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Development of Provinces
Whereas it is undesirable that dioceses should remain indefinitely in isolation or attached only to a distant province, the gradual creation of new provinces should be encouraged, and each newly founded diocese should as soon as possible find its place as a constituent member in some neighbouring province. The fact that dioceses proposing to form a province owe their origin to missions of different branches of the Anglican Communion need be no bar to such action.
- In the opinion of the Conference four is the minimum number of dioceses suitable to form a province. No number should be considered too great to form a province, so long as the bishops and other representatives of the diocese are able conveniently to meet for mutual consultation and for the transaction of provincial business.
- In the initiation of any province in the future, the organisation which the Conference deems essential to provincial life is a house or college of bishops to which the metropolitans or the presiding bishops concerned have conveyed their authority for the consecration of bishops. It is desirable that when a new province is formed the bishops of the constituent dioceses should transfer their allegiance to the metropolitan of the province or other authority constitutionally appointed to receive it, and thereafter all bishops consecrated for the service of the province should take the oath of canonical obedience to the metropolitan or make a declaration of conformity to other authority before mentioned.
- In newly established provinces arrangements should be made whereby the province should have some distinct voice in the election of its metropolitan.
- As to the sedes of the metropolitan, customs vary and the decision must depend on local circumstances.
- Until a missionary diocese becomes largely self-supporting and is self-governed by a synod the appointment of its bishop should rest with the province to which it is attached, after consultation with the diocese and in such a way as the province may decide.
- A newly constituted synod of bishops shall proceed as soon as possible to associate with itself in some official way the clergy and laity of the province, provided that in the case of provinces including missionary dioceses this procedure shall be subordinate to local circumstances. It is understood that each national and regional Church will determine its own constitutional and canonical enactments.