalty 5001. a day for sitting and voting.
(6) 10 Geo. 4, c. 7, 8. 9.
Church of England clergy may not be aldermen or councillors of municipal corporations. This disability extends to the “ regular minister of any dissenting congregation" (c). But “clerks in holy orders and other ministers of religion” may be aldermen or councillors of county councils (d), and members of school boards (e) and magistrates.
The circumstances under which clergymen of the Church of England may farm and trade are laid down in the Pluralities Act, 1838. No spiritual person who is performing the duties of any ecclesiastical office whatever may take by himself any lands exceeding eighty acres in the whole for the purpose of occupying, or using, or cultivating the same, without the permission in writing of his bishop. The permission must not be for more than seven years. Penalty under this section ($), 40s. per annum per acre (above eighty). Nor may he, by himself or by any other for him or to his use, engage in trade or dealing for gain or profit, except (1) where the trading or dealing is carried on on behalf of seven or more partners; (2) when the business has devolved upon him by virtue of a bequest, settlement, or bankruptcy, but in no case is such spiritual person to act as director or managing partner, or carry on the trade or dealing in person (g). These provisions do not apply (1) to the trade of a schoolmaster; (2) to the bonâ fide re-selling (even if at a profit) of articles not required by such spiritual person or his household ; (3) disposing of any books or other works to or by means of any bookseller or publisher ; (4) being a manager, director, partner, or shareholder in any benefit society or fire or life assurance society ; (5) buying and selling articles necessary for the occupation, manuring, improving pasturage, or profit of any glebe, demesne lands, or other lands lawfully held by such spiritual person ; (6) selling minerals or produce of mines situated on his own land. But in no case may such
(c) 45 & 46 Vict. c. 50, s. 12; Reg. v. Oldham (1869), L. R. 4 Q. B. 290.
(d) 51 & 52 Vict. c. 41, s. 2 (2) (a). D.
(e) See 33 & 34 Vict. c. 75.
spiritual person buy or sell in any market, fair, or place of public sale (1). Offenders are liable to suspension, and for a third offence to deprivation. The Act does not affect any contract of such spiritual person trading improperly; that remains perfectly valid, and may be enforced (i).
Clergymen also have to be very careful how they accept gifts, from members of their congregation, or under any circumstances which may give rise to a suspicion of undue influence. If the gift is made inter riros the Courts of equity cast upon the person holding the position of influence the burthen of proving that the transaction was fairly conducted as between strangers, or, in other words, that the donor was placed in such a position as would enable him to form an absolutely free and unfettered judgment. If the gift is made by will the burthen of proof is on the other side (j), but the gift is still liable to be upset, and great care should be exercised by the clergyman. The donor should always have independent legal or other advice. The same caution should be exercised by the superiors of religious houses (q. v.).
Duties. “ Ecclesiastical duties” (as defined by the Pluralities Act, 1885) are not only the regular and due performance of divine service on Sundays and Holidays but also all such duties as any clergyman holding a benefice is bound by law or his ordination vows to perform, and the performance of which shall have been required of him in writing by the bishop, and in Wales and Monmouthshire, in addition the performance of such services in Welsh (not exceeding one such service on every Sunday) as the bishop shall direct (k). Whenever the bishop sees reason to believe that these duties are inadequately performed, he may issue a commission of three clergymen and one layman as directed by the Act (1), and to which the accused incumbent may add one clerical or lay member who must be either an incumbent or a magistrate; and thereupon an inquiry is conducted in the manner
(h) Sect. 30.
2 P. & D. 462.
(k) 48 & 49 Vict. c. 54, s. 2. (1) Sect. 3.