Archbishop of Cheshire
Archbishop of Cheshire
Arms of the Archbishop of Cheshire
since June 16, 2009
|Style||The Most Reverend|
|Ecclesiastical province||Ecclesiastical Province of Cheshire|
|First holder||William Sancroft|
|Diocese||Diocese of Cheshire|
|Cathedral||St. Bartholomew's Cathedral|
The Archbishop of Cheshire is the senior bishop and primate of the Church of New England, the symbolic head of the New Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Cheshire. The current archbishop is Bryan Rhee, who assumed the seat on June 16, 2009 after he was appointed by the Queen.
Until the mid-19th century, all Anglican and Episcopalian churches in North America were in full communion with the Archdiocese of Canterbury. During the formation of the Kingdom of Sierra, Anglican Jacobite supporters broke away from the authority of the Archbishop due to political disagreements over the rightful sovereign of the United Kingdom. William Sancroft, a prominent Anglican bishop, founded the Church of New England and became its first archbishop. Since Sancroft's death, all archbishops have officially been selected by the Sierran Monarch, who serves in their capacity as the Supreme Governor on the advice of the Prime Minister. Generally, the Prime Minister uses the results of an unofficial election held by the General Synod of the Church of New England to determine who to select as archbishop.
Roles, status, and responsibilities[edit | edit source]
The Archbishop of Cheshire is primer inter pares in the Church of New England and the New Anglican Communion as their primate. As the Church and Communion's chief religious figure, he exercises spiritual leadership and authority over church affairs, matters, and policy (the Queen of Sierra is the Supreme Governor of the Church of New England). He is the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Cheshire and the metropolitan bishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Cheshire, which comprises three-fourths of the Southwest Corridor and all of the Channel Islands. The archbishop is also the Chair of the General Synod and presides over their meetings including the Annual Session of Bishops and Deacons. He is also a regular attendant of the worldwide quinquennial New Anglican Communion Conference meetings. He has the important distinction of mediating and overseeing ecumenical relations between the churches of the New Anglican Communion and the Communion with non-New Anglican churches or denominations.
Although Sierra constitutionally prohibits the establishment of religion in government, it does not prohibit the inclusion of religious officials for heraldic or titular purposes. As such, the Archbishop of Cheshire is a legally recognized entity within the Sierran peerage system and is the highest ranking non-royal in Sierra's order of precedence (which is loosely based on the hierarchy of the peerage system). The Archbishop has a non-voting seat by ex officio in the Privy Council, but his role is strictly advisory and informal in nature. He is responsible for the coronation of Sierran monarchs and the investiture of other Sierran royals. He is also responsible for the baptism and confirmation of Sierran royals who have been born into or converted to the Church of New England (most remain Roman Catholic).
Province and Diocese of Cheshire[edit | edit source]
The Ecclesiastical Province of Cheshire falls under the metropolitical jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Cheshire, which includes six of the seventeen dioceses of the Church of New England. The Archbishop is assisted by several other bishops who serve within the Province as officers. The Diocese of Cheshire is also under the direct leadership of the Archbishop who is its metropolitan bishop. When the Archbishop is away from the diocese, the Archbishop's responsibilities to the Diocese of Cheshire as its metropolitan bishop is left to his suffragan bishop, the Bishop of Trenton.
By virtue of the Cheshire See's preeminent and central importance to the Church of New England, the Archbishop of Cheshire is ranked first among all bishops and clergymen in the precedence of honor in the Church of New England. The Archbishop is recognized as the primer inter parus (first among equals) within the Church and the Communion as a whole, although the Archbishop only maintains direct control over the Church of New England in Sierra and a few extra-provincial dioceses overseas, mainly in Oceania.
Styles and privileges[edit | edit source]
The Archbishop of Cheshire is styled as "The Most Reverend" and are also styled as "The Right Honorable". He is formally addressed as "Your Grace", although he may also be referred to as merely "Archbishop" or "Father". The full style of the Archbishop of Cheshire according to the Church's Declaration of Faith is: "The Most Reverend Forenames, Disciple of Jesus Christ by the Grace of God, Lord Archbishop of Cheshire, Primate of All Sierra and Metropolitan, Friend of the Crown".
In Sierran order of precedence, the Archbishop of Cheshire outranks all non-royal individuals in the Kingdom. The Archbishop of Cheshire is recognized as the de facto primate and head of the New Anglican Communion and therefore outranks everyone in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. While the Archbishop is the head of the New Anglican Communion, the status is essentially primus inter pares (first among equals). The Archbishop does not possess direct jurisdiction over ecclesiastical provinces outside Sierra, with the exception of extra-provincial churches not connected to an ecclesiastical province throughout the world.
The Archbishop of Cheshire holds an ex officio non-voting seat in the Privy Council and may meet and discuss matters with the Sovereign directly. The office also holds honorary positions in a number of gentrified trusts and universities such as the Jordanian Institution and the King Smith University Executive Board.
Residence[edit | edit source]
Since 1915, the Archbishop of Cheshire has personally resided at the Westchester Palace in the Oxford Square neighborhood of Porciúncula. Historically, the Archbishop of Cheshire resided in the Ambrose House, a building that sat adjacent to St. Bartholomew's Cathedral. The house is now preserved as a museum that houses some of the church's historic documents and records. The Westchester Palace is owned by the Church of New England and held in trust by the Church General Estates Trust, which manages the finances, maintenance, and upkeep of church buildings and property. Consistent with constitutional law, all of the funding obtained by the Trust is privately raised.