The Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007 is the longest and widest-ranging piece of legislation to come before the General Synod since the early 1980s. Like the recommendations of the Review Group under Professor Peter Toyne, to which it gives effect, the Measure focuses on the twin themes of mission and ministry. The Review Group's remit was ‘to ensure flexible and cost effective procedures which fully meet changing pastoral and mission needs’, and the Measure extends to areas of the life and legislation of the Church of England as diverse as the Church's provincial and diocesan structure, the delegation of episcopal functions, diocesan administration, and the processes for making changes to local church organisation and closing churches for regular public worship. The Measure also establishes a single central Church source of information and advice on church buildings. Finally, it provides a very practical example of the concept of a ‘mixed-economy church’ by laying down the legal framework for the new bishops' mission orders, which are intended to provide endorsement, supervision and support for a wide and growing variety of new mission initiatives, but without undermining the traditional parochial structures. The article sets out to provide an overview of the legislation, and to highlight the provisions that are likely to be of particular importance in practice or of particular interest for the study of ecclesiastical law.
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