THINKING ANGLICANS

irregular ordinations in Southwark

Updated
There are several stories about the irregular ordinations that took place in South London this week.

Ruth Gledhill in The Times has Church imports bishop to be tough enough on gays
Jonathan Petre in the Telegraph has Evangelicals defy bishop by holding ‘irregular’ ordinations and it gets covered in the Guardian story on Robinson already linked which has a strapline ‘Rogue’ ordinations escalate church crisis.

As background to this, see these statements:
Reform EVANGELICAL CHURCHES IMPORT AFRICAN BISHOP FOR ORDINATION
the co-mission initiative NEWS OF ALTERNATIVE ORDINATION which has a list of signatures of persons supporting this action, including several well-known names, and a link to a press release in Word format. The full text of the latter is reproduced here, below the fold to make it more easily available.
Anglican Church League Sydney The Anglican Church League, Sydney, expresses unqualified support for London ordinations

Further press coverage:
Reuters UK group imports African bishop in gay clergy row
Ekklesia Conservatives by-pass bishop over ordinations

Text of co-mission press release
EMBARGOED UNTIL 11.30AM THURSDAY 3RD NOVEMBER
EVANGELICAL CHURCHES IMPORT AFRICAN BISHOP FOR ORDINATION

A group of thriving young Anglican churches in South-West London which are part of the Reform network today announced that three of its staff were ordained by a visiting bishop from South Africa at a special service conducted last night in south London. This historic move breaks with church tradition but was supported by a resolution passed by yesterday’s Reform National Conference of evangelical churches.

Rev Richard Coekin, minister of Dundonald Church in Wimbledon, who addressed the Reform conference, said: “We are committed to preaching the love of God in Christ for all. Some Bishops in England think they can re-invent the Christian faith by tearing difficult pages out of the Bible in the name of political correctness and their latest statement on civil partnerships is the last straw.

“Together with many evangelical clergy from across this diocese and the nation we have resorted to this action for the needs of the churches. It also expresses our unity with the many orthodox Bible-believing Anglicans across the world who are outraged at the way things are headed in England. Sadly we are having publicly to distance ourselves from the Bishop of Southwark.”

The churches of the ‘Co-Mission Initiative’ are temporarily facing the reality of ‘impaired communion’ with the Bishop of Southwark after he wrote to Rev Coekin refusing to distance himself from the recent controversial House of Bishops’ Pastoral Statement concerning civil partnerships. The Bishop had also previously refused to ordain two of the clergy despite their both being fully trained, eligible for ordination and leading growing Anglican congregations.

Rev Coekin explained: “In ten years we have seen 400% growth, from one congregation of 40 adults to eight congregations totaling more than 600. Yet the Bishop of Southwark has repeatedly refused to assist us through ordaining staff to lead these growing congregations.
If the Church of England really wants to halt its decline and reach the people of England in the 21st century then it must encourage growth, not stifle it.”

The special ordination service was conducted by Bishop Martin Morrison of the Church of England in South Africa and attended by more than 500 people, including many clergy who support the move. The staff ordained were Andy Fenton and Richard Perkins who lead churches in Wimbledon and Balham respectively and Loots Lambrechts, a South African who will lead a bilingual Afrikaans/English congregation in Wimbledon.

– Ends –

Background information – Dundonald Church, in Wimbledon, south west London, is an Anglican Evangelical church which was planted in 1990 from Emmanuel Church, a proprietary chapel in the Church of England. Dundonald Church meets in Dundonald Primary School and is part of the Co-Mission Initiative family of churches.

For further information, or photographs please contact:

Rev Paul Dawson
Dundonald Church
Mobile: 07791 495824
Office: 020 8404 3894
Email: paul.dawson@dundonald.org
Web: www.co-mission.org

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FriarJohn
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So, we have yet another blow to TWR. This time they have violated the boundaries in England, which puts the lie to all their protests over coming to save the, misnamed, “orthodox” from evil Bishops. Rather, they are interested in having everything their way. How “catholic” is it to simply import a Bishop that suits your needs? If Bishop Robinson were to have done something like this we would be a hew and cry. If a Bishop were to go to Ft Worth and ordain a woman we’d never hear the end of it. Since, however, these are “reasserters” they… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Rebellion.

steven
Guest
steven

And so it goes–a trickle becomes a stream and the stream will eventually become a torrent. The defiance of agreed standards implicit in G. Robinson’s consecration has and will increasingly become a source of counter-defiance. Perhaps the standards barring consecration of a practicing homosexual represented a flawed and evil compromise from the standpoint of liberalism, but so long as they held, the floodgates held. Traditionalists, long smouldering with discontent, largely quashed their objections to other innovations and held the line. Now the line has been breached and all bets are off. And, the longer I think about it, the more… Read more »

Kurt
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Kurt

They are neo-Puritans, and they need to be put down–NOW! The good friar is absolutely right!

If liberal Catholics did this to them in Fort Worth or Sydney we would never hear the end of it. Can you imagine the howl that would go up among the Jensenites, if a woman were ordained a priest by an imported American bishop at St. James King Street?

Peter O
Guest
Peter O

The question is, why wouldn’t Southwark ordain these men in the first place? If we knew that we could make a clearer judgement as to whether the ordinations are indeed rogue or whether they were provoked (as it were) by the diocese.

Anybody know?

mumcat
Guest

Interesting that only one name on the signatories’ list was female.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Where does this leave the Rev. Sandy Millar?

steven
Guest
steven

There are cause and effect relationships that most seem to be unwilling to recognize. Nonetheless, at this point the issue of who is ultimately at fault is better left undisturbed–you have your opinion and we have ours, further discussion only leads to argument. It is better to take the ongoing split as good news and move forward with as much amity as we can manage (rather than with the enmity we are all capable of). For traditionalists and liberals to each have their own churches, denominations, and communions should be greeted with cries of “FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY,… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Surprising really, that her husband let her join him in signing 🙂
But never fear, mumcat, women are allowed to sign this other petition, here:
http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/signatories.html

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

The men had been turned down for ordination in two instances – it was very much a case of ‘these are the people WE want, so ordain them’. It doesn’t work like that, thankfully. Anyway, Steven is right, we are now starting to see who will be following Nigeria et al out of the CofE and its largely the usual suspects – conservative evangelicals all, anti-gay, anti-women, fundamentalist, Ridley and Oak Hill trained no doubt. There is no conceivable reason why they would want to be in the same church as me and those who think like me. If only… Read more »

Todd Granger
Guest

You can be who you want to be, and we can be who we want to be under Christ.

But isn’t this precisely the problem? Defining ourselves by ourselves, and then falsely portraying it as following Christ, never allowing ourselves to be conformed to his image?

Sean Doherty
Guest
Sean Doherty

Pete I agree but I would put the burden of proof on the other side: why *should* Southwark ordain them? Unless he had agreed that they should go to the parish and and minister as ordained clergy (and I can’t see him doing so with two Oak Hill grads and a CESA-trained ordinand as he is well known for not placing Oak Hill ordinands) then he has neither obligation nor indeed legitimate reason to ordain them. If it had been firmly agreed that they would go there and he had reneged on such an agreement he might have a case… Read more »

steven
Guest
steven

Todd:

That is exactly the problem and that is the reason the phrase you quote reads as it does. However, what choice do traditionalists have at this point but to let liberals be what they want to be, irregardless of whether what they want to be is in conformity with Christ’s will or not?

Steven

P.S.-They will say the same from their point of view. “Reasoning” with the other side no longer works for either side in this situation–it is time to move on. /s

Obadiahslope
Guest
Obadiahslope

Kurt,

Maybe NO howl from the “jensenites”. Sydney’s Moore College lecturer Robert Doyle proposed a “flying parish” solution some time ago which would allow non evangelical parishes to leave Sydney, and parishes from elsewhere to attach themselves to the Sydney Diocese. If this happened one can imagine that a women priest might well be well be ordained by an “imported bishop” at a church in Sydney one day.
I am sure that this measure would pass the Sydney Synod comfortably but the liberal/progressive dioceses in Australia don’t seem keen on the idea.

Jimbo
Guest
Jimbo

So the C of E may well split, and this is just one of the first open fractures. However, many churches are not neatly positioned on either side of the battlelines that are being drawn up. In many cases congregations have a diversity of views, and up to now they have been prepared to live alongside eachother and take communion together. As vicars become unavoidably drawn to promulgate one or other side of the argument, their congregations may be literally torn apart. I fail to see how this will enhance the witness of the gospel to the world around. And… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Jimbo, the problem is that, although the CofE recognises officially that homosexuality is clearly sinful, the HOB is trying to compromise as far as possible. They aren’t willing to tackle the obvious problem of the conflict between current society’s perceptions and Christian morality. (I think this is due to a misguided desire for ‘collegiality’, and pressure from the UK political establishment to try to help legitimise gay partnerships.) Not being willing to tackle the problem themselves they have “pushed it down the line” to the clergy and churches ! And, no doubt, when it comes to “disciplining” us the… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

I feel much the same, Jimbo, and think you may well be right.

Although personally, I think the departees will largely be the far-right conservative evos – from what I have seen the more open evos, though holding traditional views on the gay issue, don’t regard it as first-order.

Rodney
Guest
Rodney

Perhaps the conservative evangelicals would like a free province beside that which Forward in Faith wants. There would then be Canterbury and York, in communion with each other and ECUSA, Canada, Australia (without Sydney and a couple of other diocese – see below – but with some parishes in the Sydney area but part of the Diocese of Newcastle, perhaps), and some others. Then there would be the Third Province made up of the Forward in Faith “integrity”: not in communion with the Canterbury and/or York, but with clergy paid by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and looking to the Pension Board… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“The defiance of agreed standards implicit in G. Robinson’s consecration has and will increasingly become a source of counter-defiance.” Steven 1) +VGRobinson was elected by his Diocese. He served as a beloved Priest and Canon for decades before becoming Bishop. 2) +VGRobinson was confirmed by the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church U.S.A. at National Convention. 3) +VGRobinson was concecrated with the laying on of dozens of hands by *authentic* and *genuine* Bishops in full truth and LIGHT for the world to see officially. Noble Bishops from were invited and attended from other parts… Read more »

Gerard Hannon
Guest
Gerard Hannon

This latest action of irregular ordinations, seemingly encouraged by the same crowd that shrilly protests the mere dialogue, inside a Church in London, of Bishop Robinson, should make it clear that nothing will satisfy them beyond capitulation to their narrow interpretations. Perhaps the only answer to this irregular church in South Africa, and their fellow-travellers in the (former?) Anglican Churches in Rwanda, Nigeria, and Singapore, is for bishops from other Provinces (Britain, Ireland, the Continent, Latin America, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, others?) to travel to their countries and ordain deacons, priests, and bishops in new churches tied to… Read more »

Tunde
Guest
Tunde

Anyone can try to ordain Priests and set up churches in Nigeria. What is the message you will tell the priests to spread: ‘Repent and believe the Gospel’ or ‘God so loves you that it does not matter what you do’

The ordinations in Southwark were performed because there are fields ripe for harvest, labourers were willing and ready to go, yet the foreman was not interested in sending. The Master just made an alternative. Remember he owns the field.

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

Okay, Ob, you have a point. It is certainly something to discuss. It’s worth considering in exceptional circumstances. I think that most bishops, however, would not be pleased with it for a number of reasons. (On the Confirmation question, I agree, more or less, with the majority of the Sydney Synod, as I understand them. There really is no reason that I can see that a priest cannot be designated by the Bishop to perform Confirmations. I’d insert a rubric on the optional use of Chrism blessed by the Bishop. In fact, I’d even go so far as allow a… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“There was no “defiance” of his Bishop who loved and supported him. There was no defiance to his Church or Presiding Bishop. There was never any deceit, “railroading” or manipulating of TRUTH.
There is no mutual or agreed Christian “standard” with *others* that will bring us to participate in fear, hate, bigotry or behind-the-scenes dishonesty.”—Leonardo Ricardo

Right on, Leonardo!

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Leonardo, V Gene Robinson is defying Christian morality by living in a sinful sexual partnership with another man. This disqualfies him from being a Bishop and invalidates his purported consecration. Bishops are not empowered to consecrate just *anyone* they want to; nor is the will of church members souvereign over that of God…. Not in a Apostolic Catholic church anyway!

FriarJohn
Guest

Tunde: What would be said is: “Repent, believe the Gospel, God loves you and wants you to love him back.” Not “God is an angry man in the clouds and is going to kill you if you don’t do as I say.” We could also say: “God doesn’t hate you simply because you are gay, despite what someone else has told you. God didn’t ordain that you be treated like a slave to be beaten and mutilated because you’re a woman. God made you in his image, don’t let those who would pervert the Gospel to maintain the status quo… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

Well yes, FJ, you don’t know what these men’s qualifications are. But do you really think it is impossible that a bishop can make mistakes or even discriminate against people from a tradition he dislikes? And should the personal prejudices of a bishop, even an almighty diocesan bishop, ultimately be permitted to block the development of a fast growing church, which has raised up candidates for ordination, is paying their stipends, and has ensured that they have indeed qualified according to all the usual tests? Should the laity of the church have no say at all in the appointment of… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“Bishops are not empowered to consecrate just *anyone* they want to; nor is the will of church members souvereign over that of God.” Dave Are you listening quietly Dave? Are you hearing the message from the Holy Spirit? It is a beautiful message that was delivered to tens of thousands of Christian people in our church. Did you decide that message was WRONG? Are your angry/feardriven noises too loud to notice/hear the calming love and respect the people of New Hampshire have for their Bishop. Can you hear/see the outpouring of love for Bishop Robinson internationally? Is it Gods “will”… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

No, Dave, that’s just your opinion. Gene Robinson was ordained in order with the ECUSA canons.

The same cannot be said about these socalled ‘ordinations’ which, whatever they are, have absolutely nothing to do with the Church of England or the Anglican Church. They will never have a licence to preach here, and the ringleader will lose his.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Leonardo: There is no need to quote chapter and verse from the litany of denominational hoops that were jumped through in order to consecrate VG. I have never doubted that VG’s ordination was “by the book” even though not by THE BOOK. However, there will never be agreement on the latter issue, so I bring it up only in passing. The main point I was making in my prior posts was that his consecration was a direct “in your face” act in defiance of the known wishes of traditionalists within ECUSA and a majority within the Anglican Communion. As many… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

Lord have mercy.

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

Gerard Hannon
Guest
Gerard Hannon

“Anyone can try to ordain Priests and set up churches in Nigeria.” – Tunde Thanks so very much for confirming my thesis. No one can deny that the radical fundamentalists have declared war on 2000 years of an evolving understanding of what God has actually revealed. Only they know the “truth.” Only they can determine who is fit to serve God’s people. Only they can provide, or affirm, the “correct” deacons, priests, and bishops for all parts of the Anglican Communion that don’t agree with their beliefs. Clearly, now, they are prepared to attempt to destroy the Anglican Communion by… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“Only they know the ‘truth.’–Gerard Hannon

You hit the nail right on the head, Gerard. That’s why I call them neo-Puritan Calvinists, or evango-fundies. Fortunately, a goodly number of the real conservatives here in the American Church don’t agree with them either. Our conservatives are generally more Latitudinarian. Thank God.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“Now, for heaven’s sake, don’t be a soggy liberal (to use Merseymike’s terminology) — it was what it was: A slap in the face of traditionalists worldwide from both of our point’s of view. So, you may see it as a blow for sexual liberty while others recognize it merely as a blow.” Steven Steven, Your obsessive and constricted self-centered thinking is astounding to me. Not one person is or was slapping you in your “Traditionalist” face when +VGRobinson was concecrated. You are self-harming and you injure others too with this hysterical insisting of your version of truth. You have… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

No doubt the facts relating to these 3 men will come out in due course. Presumably the two trained at Oak Hill were sponsored by a diocesan bishop after a “successful” selection conference. We do not know if the Bp of Southwark sponsored them or another bishop who, unable to place them ,released them.(Though I always thought a sponsoring diocese if they released someone was under an obligation to make sure they had found a title post.) There is,however a national quota which each diocese follows regarding first posts — perhaps Southwark’s was already full? – though I suppose this… Read more »

screwtape
Guest
screwtape

Never mind the gospel – listening to you lot talking about putting people down, hate, bigotry, love the sin, hate the sinner, etc. is great fun! Keep up the good work – there’s plenty of room for all of you down here! 😀

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Just goes to show that the Nigerian church is not Anglican. They are fundamentalist, congregationalist interlopers.
The sooner we are rid of them the better it will be for the Church of England and those who choose to remain Anglican ie in communion with Canterbury.

Roddy
Guest
Roddy

The Southwark mutineers and their supporters have been keen to provide a full list of all bishops who took part in the (regular) ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson. Might they please furnish us with the names of the clergy who were associated with this (irregular) act of defiance?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Leonardo said: “Dave, let your fear fall away.” Dear Leonardo, I don’t fear hate or think irrationally about homosexuality. I have listened to and experienced homosexual people for many years, having several friends who are gay – some in relationship(s), some celebate because of conviction. I met Richard Kirker in about 1978 (just after the LGCM was formed in the UK), I lived with a gay friend for several years (not in the sinful sense) and saw some of the struggle he had to stop “cruising” and become celebate. Some of the folk from my (very conservative) church were “buddies”… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Leonardo: You’re projecting your fantasies, both on me and on traditionalists generally. You certainly don’t know me personally and it is obvious you don’t understand traditionalists generally. Thus, your diatribe is mere arrogance. And, I don’t think I am alone in my characterization of VGs ordination. Merseymike and many others will probably also see it as an example of tough liberalism. And so what? Why act like it is not a “blow for freedom” if that is what you believe it to be? I merely point out that what is seen as a blow for freedom by some is felt… Read more »

FriarJohn
Guest

Alan, you seem to miss my point. These three couldn’t get ordained by the ordinary means and so went off reservation. That they are claiming to be “saving” the Anglican Church by violating one of the key principals of its polity moves us into the realms of the absurd. As for this blocking “the development of a fast growing church”: I think it points out that this parish, and it’s semi-legal satellites, are not interested in being Anglican. Rather they want to embrace a congrationalist Ecclesiology that is disconnected from the Church, as we understand it. If you want to… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Steve,

I don’t know where you get your violent language from. Blows hither and thither…

The consecration of an elected Bishop is the consecration of an elected Bishop.

Nor more, no less. Not a blow to anything.

An irregular or unlawful consecration of 3 deacons is an irregular or unlawful consecration: nul. No more, no less.

Certainly not a blow.

steven
Guest
steven

FriarJohn:

Hmm. So your position would undoubtedly be that the Anglican church had no right to claim to be catholic because it rebelled against the Catholic church?

Steven

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

FJ, I have been called many things in my time, but never a “Baptist”! The problem certain ECUSA members have, it seems to me, is that they have rather too sycophantic an attitude to their bishops, and to the Constitution and Canons of ECUSA. “My bishop/Canons/Constitution, always right” just does not match up to the idea of a universal church, as current events are proving. ECUSA got it badly wrong with the election of GR, and the attempt to win the ACC over to the gay agenda went down very badly as well. Church of England bishops also need to… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“They are fundamentalist, congregationalist interlopers.”–Merseymike

Right on, Mike!

steven
Guest
steven

Goran:

So much for liberals claiming traditionalists win the awards for literalism. That is the most literal interpretation of figurative language I have ever heard.

It is possible you were trying for irony. If so, try again (a little harder), I’m probably just a bit to dense to make much of such a subtle presentation.

Steven

PS-BANG! BOP! POW!–See, I’m just full of violent language! /s

steven
Guest
steven

Alan Marsh:

Good post! I wish I’d remembered that bit going back to 1976. It makes an interesting addition to this thread.

Steven

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

The Philadelphia ordinations have been recognized as irregular but valid. I would say the same about these three ordinations–irregular but valid.

Now, whether the Bishop will license these deacons to work in the CofE is quite another matter. They may now be in a kind of institutional limbo. Of course, to good Congregationalists, it matters not.

nathan
Guest
nathan

dave, Thanks for telling a bit more about your experience. I find some people who take the gay-sex-is-ok view are unable to accept that someone can care about people with same-sex attractions, can want the best for them, can have thought over these issues (in scripture and in society) for years themselves, and yet can still come to the conclusion that same-sex sex is not the best idea in a number of cases. It’s even harder for those people who experience the attractions themselves, but have decided not to do the trendy thing and find a same-sex partner. You find… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Friar John wrote; “That they are claiming to be “saving” the Anglican Church by violating one of the key principals of its polity moves us into the realms of the absurd.” Dear Friar John, The current hierarchical structure if the church seems to me to largely responsible for the mess we have ended up in. Local churches and christian group/networks are getting on with doing the work of ministering Christ’s love to the world… In the meantime the heirarchy seems to be self-appointing – and passing down problems rather than supporting Christians in the church ! What we need is… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

“yet can still come to the conclusion that same-sex sex is not the best idea in a number of cases.” nathan, our opponents believe that “same-sex sex” is NEVER an acceptable “idea” in each and EVERY case (regardless of the particular relationship): quite different than what you have described above. “It’s even harder for those people who experience the attractions themselves, but have decided not to do the trendy thing and find a same-sex partner. You find that your critics switch from the accusation of “ignorant gay-hater” to ‘pitiful self-hater with internalised homophobia’.” The fact you can dismiss LOVE as… Read more »