The Provincial Council of the Anglican Church in North America unanimously voted to grant admission and full diocesan status to two new dioceses today. In addition, the Council also unanimously voted to admit two groups of congregations in the Carolinas and the Southwest (West Texas and New Mexico) to begin to form dioceses in their respective geographic locations.
The newly-admitted Diocese of Cascadia has grown from seven congregations in the northwest region of the U.S. to 21 congregations in a little over one year. The Anglican District of Virginia will become the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic and consists of 31 congregations and 9 mission fellowships.
In discussing dioceses and the role of the Anglican Church in the life of congregations, Archbishop Duncan told Council attendees, “If we are to ‘reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ’ the principal way we will do this is through the local congregation. We understand that congregations are where disciples are formed and that it is through congregations that surrounding environments are changed. Bishops, archbishops, dioceses, structures, programs all exist in order to make the local congregation strong.”
The admission of all four groups into the Anglican Church is representative of the growth that has characterized the province since its inception. The growth of the Anglican Church has been furthered through church planting efforts connected with Anglican 1000 and the Greenhouse Forum, two church planting movements within the Anglican Church. Overall, the Anglican Church has grown from 706 congregations to nearly 1,000.