Congregation

A gathering of Christians for worship in a particular place.

Parish

A gathering of Christians for worship in a particular place.  A self-supporting church community led by a Rector or Incumbent and a Vestry comprised of elected members of the parish.  A multi-point parish consists of one or more Congregations or points that share the liturgical ministry of a parish priest or parish ministry team.

Deanery

A grouping of parishes within a diocese, headed by a Regional Dean, that meet on a regular basis to deal with common concerns and problems.  Not all dioceses have deaneries.

Archdeaconery

A unit within a diocese, larger than a deanery, headed by an Archdeacon.  A territorial Archdeacon may have some administrative responsibilities delegated to them by the bishop.  Not all dioceses have archdeaconeries.

Diocese

A geographic area under the jurisdiction of a Diocesan Bishop as chief pastor.  There are currently 30 dioceses* in the Anglican Church of Canada.  A diocese is governed by a diocesan synod composed of the bishop(s) and elected members of the clergy and laity chosen by the parishes.  Bishops are elected by diocesan synods.

* The diocese of Cariboo is not currently functioning as a diocese.  The parishes formerly within the diocese of Cariboo are now part of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI) and under the episcopal oversight of the Suffragan Bishop to the Metropolitan of British Columbia and the Yukon.

Ecclesiastical Province

A grouping of dioceses into a common area.  There are currently four ecclesiastical provinces in Canada.  They are (moving from east to west): Canada, Ontario, Rupert’s Land and British Columbia and Yukon.  Ecclesiastical provinces meet in provincial synods at regular intervals to transact business of common interest.  The bishop in charge of an ecclesiastical province is called the Metropolitan Archbishop.  The Metropolitan is elected by the provincial synod which is composed of bishops, clergy and lay delegates.

General Synod

The national governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada.  Founded in 1893 the General Synod now meets every three years and is composed of representatives of bishop, clergy and laity from every diocese.  The Primate is the President of General Synod and the Vice-President is the Prolocutor.  Between meetings of General Synod the business of synod is carried on by the Council of General Synod and its Standing Committees.

Anglican Communion

The worldwide body of Anglicans currently numbering nearly 70 million members in 38 self-governing churches in 164 countries.  The Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England is accorded a “primacy of honour” among Anglican bishops worldwide.  He chairs the once every ten years meeting of the Lambeth Conference (next conference scheduled for 2008), which draws together all the bishops of the Anglican Communion, as well as the triennial meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council which gathers Anglican bishops, clergy and laity from around the Communion (next meeting in 2009).

Links:

Still curious? If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to us. Why not Ask an Anglican?