Every parish has its patron, who may be an individual, a corporate body, the bishop, the archbishop, the Crown.   Who actually is the patron is a matter of the history of the parish and of its origins.   Many originated as the giver of the church itself, their reward being the right to present the incumbent of the parish to the bishop for ordination.   In these days, their most important remaining duty is the presentation of the individual selected to be the new incumbent of a parish when a vacancy occurs.   In this situation the patron is joined by others – the bishop or his representative, the rural (or area) dean, a representative of the wider church, and two people chosen by the PCC of the parish under consideration.   That group can decide how to go about their task – whether, for example, to advertise the vacancy, how to interview candidates – although there are some necessary steps on the way.   For a full statement see Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986. 

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