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The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Dimissory Letter

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A letter given to a clergyman removing from one Diocese to another. The General Canons provide that "before a clergyman shall be permitted to settle in any Church or Parish, or be received into union with any Diocese of this Church as a Minister thereof, he shall produce to the Bishop, or if there be no Bishop, to the Standing Committee thereof, a letter of dismission from under the hand and seal of the Bishop with whose Diocese he has been last connected . . . which shall be delivered within six months from the date thereof; and when such clergyman shall have been so received he shall be considered as having passed entirely from the jurisdiction of the Bishop from whom the letter of dismission was brought, to the full jurisdiction of the Bishop or other Ecclesiastical Authority by whom it shall be accepted and become thereby subject to all the canonical provisions of this Church." The effect of this law is that in the Episcopal Church there can be no strolling, irresponsible evangelists or preachers, and thus the people are protected from imposture, and may know, when the proper steps are taken, that their ministers come to them fully accredited and duly authorized to minister to them in Christ's Name.

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Dimissory Letter'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. 1901.

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