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Provincial episcopal visitor: Wikis


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A provincial episcopal visitor (popularly known as a PEV or a flying bishop) in the Church of England is a bishop assigned to minister to clergy, laity and parishes who do not in conscience accept the ministry of women priests.

The Church of England ordained its first women priests in 1994. According to acts of the General Synod passed the previous year, if a parish does not in conscience accept the ministry of women priests, it can formally request that none be appointed to minister to it. Likewise, if the local bishop has participated in the ordination of women as priests, a parish can request to be under the pastoral and sacramental care of another bishop who has not participated in such ordinations. In such a case the parish still remains in the diocese of the local diocesan bishop, at whose invitation the "flying bishop" makes his visitation.

To these ends, the act empowers the Metropolitans of the Church of England's two provinces to appoint "provincial episcopal visitors", suffragan bishops whose main purpose is to be available for such visits to parishes across the province.

Province of Canterbury:

Province of York:

Individual dioceses can also appoint suffragan bishops to fulfil this role locally; the Diocese of London, for example, has so designated the Suffragan Bishop of Fulham. He has also been licensed by the neighbouring dioceses of Southwark and Rochester to play a similar role in them.

In the Church in Wales, the Rt Revd David Thomas was appointed to the analogous office of Provincial Assistant Bishop in 1996 when the province voted to ordain women to the priesthood. No successor was appointed when Thomas retired in 2008. [1]

See also

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