Particularly, I’m interested in two resolutions from the Lambeth Conference in 1897:
That this Conference recognises the exclusive right of each bishop to put forth or sanction additional services for use within his jurisdiction, subject to such limitations as may be imposed by the provincial or other lawful authority.
That this Conference also recognises in each bishop within his jurisdiction the exclusive right of adapting the services in the Book of Common Prayer to local circumstances, and also of directing or sanctioning the use of additional prayers, subject to such limitations as may be imposed by provincial or other lawful authority, provided also that any such adaptation shall not affect the doctrinal teaching or value of the service or passage thus adapted.
One wonders how these would be received by those who have wished to elevate resolutions of Lambeth to quasi-jurisdictional authority. After all, what some bishops see these days as “affecting the doctrinal teaching or value of the service or passage,” others see as “adapting to local circumstances.”
No, the argument isn’t new; but isn’t it interesting that Lambeth was looking at issues of local adaptability (albeit it, I know, not the specific issues with which we wrestle today) more than a century ago?