Being an Archdeacon strikes me as a pretty thankless, but these days vital, task. However, it is one of those cases where the title exactly fits the job. A deacon is supposed to be a 'church servant'. An Archdeacon is a church servant in spades. All power to their collective elbows!
However, I can see no reason why they need to be ordained as priests. In the old days they were because the job was part-time (even in my lifetime, Archdeacons ran parishes as well). In that case, you had to be ordained because that that was your 'day job'.
Today, however, the post of an Archdeacon has little to do directly with the ministry of the 'word and sacrament', which is the core of priestly ministry. Yes, Archdeacons preach occasionally and might take the odd service, but they do this because they happen to be ordained, not because it is central to the role of Archdeacon.
And yes, Archdeacons act as officers of the Bishop, but so do Churchwardens.
So why don't we get 'civilians' to do the Archdeacons job and free up another 'dog collar' for the ministry of the word?
Discuss (I'm sure you'll enjoy it).
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