The office of archdeacon has its origins in the early history of the Church. The archdeacon is referred to by St. Jerome and other writers of the fourth century. He was the principal deacon of a local church. The eminent Victorian ecclesiastical lawyer, Sir Robert Phillimore wrote: ‘The primitive offices of the archdeacon may be enumerated under five heads. First, to attend the bishop to the altar and to order all things relating to the inferior clergy and ministrations in the church. Secondly, to assist the diocesan in the distribution and management of the ecclesiastical revenues.’
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