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Ian Caldicott sticks@wolston.com

Croziers and Ecclesiastical Gifts

Traditionally a crozier is a symbol of high ranking members of the clergy of a number of western and eastern religions. Today shepherds crooks are a common gift for incoming or retiring pastors, a symbol of their "shepherding of the flock".

Designs vary considerably but in general they are in the basic head style of a shepherds crook or market stick. Croziers are typically highly decorated with carvings and other special features whereas sticks given to pastors are generally of more modest design. One manner in which this kind of stick differs for the crook used by most shepherds today is the length. While the stick of a working shepherd has become somewhat shorter in recent times the stick of member of the clergy has maintained the extra length typically seen in old paintings of shepherds. The longer sticks are also generally thicker (so as to maintain stability).

While some still prefer a stick where the head is above the head of the holder I find that having the head at about eye height of the user gives a more balanced look and is somewhat easier to wield. Some of the sticks given as gifts are never intended to be used but instead will be displayed in the home or office of the recipient, in this case I recommend something that is again a bit smaller so the display is more balanced.

You can find pictures of many of the shepherd's crooks i have made in the gallery and information on designing a custom stick or one of my currently in stock sticks on the corresponding pages.