The Telegraph reports today in Clergymen refuse communion with bishop in row over gays that
…at least eight conservative clerics have told the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev John Gladwin, that they will refuse to share Holy Communion with him. They are furious that the bishop and five of his colleagues sent a letter to a national newspaper earlier this week announcing their determined support for liberal Anglicans in North America…
That would be a reference to this letter in The Times in which the bishops merely said:
…We remain in full sacramental fellowship with all the churches of the Anglican Communion, including those of Canada and the US, and we seek to remain in full communion with all of them…
which is of course a simple statement of fact that applies to every single member of the Church of England at the present time, whether they like it or not, including those objectors in Chelmsford. Clearly that favourite term of conservative evangelicals the plain meaning of the words has escaped them. Individual members of Anglican Communion churches do not have the luxury of deciding for themselves who they are in communion with.
The newspaper list among the eight people the clergy of the Henham, Elsenham, & Ugley benefice, John Richardson and Richard Farr. Mr Farr is best known for his refusal to allow the use of his church hall for a yoga class. His own account of this event can be read here.
The extent to which conservatives are upset by the bishops’ letter is quite remarkable:see this Mainstream – Letter to London Times so far not published by the paper, and see also this Statement on Sacramental Fellowship with the Bishop of Chelmsford by Messrs Farr and Richardson.