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Pluralities Act 1838

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XVIAnd their Provisions re-enacted and extended.

And be it enacted, That whenever it shall appear to the Archbishop of the Province, with respect to his own Diocese, and whenever it shall be represented to him by the Bishop of any Diocese, or by the Bishops of any Two Dioceses, that Two or more Benefices, or that One or more Benefice or Benefices, and One or more Spiritual Sinecure Rectory or Rectories, Vicarage or Vicarages, in his or their Diocese or Dioceses, being either in the same Parish or contiguous to each other, and of which the aggregate Population shall not exceed One thousand five hundred Persons, and the aggregate yearly Value shall not exceed Five hundred Pounds, may with Advantage to the Interests of Religion be united into One Benefice, the said Archbishop of the Province shall inquire into the Circumstances of the Case; and if on such Inquiry it shall appear to him that such Union may be usefully made, and will not be of inconvenient Extent, and that the Patron or Patrons of the said Benefices, Sinecure Rectory or Rectories, Vicarage or Vicarages respectively is or are consenting thereto, such Consent being signified in Writing under the Hands of such Patron or Patrons, the said Archbishop shall, Six Weeks before certifying such Inquiry and Consent to Her Majesty as herein-after directed, cause, with respect to his own Diocese, a Statement in Writing of the Facts, and in other Cases a Copy in Writing of the aforesaid Representation, to be affixed on or near the principal outer Door of the Church, or in some public and conspicuous Place in each of such Benefices, Sinecure Rectories, or Vicarages, with Notice to any Person or Persons interested that he, she, or they may, within such Six Weeks, show Cause in Writing under his, her, or their Hand or Hands to the said Archbishop against such Union, and if no sufficient Cause be shown within such Time, the said Archbishop shall certify the Inquiry and Consent aforesaid to Her Majesty in Council, and thereupon it shall be lawful for Her Majesty in Council to make and issue an Order or Orders for uniting such Benefices, Sinecure Rectory or Rectories, Vicarage or Vicarages, into One Benefice, with Cure of Souls, for Ecclesiastical Purposes only; and it shall be lawful for Her Majesty in Council to give Directions for regulating the Course and Succession in which the Patrons, if there be more than One Patron, shall present or nominate to such united Benefice from Time to Time as the same shall become vacant, and for determining, if such united Benefice shall be in Two Dioceses, to which of such Dioceses such Benefice shall belong; and such Order or Orders shall be registered in the Registry or Registries of the Diocese or respective Dioceses to which such united Benefice shall be determined to belong, and to which either or any of the united Benefices, Sinecure Rectories, or Vicarages shall have belonged when separate, which Order or Orders the Registrar or Registrars of such Diocese or respective Dioceses, immediately on the Receipt thereof, are hereby required to register accordingly; and such Order or Orders shall thenceforth be binding on all Parties whatsoever; and if at the Time of the Registration of such Order or Orders all the Benefices, Sinecure Rectories, or Vicarages ordered to be united shall not be holden by the same Incumbent, then if any of such Benefices, Sinecure Rectories, or Vicarages shall at such Time be vacant, and if not, then upon every Avoidance, until all the said Benefices, Sinecure Rectories, or Vicarages but One shall come to be holden by the same Incumbent, the Patron of the vacant Benefice or Benefices, Sinecure Rectory or Rectories, Vicarage or Vicarages, shall be bound to present or nominate, and the Bishop shall be bound to admit and institute or license, to the vacant Benefice or Benefices, Sinecure Rectory or Rectories, Vicarage or Vicarages, the Incumbent of the other or one of the other Benefices, Sinecure Rectory or Rectories, Vicarage or Vicarages so ordered to be united; and if both or all, as the Case may be, shall be holden by the same Incumbent at the Time of the Registration of such Order or Orders, or all but One of the said Benefices, Sinecure Rectories, or Vicarages shall at such Time be vacant, then immediately, or otherwise on the first Avoidance of either or any of such Benefices, Sinecure Rectories, or Vicarages, after all but One shall have come to be holden by the same Incumbent, the said Benefices, Sinecure, Rectory or Rectories, Vicarage or Vicarages shall become permanently united together, and shall be and be deemed and taken to be One Benefice, with Cure of Souls, to all Intents and Purposes, unless and until the same shall be afterwards disunited in the Manner herein-after enacted: Provided always, that notwithstanding any such Union the Parishes or Places of which such united Benefice shall consist shall continue distinct as to all secular Rates, Taxes, Charges, Duties, and Privileges, and in all other respects except as herein-before specified.

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