Section navigation

The origin of the Clerical collar

Author
Category Articles
Date March 21, 2002

THE ORIGIN OF THE CLERICAL COLLAR

When did Anglican ministers start to wear “dog collars” on a regular basis?

In 1976 the Church of England’s Enquiry Centre produced an A4 sheet concerning the use of the “dog collar” among the clergy. Apparently, it had been invented, they said, quoting the Glasgow Herald of December 6,1894, by the Rev Dr Donald McLeod. Something similar, the Roman collarino, dated, perhaps, from the 17th century. The Oxford Movement of the 19th century led to the adoption by many Anglican clergy of a clerical collar, certainly by the time of the First World War. A reaction began in the late 1960s, especially among evangelical Anglicans, who returned to lay neckwear, as had been the normal practice among clergy before the mid-19th century. This was probably due to their rejection of the Roman Catholic doctrine of priesthood. Very few evangelical clergy today wear the “dog collar” except on formal occasions. There is, incidentally, no requirement in canon law for the “dog collar” to be worn. A “middle-of-the-road” clergyman speaking in the late 1950s said that, in wearing a white shirt and white tie, he was being a loyal and traditional Anglican.

The Times, 14th March 2002

Latest Articles

The Pastor is Ill September 13, 2019

The man in the pulpit is much more likely to be ill than the man in the pew. As an ordinary mortal and private Christian he is as susceptible to illness as the next man. But a few minutes’ reflection on his work and calling will reveal that what is a possibility in most people […]

Confusion: A Judgement on Society September 10, 2019

It would appear that one of the many ways in which God punishes the sins of men and nations is to give them over at times to widespread perplexity and confusion. Life in a perfect world would be ideally simple. We should all instinctively seek first the glory of God and he would unfailingly supply […]