Thinking Anglicans

England to get ‘flying bishop’?

Religious Intelligence carries this report dated Thursday, 2nd August 2007. 3:50pm

England to get ‘flying bishop’?
By: Ed Beavan.

NIGERIA is on the verge of appointing its own ‘flying bishop’ in England to represent disillusioned Anglicans, The Church of England Newspaper has learnt.

A new bishop to be appointed by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola could be consecrated before next year’s Lambeth Conference if plans succeed. A source describing himself as a ‘worker in the Nigerian diocese’ said he was aware of such plans and that such a person would be employed as a ‘mission co-ordinator’.

Rumours regarding the possibility of such a role have been circulating over the last few months but this is the first time it has been confirmed by a clergy member from Nigeria.

Speaking to the CEN he said: “It is possible that Archbishop Peter Akinola will have somebody appointed by the next Lambeth Conference in July 2008.” To read the whole of this story see this week’s Church of England Newspaper or go to www.churchnewspaper.com

Update
The text of the full article is to be found here.

Update Saturday morning
Ekklesia has also reported on this, Nigerian Primate may ordain breakaway Church of England bishop.

Update Saturday evening
Fr Jake has reminded us that this started back in September 2005, with Nigerian archbishop warns of break with mother church in the Mail & Guardian Online. TA carried it within this article.

Nigeria’s Anglican archbishop said on Thursday that Nigerian churches might cut ties with the Church of England if it did not revise its stance on homosexuality, which accepts gay priests in same-sex partnerships.

“As of now, we have not yet reached the point of schism, but there’s a broken relationship,” Archbishop Peter Akinola told reporters in the capital, Abuja.

Akinola had already spoken out against a July 25 announcement from England’s bishops that said gay priests who register same-sex partnerships under a new civil law will remain in good standing so long as they promise to remain celibate.

Akinola said on Thursday that there was still hope to recover church unity if churches that have adopted liberal lines on homosexuality showed “repentance”.

Update Sunday morning revised Tuesday evening

The BBC Sunday programme also reported on this story:

The Anglican Church’s travails over homosexuality have taken another twist: the Church of England newspaper is reporting that Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria – who takes a famously hard line on the matter – is to appoint a ‘flying bishop’ to England to minister to disenchanted Anglicans here. Archbishop Akinola has already sent a bishop to the United States with a similar mission. Stephen Bates of The Guardian has written a book about the divisions in the church and joined Sunday.
Listen (4m 12s)

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Kurt
Guest
Kurt

Ha! Didn’t we Americans tell people that once this process started it would be hard to stop? Now, apparently, the UK is about to experience what we in the USA have been dealing with for years.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

At least then we’ll know where everyone stands. Wonder who Akinola might have in mind. The gentleman whose name was floated a couple of weeks’ back, perhaps?

Pluralist
Guest

My take on this on discovering it all, and it adds to my previous piece.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2007/08/sort-of-confirmed-rumour.html

I think we can all see a pattern emerging. Once you say Canterbury is ineffective and unnecessary, that has part of the “blame” for the situation, then you get the mission-organiser bishop for here as well as the USA. This changes everything.

John Wall
Guest
John Wall

Let me get this straight; correct me where I am wrong. Clergy and parishes in the Church of England are by definition part of the Church of England, which is by definition the Church established in England. Clergy and parishes in the Church of England are by definition either members of the Province of York or the Province of Canterbury, each one of which has its own Archbishop. Even the “flying bishops” are under the authority of one of these archbishops. So how would a bishop consecrated by Akinola fit in? What am I missing here?

Prior Aelred
Guest

I’m puzzled — are the current crop of flying bishops insufficiently homophobic? Actually, I’ve always thought the scheme as bad one as making disagreements permanent & preventing reconciliation, but that’s just me. If this really happens before Lambeth, is there any chance remaining that the equatorial African bishops will attend?

David H.
Guest

heh. See ? We *told* you folks that, once the reactionaries had slapped us around, they’d be coming for you, too.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

I saw a local production of MacBeth last weekend. The phrase “vaunting ambition”comes to mind.

matthewhunt
Guest
matthewhunt

Can they actually fly? Do they flap their epitrachelions and fly up high?

What a glorious sight that would be.

“PULL!!!”

harryliddon
Guest
harryliddon

We have John Hapgood to thank for all of this nonsense. His wheeze for flying bishops broke all notions of catholic order and landed us in this mess. The Act of Synod gave license to misogyny, and now the same arguments are being used to support homophobia. Rowan Williams gave further support to both of these when he said, even before his enthronement, that he would support the idea of a Third Province and would not ordain practising homosexuals. He has lost the support of his friends, and not gained the respect of his enemies.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Matthew,
Flight is, like bilocality, a gift given only to the greatest of saints. They therefor must be greater in their holiness than Mother Mary of Egypt. She could only levitate, Fr. Zosima never actually saw her fly, as far as I am aware. Jesus Himself only went up, he is not reported to have travelled horizontally by air. I guess their purity is even greater than His!

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

I have this vision: A man (would it be anybody else?) in a mitre fitted with winglets, cope flapping grandly behind, touching down on 28L at Gatwick to the tune of National Hymn, a la Sally Fields in Flying Nun.

They’re coming to save you all!!! Have a grand time!

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

“Clergy and parishes in the Church of England are by definition part of the Church of England, which is by definition the Church established in England. Clergy and parishes in the Church of England are by definition either members of the Province of York or the Province of Canterbury, each one of which has its own Archbishop.”

Unless the “parish” votes to “realign” in which case they become “part” of the Province of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and you have a bunch of lawsuits on your hands. And suing another Christian in civil court makes you evil.

See how it works?

ash
Guest
ash

Ah, and so the true agenda of the Nigerians is revealed. Funny how the Nigerians are allowed to flout the Windsor Report and make innovations but the Americans aren’t. Very curious.

matt
Guest
matt

Its a bit rumy to talk about the Act of Synod destroying catholic order when it was the ordination of women that prompted the Act.

I guess this Nigerian bishop would appeal to some Evangelicals? Although interestingly some evo. parishes are petitioning under the Act and show no apparent reluctance to accept the oversight of a catholic bishop. Interesting to see whether that continues, wonder how well informed Nigeria is about the situation here?

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

If this is true, Akinola has now lost his mind: in effect, the Church of English is not Anglican enough for him, and so the “more Anglican” Church of Nigeria will help out. This megalomaniacal man is starting his own religion. It has nothing to do with sex; it is all about power. What a tragedy for the Body of Christ!
Andrew

Prior Aelred
Guest

“He has lost the support of his friends, and not gained the respect of his enemies.”

Words that deserve to be written in letters of gold! (& not just about any particular cleric of the moment)

John Wall — I think that the idea is that neither Cantuar nor Ebor are pushing to expel TEC — therefore they aren’t pure enough — just like any ALPO scheme that is legal means girls cooties

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

For the main recent rumour as to who this might all refer to, see
http://inclusivechurch.blogspot.com/2007/07/keeping-englandanglican.html

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Who might the new flying bishop be, indeed a question to be pondered. Could we start a TA pool?

“And did those wings, in modern times
Flap above England’s mountains green?”

You know the rest…

Reid
Guest
Reid

Number of openly gay/lesbian bishops elected in the U.S. since 2003 = 0

Number of boundary crossing bishops appointed in the U.S. by foreign primates since 2003 = ?

How many? I’ve lost count.

Sorry England. Looks like you’re about to get “the treatment.”

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

John Wall notes that in the Church of England “even the “flying bishops” are under the authority of one of these archbishops” (i.e., Canterbury or York) But in the “new” Anglican Communion, as decreed by the Primates at Dar es Salaam, a “flying bishop” for the Church in the United States is be appointed by and responsible to an overseas council. Our Presiding Bishop is merely one of the members of this council. The majority on it are not from our province, and we have no choice or voice in their appointment. Furthermore, our bishops must agree to this scheme… Read more »

jnwall
Guest
jnwall

The comment was made that “[u]nless the “parish” votes to “realign” in which case they become “part” of the Province of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).”

This is what I do not follow. Could a parish of the Church of England secede from the Church of England?

Would that not be like a county of England trying to secede from the country of England? We tried civil war over here 150 years ago and it didn’t work very well.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

John Wall asks: “This is what I do not follow. Could a parish of the Church of England secede from the Church of England? Would that not be like a county of England trying to secede from the country of England?” Well, that’s what we’ve been saying over here in America for some time now. But since we are pagan, apostate, and heretical, it doesn’t matter what we say. Any parish or diocese that wants to can secede from the Episcopal Church and put itself under the Nigerian Church, or the Ugandan, or the Southern Cone, or Rwanda, or whatever… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“Would that not be like a county of England trying to secede from the country of England? We tried civil war over here 150 years ago and it didn’t work very well.”–jnwall

The English tried civil war with these Calvinists, too–350 years ago. Well, it looks like “THEY’RE BAAAACK!” Now, rather than being from East Anglia, the leaders are from Africa.

JPM
Guest
JPM

I must confess to feeling a bit of schadenfreude right now.

I have long believed that it was only a matter of time before Akinola Inc. opened up a branch office in England. However, many, if not most, progressives in the CoE seemed to think that if they just sat quietly in the corner and didn’t offend anyone, the bullies would concentrate on the Americans and Canadians.

Didn’t work very well, did it?

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Isn’t this just silly-season tittle tattle? If the source wasn’t CEN, I’d think so. We’ve yet to receive ‘official’ confirmation from Anglican Mainstream.

Nobody wants a return to pre-Restoration days, do they?

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Bishop Duncan’s remarks, to the effect that now is the appointed time for the orthodox virtual province to be established in USA, separate and safe from the shenanigans of TEC and its apostate GC and its frilly inconsequentially gospelled bishops and all the like – well these go hand in hand with announcements and hints from other realignment parties that the CoE must also be rescued in a similar manner from York and Canterbury. (And from Parliament? And from the monarchy?) Any Anglican believer worldwide who falls for this stuff just has to be convinced to a high degree of… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

I can see a future (woo!) where the Church of England is like a shell with some bureaucratic paqper shifting, and the effect of introducing a Covenant is that there are several Covenants. You’ll have bishops and committees worried where the money is coming from, with lots of withholding and bishops trying to press on churches to follow this Covenant rather than that one, and a lot of priests in charge moved about and much in the way of declarations of parish independence and networking and bishops from all over the place getting allegiance. In other words it could all… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

“…thanks for standing by us when we were the only ones under attack. Looks like it wasn’t the Yanks this time who showed up late for the war.” Charlotte, some of us have been trying to help. But they made an early determination that we were either insane or evil. We can expect some kind of ‘black noir’ culture citing “suitable” texts. God is playing out the parallels the Muslims are having with some misusing scriptures. Yet, while some are drawing tighter on the strings of misogyny or homophobia; others are waking up to realise it’s time to end bloodshed… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

It might be still speculative.

Richard Kirker has a response here:

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/5516

He has a point, that in facing Nigerian-led competition the Church of England might get even more homophobic. The other way is possible too.

Pluralist
Guest

_We’ve yet to receive ‘official’ confirmation from Anglican Mainstream._

Yes, I have just had a look. I think the reason it is completely missing is pobably because it is true, but not meant to be known yet adn therefore those that know are saying zilch while everyone else chatters away.

(Machiavelli, book 3)

James
Guest
James

I’m learning a lot about bishops in this process! I think the future of the Communion lies in stronger ties to the Lutherans and Methodists. So, in a related question: If ordination isn’t indelible, then why are we having such problems uniting with the Methodists and Lutherans? If ordination to the episcopacy can be presided over by a priest, why the problems with the Methodists? If the traditional way of becoming a bishop was through democratic elections, why do the Romans say that their way is the tradition? It seems all of these were possible in the early Church, so… Read more »

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

So after the right wing primates stomp on England’s green and pleasant land and leave behind the same smoking ruins that they’ve left in North America, then where? I’d say Australia, maybe Ireland.

No schadenfreude here. The whole experience over here in the States has been absolutely awful, bringing out the very worst in people. You’re going to see fanaticism, bullying, anger, and bitterness that you haven’t seen since the days of Cromwell (Oliver or Thomas).

choiirboyfromhell
Guest
choiirboyfromhell

Give me the Byrd 4-Part. Please. The Kyrie. It might make some sense.

Or give me a sense of perspective. A reign (or sign of) of ridiculousness.

Are these people that feel that saying a sung service in the private part of their home would heal the pains of today, or are they a part of a world that feels that division would bring comfort?

They know that that their actions bring pain to where they know not.

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

It is nearly done now.

I’m quite convinced that the second the Akinolists appoint a bishop for England they will be seen by the majority of provinces to have renounced the Anglican Communion.

Then they can go set up their own Akinolist Communion, and they can ordain bishops, priests and deacons where and when they will.

But something tells me there isn’t a snowball’s chance in an Arizona summer that any decamping congregation in England will be allowed to take the property with them.

bill nichols
Guest
bill nichols

Per reid: “Number of openly gay/lesbian bishops elected in the U.S. since 2003 = 0 “Number of boundary crossing bishops appointed in the U.S. by foreign primates since 2003 = ?” An EXCELLENT insight that puts the nit right down there next to the grit. What they wanted us to do, we have done, i.e., elect no more “manner of life” bishops. And yet, moral men (!) though they allegedly are, they not only have not honored their end of the equation, but have in fact gone even farther into forbidden territory. Sad as it is to say, honor appears… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Pluralist’s warning is appropriate. There are some who would use their influence with war mongerers and abuses to bring in more repression, rather than face their own ugliness. It’s a bit like Snow White’s stepmother, who would rather attempt to kill Snow White than deal with what did not make her the fairest maiden in all the world. I quite liked this Algemeiner study that’s gone up in the last few days. http://www.algemeiner.com/generic.asp?ID=3778 It reminds us that the Ark did not just contain the perfect set of tablets, but also the broken fragments from when Moses smashed the first set.… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Under the CofE’s peculiar position of being (in some sense) legally responsible for its parishioners (=residents, not worshippers), what would happen if St. Calvin’s did decamp? Can some canon lawyer expound the legal implications of establishment in this scenario?

Peter O
Guest

I’m game to enter the fray… Firstly, let’s not have any of this “Why are they violating the Windsor Report” nonsense. In order to take that approach you should also be condemning TEC for consecrating a man in a sexual relationship outside of marriage AND for permitting same-sex blessings. In terms of Windsor violation both sides are guilty as that really hot place. Now what about an English priest being consecrated a Nigerian Bishop? After a few phone calls I can tell you all that that’s rubbish. There are no current plans from anybody I’ve spoken to to make this… Read more »

Dodgy vicar
Guest
Dodgy vicar

The Church building and its assets remain the property of the parishioners, in trust to the properly elected Vicar, Church wardens and managed by the Parochial Church Council. If the vicar ended up being defrocked he would be evicted from the vicarage, the Bishop would appoint a neighbouring clergyperson or archdeacon as priest in charge, would arrange a extraordinary annual meeting to elect 2 church wardens – if the wardens did not swear at/ (oops) to the Bishop on appointment; the diocese would take the former wardens and vicar to a consistory court, then the church would be repossessed, the… Read more »

cryptogram (John Marshall)
Guest
cryptogram (John Marshall)

Mynsterpreost asks “what would happen if St. Calvin’s did decamp?” Whilst not a canon lawyer, can I suggest that what happened in the case of St John’s Kidderminster points the way. Mr Raven found himself unlicensed as he would not accept the authority of his “liberal” bishop. The congregation decamped elsewhere, and a new Team Vicar was appointed. In a couple of generations some of the hurts may begin to heal. There will be lots of unseemly lawsuits, as considerable expense. Clergy with freehold will ultimately be deprived, as they cannot share their cure with a bishop who has no… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

I thought it was ‘vaulting ambition’.
I would guess the large majority of significant recent church growth in the UK has been from Africa. Above 50% of London’s churchgoers are now black. Plus the Abp of York has been a breath of fresh air. Conclusion: Bring on the Africans.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Setting aside philosophical discussions about how one can “violate” a report, I am curious as to how an act committed prior to the publication of the report can be a “violation” of it. I thought the consecration of VGR was the occasion of the report. I am unaware of any subsequent episcopal consecrations that come up against the recommendations of TWR.

SSBs since the report, that’s another question.

Tim
Guest

What nobody’s emphasized in the comments so far is that the CoE is *established*. I’m not sure exactly how far the links between government and church go, but I’d be interested to know what’s actually required for a bishop to be appointed in England and whether this combined force couldn’t provide more resistance to Akinola’s crowd.

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

The whole language of the Dar es Salaam communique is couched in terms of breaches of Lambeth 1:10 and the recommendations of the Windsor Report: lack of clarity on bishops in same-sex unions; a requirement to make an “unequivocal common covenant” on SSBs.

One side of the argument claims a split on sexual ethics; the other a split on social justice.
One says Lambeth 1:10 should set ethical policy for the Communion; the other says it is unethical to do so.

External oversight in CofE? Now that would be a violation of Reformation principles.

Peter O
Guest

Dodgy Vicar,

What if the congregation voted to leave the diocese they were in. Could they in effect walk away with the building (though granted metaphorically otherwise it would be a tad heavy).

Ian Montgomery
Guest
Ian Montgomery

Since this may only be a rumor the responses so far are sad as there is in fact a precedent in the consecration of Sandy Millar by Uganda and blessed by the Bishop of London and +++ Canterbury. The assumption is of a power grab by Nigeria. This is not necessarily so – it was not a power grab on the part of Uganda. Both Uganda and Nigeria have followed distinct tactics in the US that have been determined by the unravelling US situation. Uganda is now consecrating a bishop for the USA and has taken a retired US bishop… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“… dissent and difference” – an interesting euphemism for “intolerance”, Mr. Montgomery.

dodgy vicar
Guest
dodgy vicar

Peter O the way the C of E works the Church belongs to the people in the geographical area (the parishioners) in which the Church is set (the parish). Many PCCs think they own their Church building! To remove practically anything from church requires episcopal permission (called a faculty), so they wouldn’t even be allowed to take their electronic keyboard and mixing desk, guitars etc. unless they were their own personal possessions… If they wish to leave the C of E no one will stop them, but they will be replaced by another C of E set up. (Vicar, wardens,… Read more »

matthewhunt
Guest
matthewhunt

“CANA was originally a rescue mission for Nigerians who were unable to find a spiritual home in the USA” What is this none sense? A ‘rescue mission’! ‘Unable to find a spiritual home!” I’m a forty year old white Englishman and I have yet to find a place I could call a ‘spiritual home’ outside of trusting in Christ. That is my home. Nothing anywhere will ever stand in for that. Anything that pretends to offer such a thing or supports that illusion is idolatrous. No people, no group, no affiliation, no parish, no denomination, no ‘church’, no ‘communion’. If… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Ian Montgomery writes: “There is in fact a precedent in the consecration of Sandy Millar by Uganda and blessed by the Bishop of London and +++ Canterbury.” This is not a precedent as both Canterbury’s and the Bishop of London’s consents were sought and obtained prior to Millar’s consecration. He writes: “Both Uganda and Nigeria have followed distinct tactics in the US that have been determined by the unravelling US situation.” Not at all: Their tactics were determined by Martyn Minns, who was mightily displeased that his irregular consecration was not recognized by Canterbury, in that he was not invited… Read more »