The rules

Here’s how we are going to get along.

  1. Black shoes in the sanctuary
  2. Play nicely
  3. Don’t copy the provost/pope/prime minister into emails that are addressed to anyone else
  4. No boring worship
  5. Obey the moratorium on unnecessary exclamation marks!
  6. No communion for dogs, not even on St Francis’s Day
  7. Communion for all humans any day
  8. Black ink. Only black ink.
  9. No rotas on noticeboards
  10. Clerical honorifics take the definite article


  1. Jane Mason says

    I am going to need ‘severe’ reprimands about my use of the…. ! …….
    The rest of the rules I promise to obey!

  2. Bro David says

    So how is it that you get your entire congregation to wear black shoes to service? 😀

  3. The congregation can wear what they like – the black shoe rule applies only to those in the sanctuary. (By which I’m meaning here the part of of the church at the front that is not the nave rather than the whole building).

    • David Kenvyn says

      Except of course the part of the cathedral around the Nave Altar where black shoes are mandatory unless they have been taken off for footwashing. Black socks or stockings as well.

      • I was thinking of the crossing as santuary space rather than nave space.

        • Bro David says

          What part of the building have you lot designated as the Holy of Holies? And whom among you is allowed to enter therein?

        • The historical, architectural holy of holies is undoubtedly the area around the high altar. However, the building was reordered around a nave altar before I came here.

          The high altar is never used now. Sometimes a small altar is put in front of it and used for smaller midweek services.

          Those entering that space would normally be those who had business to be there – the bishop (because that’s where is throne is) and clergy and servers at midweek services.

          The reality is that the larger space at the crossing is where it is all going on at the main services.

  4. Mary-Cate says

    Frankly whilst I appreciate black ink for important/official documents I would argue that it falls into a similar category as boring worship. And I ALWAYS wear black shoes in the sanctuary

  5. You always passed Shoe Inspection with flying colours, Mary-Cate.

  6. And why do you think the Provost is any different to the Priest?

    Black ink for registers. Purple for prose.

  7. 2a. No filming or photography in church without prior warning to and permission from the people in the pews. (People in the sanctuary and people right at the font are fair game).

  8. Pamela Lucas says

    INK – always believed Registrar’s ink was Blue\Black something to do with its content for being permanent ? Otherwise always Black.. unless you are head of MI6 whom I believe signs their initial in green ink.

    • I think you are thinking of Iron-gall ink, Pamela. Wikipedia does mention it in connection with clergy registers, but I must be honest and say I’ve never seen it myself.

      • Pamela Lucas says

        This is what we used, and when we had our inspection, they checked our ink / registers. its Blue/Black. Our register started in 1571 … think no matter what colour ink when it gets to 2000 they will have more bother with the curate’s hand writing as no one ever taught me to use a fountain pen .. went to a school that did pencil and bic biro pens. something for the TISEC curriculum Calligraphy.

  9. Fell onto this page looking for info on the rules for wedding schedule signing. Just thought I would say that there is no such thing as a permanent fountain pen ink. If there was it would clog the pen. The myth of permanence was started by Parker, who used to bottle some ink as “washable” and some as “permanent”. The advantage of an iron gall ink is that you can’t wash it all out. I think all Diamine brand inks are iron gall based, not just their registrars ink.

    Using fountain pen ink on an envelope means it can be washed out by the rain, but if you rub the address with a candle it waterproofs it.

    Meanwhile, does anyone know what the registrar general rules are on ink for marriage schedules? I am assuming black.

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