I am an elderly and lifelong member of the Church of England, but no longer know who runs it: the Archbishops or the General Synod? In a serious difference of opinion over a decision, which would prevail?
The question seems to be based on the assumption that there was a time when it was clear that the Archbishops “ran” the Church of England.
The history of the Church in England, both pre- and post-Reformation, will provide many examples of the Archbishops’ making strenuous efforts to exert their authority over the Church (and, of course, each other); but that is, I believe, a token of the inherent lack of clarity about the Archbishops’ role and authority. If it was clear, the Archbishop would have spoken and the Church obeyed, and no effort would have been required.
In this diocese, we are often reminded that we are synodically governed and episcopally led. Once you have determined whether a matter is one of governance or leadership, therefore, it will be an easy task to assign the final decision to either the synod or the bishop. I expect that things are equally simple at the national level.
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Why do so many Christmas cards depict Bethlehem sprouting minarets and domes, as if it had always been Muslim and had no Christian or Jewish heritage?
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