In 1976 the Province of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East was formed of four dioceses of Jerusalem, Egypt, Cyprus & the Gulf and the Diocese of Iran. Since then the Diocese of Egypt has grown to take in the chaplaincies of and other congregations in Ethiopia (notably in the Gambella region), Somalia, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria and since 2007 three area bishops have been appointed for the Horn of Africa, North Africa, and most recently, in September 2019, Bishop Rajan Vincent Jacob was consecrated as Area Bishop for Gambella.
The province is now facing its biggest structural change since 1976. The formation of a new province, requested by the Diocese of Egypt under the leadership of Bishop Mouneer Anis, was endorsed at the end of 2019 by the Synod of the current Province and was agreed by the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council's exploration committee early this year which concluded
We have a strong sense that this is the appropriate time for the provincial independence of the Diocese of Egypt as it is poised for future development, which would be difficult to achieve whilst maintaining balance within the current province.
The formation of a new province requires assent from two thirds of the Anglican Communion's primates (i.e. heads of churches), which was given at a meeting in Jordan last week.
The new province will contain four dioceses: Egypt, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and Gambella and will be called the Province of Alexandria. The Dioceses of Jerusalem, Cyprus and the Gulf and Iran will remain as the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.
JMECA has been kept informed throughout the process and has already set up a sub committee to review the consequences of these changes and how best to support all the dioceses within the region in the future.