The Communion of the Open Episcopal Church is organised into a traditional provincial, diocesan and parochial structure, although a parish encompasses the ministry of a particular priest and is not geographical. The head of the Communion is the Presiding Archbishop and no new provinces of the Communion of the Open Episcopal Church can be declared without the agreement of the Presiding Archbishop and the Archbishop's Council.There is at present only the one Province of Great Britain, otherwise known as the Province of the United Kingdom. The head of the Province is the Archbishop who governs within an Archbishop's Council, which consists of all the provincial diocesan bishops and at which all the major decisions are taken. No provincial diocese or parish can exist and no new bishop can be consecrated without the authority of the Archbishop's Council. Decisions are made democratically. No decision has been taken that has not gained an 80% majority vote in Council.
All Bishops make a public pledge to remain part of the church for 10 years and all priests and deacons for 5 years. They also make a public pledge to be subject to the Canons of the Church. Any cleric who breaks their public pledge relinquishes their good standing with the church and loses their provincial licence to minister in the name of the church.If you have concerns whether a bishop, priest, deacon, diocese or parish is a bona fide member or part of our Church and authorised for their ministry by the Church, please ring 020 8304 7605 or contact the Archbishop This is the only church web site authorised by the Archbishop's Council for the Open Episcopal Church - the Province of the United Kingdom.
Each diocese is headed by a bishop who has executive control in the day to day running of that diocese, subject to the Archbishop's Council. The bishop chairs a Diocesan Council which plans long term strategy and mission. Decisions are made democratically
Each parish is headed by a priest who has executive control in the day to day running of the parish, subject to the Archbishop's Council.
All the decision making of the church is democratic and the Archbishop, bishops, priests and deacons of the church are answerable and accountable to each other. Any cleric, even the Archbishop can be removed from office should they lose the confidence of the church. There are over 20,000 people who make up the church membership. The Church is growing and applications for ordination are at their highest.