Province of Canterbury
|Church||Church of England|
|Metropolitan bishop||Archbishop of Canterbury|
The Province of Canterbury, or less formally the Southern Province, is one of two ecclesiastical provinces which constitute the Church of England. The other is the Province of York (which consists of 14 dioceses). It consists of 30 dioceses, covering roughly two-thirds of England, parts of Wales, and the Channel Islands, with the remainder comprising continental Europe (under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe).
Bishops of the southern province meet in chapter, in which the episcopal roles (those of Bishops) are analogous to those within a Cathedral chapter.
In the 19th Century, Edward Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, discussed with the Bishop of Winchester and others the role of the Bishop of Winchester within the Chapter. Lambeth Palace librarian Samuel Kershaw uncovered documents in which the Bishop of Winchester was Sub-Dean and the Bishop of Lincoln Chancellor, and others in which Winchester was Chancellor and Lincoln Vice-Chancellor. Benson ruled that the Bishop of Winchester would be Chancellor of the Province and additionally Sub-Dean only during a vacancy in the see of London (Dean of the Province).
Besides the Archbishop of Canterbury (Metropolitan and Primate), the officers of the chapter are:
- Bishop of London – Dean
- Bishop of Winchester – Chancellor (Dean during London sede vacante)
- Bishop of Lincoln – Vice-Chancellor
- Bishop of Salisbury – Precentor
- Bishop of Worcester – Chaplain
- Bishop of Rochester – Crucifer (Cross-Bearer).
Accordingly at the confirmation ceremony following Justin Welby's election as Archbishop of Canterbury on 4 February 2013, these were, respectively: Richard Chartres, Tim Dakin, Christopher Lowson, Nick Holtam, John Inge and James Langstaff.
Bishops qualifying as Lords Spiritual
The Bishops of London and Winchester join the Archbishop and two from the northern province of England in having ex officio (meaning automatically) the right to sit in the House of Lords subject to keeping to certain constitutional conventions incumbent on Lords Spiritual requiring them to speak in an albeit often political, but clearly non-partisan manner, and not to participate in most party-whipped votes. Twenty-one other Anglican Bishops (who have served the longest) form the other Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords.
ODCC = Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church ed. Cross & Livingstone: 1974
- Kemp, Eric Waldram. Counsel and Consent SPCK:1961, p.249
- Benson, Edward White. Correspondence re: officers of the provincial chapter (Cantuar:) in Benson 54 ff. 440–51
- Kershaw, Samuel Wayland. Correspondence with Benson, re: officers of the provincial chapter in Benson 54 f. 450; quoting Lynwood, William Constitutiones Angliae, Oxford, 1679 Lib V. p. 317
- Order of Service – Confirmation of the Election of Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, 4 February 2013 (Accessed 31 July 2013)