The Rev. Geoffrey Hoare, rector of All Saints Church in Atlanta, suggests that the Anglican Communion may be moving beyond an arrangement in which dioceses, or even provinces, are defined by geographical boundaries:
“In such a brave new world I hope the Episcopal Church would move swiftly to begin seeking partners throughout the world in order to sustain the possibility of broad, relational graceful, generous, inviting catholicity. One of the first steps would be a move to begin planting churches in England in which our way of living and proclaiming the gospel would be welcomed by many as a breath of fresh air (while doubtless condemned by others as American arrogance).
My question is how we would do such a thing decently and in order. Would England (or elsewhere) become a missionary district established by General Convention? A Suffragan operation akin to the Bishop for the Armed Forces or Bishop in Europe? An extension of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe (although we would be seeking to introduce English Episcopalianism rather than extending an essentially ex-pat operation)? A somewhat random diocesan mission?
I will be writing to some friends seeking response, thoughts and ideas to this bare bones, but quite serious, proposal, and would appreciate, welcome and encourage vigorous debate and response …
This proposal may not be entirely practical, but it raises an interesting question: what would happen if the Episcopal Church started to behave toward other provinces the way that the border crossing Primates are behaving toward us?