Never-Realised Colonial Episcopacy

Thomas Secker, by Sir Joshua Reynolds (died 1792); National Portrait Gallery, London.
Thomas Secker, by Sir Joshua Reynolds (died 1792); National Portrait Gallery, London.

All members of every Christian church are, according to the principles of liberty, entitled to every part of what they conceive to be the benefits of it, entire and complete, so far as consistent with the welfare of civil government. Yet the members of our Church in America do not there enjoy its benefits, having no Protestant bishop within 3,000 miles of them — a case which never had its parallel before in the Christian world. Therefore it is desired that two or three bishops be appointed for them, to reside where His Majesty may think most convenient; that they may have no concern in the least with any persons who do not profess themselves to be of the Church of England, but may ordain ministers for such as do, may confirm their children, and take such oversight of the episcopal clergy as the Bishop of London’s commissaries in those parts have been empowered to take, and have taken, without offence.

Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Jonathan Mayhew, 1764.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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