A lengthy report was presented by Bishop W.R. Coleman. He suggested that there is no real clarity in the Church about the proper shape of episcopacy. Many look back to what they consider to be a golden age when the bishop spoke with authority. Is this view based on a form of antagonism, and is it not supported by our present use of House of Bishops' and House of Delegates, rather than a term such as College ? There is evidence that the traditional forms of episcopal authority are being overlaid and eclipsed by novel forms of administration and decision making in and for the Church. The Report calls for less emphasis on the bishop's authority as an individual or even of the bishops in association and urges more emphasis on a Church whose character as a whole is determined by episcopacy. This model, it is suggested, is probably closer to the New Testament representation of the Church as Koinonia. The Report went into some detail as to what episcopacy should mean in the Church today and makes what is termed "A Modest Proposal" which would set up an area for the purposed of re-organizing the structure of the Church according to the principle of collegial episcopacy as delineated, and the appointment of a small task force to draft specific proposals for consideration by National Executive Council and the House of Bishops'. This "Modest Proposal" was offered chiefly for comment and consideration.
"That the 'First Draft: Report of the Task Force on Episcopacy' be received with thanks." CARRIED
Discussion following the presentation was chiefly around the place of the College in relation to the individual bishop. Archbishop Davis said that in the early days of his diocese the right was claimed to appeal to the Metropolitan against the veto of the diocesan in order to make clear whether or not the bishop was acting as an individual or in a collegial capacity. Bishop Pierce expressed the gratitude of the House for the stimulating paper Bishop Coleman had presented.
"That the Report of the Task Force on Episcopacy be referred to the Provinces to be source material for them to use in response to National Executive Council's request to the Metropolitans to consider Provincial and Diocesan boundaries and inter-diocesan co-operation." CARRIED