Canon: Of the Metropolitan



1. The Archbishop of Cape Town shall be the Metropolitan of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa, with his seat and residence at Bishopscourt in the Diocese of Cape Town.

Functions and powers

2. The functions and powers of the Metropolitan of the Church of this Province are:
(a) to summon Provincial Synods, and to preside at them;
(b) to summon the Bishops of the Province to Synods of Bishops and to preside at them;
(c) to preside at elective assemblies held in terms of Canon 4, Of the Election of Bishops, or to appoint a deputy to do so, if he so desires;
(d) to confirm the election of Bishops of the Province in terms of Canon 7, Of Confirmation of Bishops;
(e) to hear in his Provincial Tribunal appeals from sentences of Diocesan Tribunals;
(f) with the aid of other Diocesan Bishops, to hear and to decide on charges brought against any Bishop of this Province, and

Visitational powers

(g) to visit officially any Diocese of the Province, when invited to do so by the Bishop or Clergy of that Diocese, or whenever it shall seem desirable to himself, after consultation with other Diocesan Bishops. Provided, however, that the exercise of the jurisdiction of the Bishop of the Diocese be not inhibited during the Metropolitical visitation, except there appear to the Metropolitan to be some strong reason for such inhibition, the Synod of Bishops at their next Session being competent to declare whether such reason was sufficient.

Dean of the Province

3. The Metropolitan shall at the first meeting of the Synod of Bishops in each calendar year appoint, after consultation with the Bishops, one of their number to be the Dean of the Province until the first meeting of such Synod in the year following. Whenever the Metropolitical See is vacant or in the absence for a period in excess of six weeks from the Province, or during the incapacity of the Metropolitan, the Dean of the Province shall execute all functions appertaining to the office of Metropolitan, until the See be again canonically filled, or until the return of the Metropolitan, or until his recovery from the incapacity. During such vacancy, absence or incapacity, the other Bishops of the Province shall render the said Dean of the Province such obedience as they are bound to give to the Metropolitan. Should the Dean of the Province be unable to perform his duties, or should the office fall vacant for any reason whatsoever, the Diocesan Bishop senior by consecration shall perform the duties of the Dean of the Province. If the office falls vacant, a new Dean shall be similarly appointed at the next meeting of the Synod of Bishops, and he shall hold office until the first meeting of the year following.


Articles of the Constitution, iii, iv, v, xiii, xv, xxi