C10: OF BISHOPS SUFFRAGAN, REGIONAL OR AREA BISHOPS AND ASSISTANT BISHOPS

Canon: OF BISHOPS SUFFRAGAN, REGIONAL OR AREA BISHOPS AND ASSISTANT BISHOPS

Chapter: C10 MINISTERS OF THE CHURCH

Appointment of Bishops Suffragan

1. The simultaneous or separate appointment in any Diocese of Bishops Suffragan or additional Bishops Suffragan and the filling of any vacancy in the office of any Bishop Suffragan may be authorised and effected in accordance with the following provisions, which shall apply in respect of each Bishop Suffragan to be appointed, save that in the case of the Bishop of Table Bay these provisions shall be subject to the relevant provisions of Canon 5.

Application for a Bishop Suffragan

2 The office of a Bishop Suffragan in any Diocese shall not be created except with the approval of the Synod of Bishops. Whenever the Bishop of any Diocese shall deem it necessary for the good of the Church that the office of a Bishop Suffragan should be created in his Diocese, it shall be competent for him, after receiving the concurrence of the Diocesan Synod by resolution, to make application to the Synod of Bishops for its approval for the creation of the office of such Bishop Suffragan. Such application shall specify the powers, authorities and duties which it is proposed to give to such Bishop Suff-ragan and the territorial or other sphere of responsibility in which it is proposed that he shall exercise his episcopal office.

Consideration by the Synod of Bishops

3 On receiving the application, the Synod of Bishops shall consider the pastoral needs of the Diocese and whether it is preferable that the Diocese should be divided or relimited rather than that the proposed Bishop Suffragan should be appointed. The Synod of Bishops shall also satisfy itself that adequate provision has been made for the maintenance of the proposed Bishop Suffragan. The Synod of Bishops shall either grant or withhold its approval for the appointment of a bishop suffragan.

Procedure in the event of vacancy

4 No vacancy in the office of a Bishop Suffragan in any Diocese shall be filled except with the approval of the Synod of Bishops. If the Bishop of a Diocese shall desire to fill a vacancy in the office of a Bishop Suffragan in his Diocese, he shall make a fresh application to the Synod of Bishops for authority to fill such vacancy. It shall be competent for the Synod of Bishops, if it so desires, to ask for the views of the Diocesan Synod expressed in a resolution to be placed before it before deciding upon any such application.

Method of election of a Bishop Suffragan

5 (a) In a Diocese in which the creation of the office of a Bishop Suffragan, or the filling of a vacancy in the office of a Bishop Suffragan, has been approved by the Synod of Bishops in accordance with the provisions of this Canon, a Bishop Suffragan to be appointed to such office or to fill such vacancy shall be elected in the same manner as is provided in Canon 4 for the election of a Diocesan Bishop, mutatis mutandis.

(b) The mandate to summon the Assembly shall be sent to the Bishop of the Diocese, who shall then fulfil the duties assigned to the Dean in terms of sections 8, 9, 10, 22 of Canon 4 Of Election of Bishops.

(c) The Bishop of the Diocese shall determine which of the names submitted in terms of section 10 of Canon 4 are to be brought to the notice of the Advisory Committee, and he may add names of his own choice.

(d) The Bishop of the Diocese, if he be available, shall preside over the Advisory Committee and the Elective Assembly.
In the event of the death of the Bishop of the Diocese after the Assembly has been summoned, or of his inability to act in terms of this Canon, the Summons shall lapse.

(e) If no election has been made after the fifth or the sixth ballot, as the case may be, any member of the Elective Assembly may in the interval of the adjournment in terms of section 17(c) of Canon 4 Of Election of Bishops submit to the Bishop of the Diocese names of persons to fill the vacancy, which have not previously been submitted, and the Bishop of the Diocese shalt determine which of such names are to be brought to the Elective Assembly for its consideration in terms of section 17(d) of Canon 4.

Confirmation and Consecration

6 The Confirmation of the election of a Bishop Suffragan and his Consecration (if he be not already consecrated) shall be conducted in the same manner as is provided in the case of a bishop elected to fill a vacant see.

Recognition as Bishop of the Province

7 (a) A Bishop Suffragan shall be recognized under Article XXIV 3 of the Constitution as a Bishop of the Province.

Rights in Provincial Synod and Synod of Bishops

(b) A Bishop Suffragan shall have a seat in the Synod and shall be a member of the House of Bishops in such Synod, where he shall be entitled Provincial as such to vote both in Synod and in the House of Bishops.

(c) A Bishop Suffragan shall have the right to be summoned to, and to speak and vote at, the Synod of Bishops.

Rights in Synod of Diocese

8 A Bishop Suffragan shall be a member of the House of Bishops in the Synod of his Diocese and as such entitled to vote both in the Synod and the House of Bishops; provided that in a Diocese in which a Bishop Suffragan is appointed, the Bishop of the Diocese shall have both a deliberative and a casting vote in the House of Bishops. No Bishop Suffragan shall however, by virtue of his office as such, be the Senior Priest of the Diocese.

Commission

9 (a) A Bishop Suffragan shall hold the Commission of the Bishop of the Diocese and his successors, and during any vacancy of the See, that of the Metropolitan, for the powers, authorities, duties and responsibilities which were specified in the application to the Synod of Bishops for the creation of his office, which powers, authorities, duties and responsibilities shall be stated in such Commission. The said Commission shall not be withdrawn, save as is provided in sections 11 to 15 of this Canon, not shall the said powers, authorities, duties or responsibilities be altered, save with the consent of the Bishop Suffragan or the authority of the Synod of Bishops given after hearing any representation which the Bishop of the Diocese and the Bishop Suffragan may wish to make on the matter.

Regional or Area Bishops

(b) A Bishop Suffragan holding a Commission with Episcopal responsibility for a designated geographical region or area within a Diocese under the authority of the Diocesan Bishop shall be known as a Regional or Area Bishop. However, as a Bishop Suffragan he or she shall have all the rights and obligations of a Bishop Suffragan in terms of this and the other Canons, and any withdrawal or alteration of the Commission shall be effected in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (a) of these section.

Subject to Diocesan Bishop

10 A Bishop Suffragan shall be subject to the authority of his Diocesan Bishop in all matters of policy, doctrine and discipline, and if he is aggrieved by any decision or direction or his Diocesan Bishop in regard to the aforesaid matter, he shall have the right of appeal to the Synod of Bishops provided in section 9, the terms whereof shalt apply so far as is relevant, to such appeal.

Withdrawal of Commission

11 Notwithstanding the provisions of section 9, if a new Diocesan Bishop shall be appointed in a Diocese in which a Bishop Suffragan is appointed, such new Diocesan Bishop may, with the authority of the Synod of Bishops given after hearing any representations which the Diocesan Bishop and the Bishop Suffragan may wish to make on the matter, withdraw or alter the Commission of such Bishop Suffragan for any good cause shown to the Synod of Bishops.

Residence

12 (a) A Bishop Suffragan shall reside within his Diocese unless, upon the ground of ill health or other important considerations, it should for a time be undesirable; and of such exceptional circumstances the Bishop of the Diocese, and failing him the Metropolitan, shall judge.

Absence

(b) No Bishop Suffragan shall absent himself from his Diocese except for duty, without the consent of the Bishop of the Diocese, or failing him the Metropolitan.

Notice to return

(c) In the event of a Bishop Suffragan being absent from his Diocese, except for duty, without,’ the consent required in terms of section 12(b) of this Canon, it shall be competent for the Bishop of the Diocese to give him three months’ notice in writing to return to his Diocese, and should he fail then to return timeously, the Bishop of the Diocese may, with the consent of the majority of the Diocesan Bishops, withdraw the Commission of such Bishop Suffragan

Unsound mind

13 In the case of a Bishop Suffragan being of unsound mind, it shall be competent for the Bishop of the Diocese (or failing him, the Metropolitan), with the consent of the majority of the Synod of Bishops
(a) upon being certified of the fact by such medical and other testimony as is required by the law of the country in which the Diocese of such Bishop Suffragan is situate, and

(b) after receiving such medical and other testimony as the Bishop Suffragan may desire to submit, to withdraw his Commission.

Revocation of Commission

14 Upon the representation to the Metropolitan of at least three Diocesan Bishops and after due consideration by the Synod of Bishops of any representations which the Bishop Suffragan and his Diocesan Bishop may wish to make, the Commission of the Bishop Suffragan may be revoked by the Diocesan Bishop (or failing his agreement by the Metropolitan) if at least two-thirds of the Synod of Bishops decided that the Bishop Suffragan is no longer able to discharge adequately his duties of his office.

Provision to be made

15 The Synod of Bishops shalt not authorize any withdrawal of the commission of a Bishop Suffragan without first being satisfied that he will be adequately provided for in some way.

Resignation

16 (a)If a Bishop Suffragan shall desire to resign his commission, he shall send his resignation to the Bishop of the Diocese (or failing him, the Metropolitan) in writing. The Bishops of the Province shall judge whether the resignation should be accepted.

(b)The provisions of the last foregoing sentence of section 16(a) shall not apply when a Bishop Suffragan is elected as Bishop of a Diocese or so appointed by a delegation made in terms of section 13 or section 23 of Canon 4 Of the Election of Bishops.

Retirement

17 Every Bishop Suffragan shall, at the end of the month in which he attains the age of seventy years, tender his resignation to the Bishop of the Diocese (or failing him the Metropolitan), who may either accept it or, after consultation with the Committee, Senate or Chapter of the Diocese concerned, as the case may be, may extend his tenure of office for such period or periods as he may determine.

Assistant Bishops

18 The title of Assistant Bishop may be conferred upon a bishop holding special Letters of Appointment issued by a Diocesan Bishop. Assistant Bishops shall have no right to be summoned to meetings of the Synod of Bishops and their Letters of Appointment shall in no way confer any new canonical rights upon them.

Dean of the Province may act

19 The functions assigned to the Metropolitan in this Canon the shall, in the event of the Metropolitan coming under its provisions, be exercised by the Dean of the Province.