Canons are definitely amongst the big guns of the Church of England, although perhaps the smallest of them.   Canon is the title given to a cleric who is a member of a cathedral and derives from the fact that he is bound by the rules or canons of that cathedral.   Some canons have specific roles within the life of the cathedral eg treasurer or precentor and are known as residentiary canons and, with the dean, form the chapter, which is the governing body of the cathedral, responsible on the one hand for the maintenance of worship within the cathedral and on the other for the maintenance of the cathedral buildings. There are also honorary canons, clergy whom it is desired to honour because of their service to the diocese; these have stalls in the cathedral for their use when attending particular services.   Broadly speaking, the residentiary canons form the lesser and all the canons the greater chapter; it is the lesser chapter that is the executive body referred to above.

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