Please see also the FAQ Forms of Address for Anglican Clergy.
When we publish general information about Forms of Address for clergy, we provide information that is uniformly correct and can be used in all cases. Accordingly, the usual form is “the Reverend” as in “the Rev. John Doe” or “the Rev. Jane Smith.” The salutation in a letter, or when referring to the individual in writing, is Mr. or Ms. e.g. “The Rev. John Doe celebrated the Eucharist. Mr. Doe is a graduate of the Montreal Diocesan Theological College and a member of the local ecumenical council.”
Some clergy, often those who identify as Anglo-Catholic, use the title Father. They identify themselves this way: “Good afternoon, I’m Fr. John and I am the new incumbent at Holy Trinity Church.” They prefer to be addressed in conversation or correspondence as “Father”. Women clergy who prefer to be addressed as Mother are quite uncommon but the precedent does exist. Likewise, a number of women clergy prefer the term “Father,” noting that the title refers to the office rather than to a specific gender.
When unsure as to a particular preference, we do not suggest “Father” as a form of address; the invitation to use it, like the invitation to use one’s given name, is never assumed. Individual clergy are, of course, welcome to let people know their preference for names, titles and forms of address.
The Crockford’s Clerical Directory (the published clerical directory of the Church of England, Church in Wales, Scottish Episcopal Church and Church of Ireland) follows the same forms in its section “How to Address the Clergy”.
Still curious? If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to us. Why not Ask an Anglican?