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CHURCH OF ENGLAND (WORSHIP AND DOCTRINE) MEASURE 1974 (No. 3)

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1 Provision by Canon for worship in the Church of England.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)It shall be lawful for the General Synod—

(a)to make provision by Canon with respect to worship in the Church of England, including provision for empowering the General Synod to approve, amend, continue or discontinue forms of service;

(b)to make provision by Canon or regulations made thereunder for any matter, except the publication of banns of matrimony, to which any of the rubrics contained in the Book of Common Prayer relate;

but the powers of the General Synod under this subsection shall be so exercised as to ensure that the forms of service contained in the Book of Common Prayer continue to be available for use in the Church of England.

(2)Any Canon making any such provision as is mentioned in subsection (1) of this section, and any regulations made under any such Canon, shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any of the rubrics in the Book of Common Prayer.

(3)The General Synod shall provide by Canon—

(a)that decisions as to which of the forms of service authorised by or approved under Canon are to be used in any church in a parish or in any guild church shall be taken jointly by the incumbent and the parochial church council or, as the case may be, by the vicar of the guild church and the guild church council; and

(b)that in case of disagreement and so long as the disagreement continues, the forms of service to be used in that church shall be those contained in the Book of Common Prayer unless other forms of service so approved were in regular use therein during at least two of the four years immediately preceding the date when the disagreement arose and the said council resolves that those other forms of service shall be used either to the exclusion of, or in addition to, the forms of service contained in the said Book.

This subsection shall not apply in relation to a cathedral which is a parish church nor to any part of a cathedral which is a parish church.

(4)Subsection (3) of this section shall not apply in relation to any of the services known as occasional offices, but, in the case of those services, other than the Order of Confirmation, the General Synod shall provide by Canon that where more than one form of service is authorised by or approved under Canon for use on any occasion, the decision as to which form of service is to be used shall be made by the minister who is to conduct the service, but that if any of the persons concerned objects beforehand to the use of the service selected by the minister and he and the minister cannot agree as to which form is to be used, the matter shall be referred to the bishop of the diocese for his decision.

(5)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, the General Synod may make provision by Canon—

(a)for empowering the Convocations, the archbishops and the bishops of dioceses to approve forms of service for use on occasions for which no provision is made by forms of service contained in the Book of Common Prayer or approved by the General Synod or the Convocations under Canon;

(b)for empowering any minister to make and use minor variations in the forms of service contained in the said Book or approved by the General Synod, Convocation, archbishops or bishop under Canon and to use forms of service considered suitable by him on occasions for which no provision is made by any such form of service.

(6)The General Synod may provide by Canon that where a form of service is in course of preparation with a view to its submission to the General Synod for approval by the Synod under Canon, the archbishops may authorise that service in draft form to be conducted by a minister in the presence of a congregation consisting of such persons only as the archbishops may designate.

(7)In the prayers for or referring to the Sovereign or other members of the Royal Family contained in any form of service authorised for use in the Church of England, the names may be altered, and any other necessary alterations made, from time to time as the circumstances require by Royal Warrant, and those prayers as so altered shall be used thereafter.

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