Whereas by an act made in the second year of the reign of his present Majesty, intituled, An act for real union and division of parishes, it is amongst other things enacted, "That from the twenty fourth day of June in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventeen, for and during the term of ten years from thence next ensuing, it should and might be lawful for the chief governor or governors of this kingdom for the time being, with the assent of the major part of the privy council in council assembled, six at least consenting, and with the advice and approbation of the archbishop of the province, and the bishop of the diocess, certified under their hands and archiepiscopal and episcopal seals, with the consent of the respective patrons and incumbents, certified under their hands and seals, asserted by two or more credible witnesses subscribing thereunto, to divide old parishes, or separate any parish, or part of a parish, of late united, and to unite parishes one to another, or part of a parish to another parish, or part of a parish, in perpetuity, and to erect such divided or united parishes, or part of parishes, into new parishes, with all parochial rights; and also to unite and appropriate any benefice or benefices, having actual cure of souls, to a dignity or prebend without cure; saving to the dean, dignitary, prebendary, and incumbent at the time of such union, during their respective incumbency, and to their respective patrons and ordinaries, all their right, title, and interest in and to the said united or appropriated benefices; and saving also all rights to the dean and chapter of each cathedral church, and to the prebendary of the prebend, to which any benefice with cure of souls shall be united or appropriated:" and whereas divers dignities or prebends in this kingdom, having actual cure of souls annexed, are of very small and inconsiderable value, yet by an union with one or more benefice or benefices without cure may be made a competent provision for the support and service of the cures annexed to such dignities or prebends: be it enacted by the
King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal and commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That it shall and may be lawful for the chief governor or governors of this kingdom for the time being, with the assent, advice, approbation, and consent of such persons, in such manner, and under such savings and provisoes, as are in the said recited act mentioned, concerning the uniting or appropriating any benefice or benefices, having actual cure of souls, to a dignity or prebend without cure, to unite or appropriate any benefice or benefices without cure of souls, to a dignity or prebend having actual cure of souls annexed.
II. And whereas by the said recited act the consent of the incumbent and church wardens and parishioners of the parish or parishes to be assembled in vestry, or the major part of them, testified by their petition to the chief governor or governors of this kingdom, and the council thereof, is, among other things therein mentioned, made necessary to the directing and ordering new churches to be built in more convenient places in such parish or parishes; and whereas in divers parishes in this kingdom great numbers of the inhabitants are of the popish religion, who do, by refusing to consent to the building new churches in more convenient places in such parishes, greatly obstruct the execution of the said act: be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the consent of the incumbent and church wardens, and protestant parishioners of such parish or parishes to be assembled in vestry, or the major part of them, testified by their petition to the chief governor or governors of this kingdom, and the council thereof, shall be to all intents and purposes a sufficient consent of the parishioners of such parish or parishes to the directing and ordering new churches to be built in more convenient places within such parishes; any thing in the said recited act contained to he contrary notwithstanding; provided always that due notice be given in the church of such vestry to be held, and of the design of calling the said vestry, two Sundays successively immediately preceding the time appointed for the meeting of the said vestry; and, where there is no church used for the celebration of divine service, the like notice shall be posted up in the next market-town fourteen days before the meeting of the said vestry.
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