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2019 Call for Feedback on Proposed Canonical Amendments

The Governance Task Force (GTF) is a team from many dioceses of the Anglican Church in North America. It includes attorneys, clergy, non-attorneys, and a Bishop. Their challenging task is to draft new church laws (“canons”) and amend existing canons to be presented to the governing bodies (Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly) for adoption and ratification. The GTF was originally formed in 2008 to draft what became the Constitution and Canons of the Anglican Church in North America. Since then, the GTF’s main task is to receive feedback from diocesan chancellors, the Anglican Lawyers Network, and others for proposed changes to the constitution and canons as needed, and subsequently work to effectively draft the appropriate changes.

Proposed changes can range from changing the wording of a canon for more accuracy, efficiency, and protection, to adding new provisions as the need arises or is foreseeable.

This year, the proposed amendments include several that are revisited from last year after review from the College of Bishops as well as newly proposed changes.

While it is the Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly that have the authority to adopt and ratify amendments to the Constitution and Canons, leaders in the Church believe it is important to allow the entire province the opportunity to speak into these binding documents. “There’s a canon law maxim from Roman law, ‘That which touches all should be decided by all,’” Canon Phil Ashey, Chairman of the GTF, said.

So, this week, the Governance Task Force opens up its discussion to you, the Province.

As you’re reading through the proposed canonical changes, keep in mind that the GTF follows two principles, minimalism and subsidiarity. Minimalism guides the GTF to not create canons that are too complicated, in order to remain “missionally lean,” as Canon Phil described. The principle of subsidiarity fulfills the idea that governance is most effective at the level where it is most likely to be settled. Subsidiarity means that many matters can therefore be left to the dioceses or congregations without having to enact a Provincial canon.

To have your voice heard, review the proposed canonical amendments and provide your feedback here by April 15, 2019.


February 19-20, 2019: Review and recommendations by Executive Committee.

April 15, 2019: Deadline for comments.

May 1, 2019: GTF publishes Report with further adjustments (if necessary) to all ACNA Diocesan delegates to Provincial Council, Provincial Assembly and Diocesan Chancellors, with an invitation to submit any amendments no later than May 17. GTF begins review of second round of comments and proposed amendments.

June 1, 2019: GTF publishes Final Report to all ACNA Diocesan Delegates to Provincial Council and Diocesan Chancellors.

June 17-19, 2018: GTF presents Final Report for approval in Plano TX by Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly 2019.

To learn more about the Governance Task Force, click here.


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