Diocesan SynodLegislation, Directives and Guidelines
Diocese of Fredericton

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In an attempt to clarify terms used to describe legal and informational documentation used in the Diocese of Fredericton, the following offers definition, explanation and rationale for how these titles are currently understood and used in our own diocesan context.

Broadly refers to several types of legal documentation, usually to law which is recognized and adopted by the bodies with the authority to do so. These documents include: The Anglican Church Act, 2003 (Province of New Brunswick), The Constitution of the Diocese of Fredericton, Canons of the Diocese of Fredericton, and various regulations and policies.

Anglican Church Act, 2003 (Province of New Brunswick)
An act of the Legislature of the Province of New Brunswick defining both the Bishop and Diocesan Synod as corporate entities, giving reference and definition to official officers and bodies and, setting out the parameters of their functions according to civil (as opposed to the ecclesiastical) law. (See the Anglican Church Act, 2003)

The Diocesan Constitution
Establishes (constitutes), describes and gives definition to the organization and relationships of the various authoritative bodies and officers within synod and diocese. The constitutions of the general and provincial synods similarly constitute those synodical bodies of the Anglican Church of Canada. The Constitution is modified by the Diocesan Synod (See the Constitution of the Diocese of Fredericton)

Canon Law
The official rules established by a Synod governing the affairs of the Anglican Church. The General Synod (national), Provincial Synod (Ecclesiastical Province of Canada) and the Diocesan Synod all have a body of legislation recognized as Canon Law. Only a meeting of the respective Synod has authority to modify canon law. There are currently eight (8) diocesan canons. (See the Canons of the Diocese of Fredericton)

Regulation is policy which emanates from, or is especially required to exist by direction of, diocesan canon law. In the Diocese of Fredericton, regulations are numbered according to the Canon from which they proceed. (eg. Regulation 3-1 provides various forms for use under Canon Three - The Election of Bishops) Regulations often outline practical procedure or provide necessary detail for an issue specifically referenced by canon law. The Diocesan Council has authority to adopt or modify diocesan regulation. (See Regulations under Canon)

A statement, usually of a practical nature, detailing procedures, understandings or the position of the diocese. The Diocesan Council adopts or modifies diocesan policy. (See Diocesan Policies)

Episcopal Directive
Statements of direction from the episcopal (bishop’s) office especially to the clergy. Directives are not officially recognized by the Synod as “legislative” but rather exist in the unique relationship of both the clergy and laity to the office of the Diocesan Bishop under whose authority they minister. Authority for ministry in the Anglican Church is specifically rooted in the episcopal office as described in the vows of ordination, the oaths and declarations made at ordination and induction and other places both liturgical and legislative. All clergy and official lay ministries function only under episcopal license or permission and are directly accountable to the Bishop in all things related to the ministry of the Church. The Bishop issues episcopal directives. (See Episcopal Directives)

Although not “legislative” in nature, guidelines express “best practices” or recommended procedure on a variety of issues. “Guidelines” may be included in the context of a regulation, policy or directive and are normally clearly identified and titled as such. They may also be issued by an officer or body other than the Diocesan Council to provide informed practical assistance regarding spiritual or temporal issues of various complexity.

A document appended to a policy or regulation. A schedule may contain a form, a document from another source or information that changes on a regular basis. (eg. Regulation 7-2 Schedule A - Scale of Minimum Stipends)

Usually refers to a compilation of legislation, directive or guideline of particular interest to those with a specific office or role. eg. The General Synod Handbook contains the Constitution and Canons of the General Synod; the Parish Officer Handbook contains selected canons, policies, regulations and directives of use to parish corporations.

Secretary of the Synod of the Diocese of Fredericton
03 October 2009