Dioceses Measure 1978

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citationmeasure 1978 No. 1


DIOCESES MEASURE1978

A MEASURE passed by the General Synod of the Church of England to make provision for enabling alterations to be made in the diocesan structure of the provinces of Canterbury and York; to make further provision for enabling certain functions of diocesan bishops to be discharged by suffragan bishops; to abolish the power to commission suffragan bishops; to make provision for constituting separate synods for areas of a diocese; to make further provision with respect to the nomination of suffragan bishops; to make provision with respect to the discharge of the functions of certain diocesan bodies; and for purposes connected with those matters.

[2nd February 1978]

Dioceses Commission

Dioceses Commission

S-1 Dioceses Commission.

1 Dioceses Commission.

(1) The Standing Committee of the General Synod (hereafter referred to as ‘the Standing Committee’) shall appoint a Commission to be known as the Dioceses Commission (hereafter referred to as ‘the Commission’), and the Commission shall have such functions as are conferred or imposed on it by or under this Measure.

(2) The Commission may appoint committees consisting of such of its members as it may designate and may delegate to any such committee such of the functions of the Commission as it thinks fit.

(3) The Commission shall present annually to the General Synod a report of its activities during the preceding year.

S-2 Advisory functions of the Commission.

2 Advisory functions of the Commission.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Commission, on the instructions of the General Synod, the Standing Committee, or the House of Bishops of the General Synod, to advise on matters affecting the diocesan structure of the provinces of Canterbury and York or on the action which might be taken under this Measure to improve the episcopal oversight of any diocese therein or the administration of its affairs.

(2) Where it appears to the Commission that there is any such matter as is mentioned in subsection (1) above on which it might usefully advise, it may bring that matter to the attention of the General Synod or the Standing Committee with a view to receiving instructions under that subsection.

(3) The Commission shall be available to be consulted by any diocesan synod or the bishop of any diocese on any action which might be taken under this Measure in relation to the diocese.

S-3 Preparation, etc. of reorganisation schemes by the Commission.

3 Preparation, etc. of reorganisation schemes by the Commission.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Commission to prepare and make schemes in accordance with sections 5 and 6 of this Measure, and a scheme made under the said section 6 and confirmed by Order in Council under section 7 is referred to in this Measure as a ‘reorganisation scheme’.

(2) A reorganisation scheme may make provision for one or more of the following purposes:—

( a ) the foundation of a new bishopric with a diocese constituted from existing dioceses and, if necessary, the dissolution of an existing diocese and the abolition of the bishopric thereof;

( b ) the transfer of the whole of the area of any diocese to another diocese and the dissolution of the first mentioned diocese and the abolition of the bishopric thereof;

( c ) the transfer of parts of the area of any diocese to other dioceses and, if necessary, the dissolution of the first mentioned diocese and the abolition of the bishopric thereof;

( d ) the transfer of a diocese from one province to the other.

(3) The Schedule to this Measure, which sets out the provisions which must or may be made by a reorganisation scheme, shall have effect.

Procedure for making reorganisation schemes

Procedure for making reorganisation schemes

S-4 Application for reorganisation scheme.

4 Application for reorganisation scheme.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the bishop of a diocese may, with the consent of the Standing Committee, submit to the Commission proposals to be implemented by a reorganisation scheme relating to that diocese.

(2) The proposals referred to in subsection (1) above shall be prepared by the bishop of the diocese concerned after preliminary consultation with the diocesan synod of that diocese, and an application by him for consent under that subsection shall set out the proposals which have been so prepared.

(3) Where such proposals would, if implemented, affect two or more dioceses, the proposals shall be prepared by the bishops of those dioceses after preliminary consultation by each of them with the diocesan synod of his diocese, and an application for consent under subsection (1) above shall be made by the said bishops acting jointly.

(4) Section 4(4) of the Synodical Government Measure 1969 shall not be taken as permitting the consultative functions of a diocesan synod under this section to be discharged on its behalf by the bishop's council and standing committee of that synod.

S-5 Preparation of draft scheme by the Commission.

5 Preparation of draft scheme by the Commission.

(1) In this section ‘interested parties’, in relation to any draft scheme, means—

( a ) the bishop of every diocese which would be affected by the implementing of such scheme and the archbishop of the province in which that diocese is;

( b ) every suffragan bishop, and every archdeacon, of every such diocese;

( c ) the diocesan synod of every such diocese;

( d ) the Commissioners;

( e ) the Charity Commissioners;

( f ) the body which for the purposes of the Cathedrals Measure 1976 is the consenting body of the cathedral church of each of the dioceses which would be affected by the implementing of such scheme;

( g ) where the implementing of such scheme would result in the transfer of a diocese from one province to the other, the archbishop of that other province;

( h ) the deanery synod of any deanery which would be particularly affected by the implementing of any provision of such scheme;

( i ) the incumbent or priest in charge, and the parochial church council, of any parish or conventional district which would be particularly affected by the implementing of any such provision;

( j ) such other persons, if any, who would be so affected as the Commission thinks fit.

(2) On receiving proposals submitted to it under section 4 of this Measure the Commission shall, in consultation with the Commissioners, first prepare a detailed estimate of the financial effect of the proposals (‘the financial estimate’) and shall then, as it thinks fit, either—

( a ) prepare a draft scheme to give effect to the proposals with such amendments, if any, as the Commission thinks should be made therein; or

( b ) report to the Standing Committee and to the bishop of every diocese concerned that it has decided not to proceed with the preparation of such a scheme, giving the reasons for that decision.

(3) Where the Commission decides to proceed under subsection (2)( a ) above it shall send a copy of the draft scheme and of the financial estimate to every interested party together with a notice stating that written representations with respect to the draft scheme may be made to the Commission not later than a date specified in the notice, being a date not less than three, nor more than six, months after the service of the notice.

(4) After considering any representations made to it under subsection (3) above the Commission shall, as it thinks fit, either proceed under subsection (5) below or report to the Standing Committee and to the bishop of every diocese concerned that it has decided not to proceed further with the scheme in question, giving the reasons for that decision.

(5) Where the Commission decides to proceed under this subsection, it shall make such amendments, if any, in the draft scheme as it thinks fit as a result of such representations, and such amendments, if any, in the financial estimate as, after consultation with the Commissioners, it thinks necessary, and shall then submit the draft scheme to the diocesan synod of every diocese which would be affected by the implementing of that scheme for its consent.

(6) A copy of the draft scheme and of a report thereon by the Commission shall be sent to every member of every such synod at least six weeks before the session at which the draft scheme is considered.

(7) The report referred to in subsection (6) above shall include the financial estimate, as amended (if at all) under subsection (5) above, and a summary of any representations made to the Commission under subsection (3) above which the Commission thinks should be brought to the attention of the diocesan synod.

S-6 Making of reorganisation scheme.

6 Making of reorganisation scheme.

(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, if the diocesan synod of every diocese affected by a draft scheme prepared under section 5 of this Measure gives its consent under subsection (5) thereof, the Commission shall lay the draft scheme before the General Synod for its approval.

(2) If, in the case of a draft scheme which affects two or more dioceses, the diocesan synod of any of those dioceses does not give its consent under the said section 5(5) and it appears to the Standing Committee, on an application made to it by the Commission, that the interest of that diocese in the scheme is so small that the withholding of consent by the diocesan synod thereof should not prevent the submission of the draft scheme to the General Synod, the Standing Committee may authorise the Commission to lay the draft scheme before the General Synod.

(3) A copy of the draft scheme and of the report referred to in section 5(6) of this Measure shall be sent to every member of the General Synod at least fourteen days before the beginning of the group of sessions at which the draft scheme is...

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