THINKING ANGLICANS

more about the Anglican Mission in England

Richard Coekin has written a long article, titled We rejoice in the emergence of the ANGLICAN MISSION IN ENGLAND.

In this piece he explains in detail about the purpose of AMiE and why it was/is unhappy with both the previous and current bishops of Southwark. It needs to be read in full.

…For example, in the liberal Southwark Diocese where I work as a senior pastor and director of the Co-Mission church-planting network, we have been pushed into “temporarily impaired communion” with our Diocesan Bishop since 2005. This is because, despite Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (declaring that homosexual activity is wrong) he would offer us no assurance that he would teach that homosexual practice is sin and therefore something not to be tolerated among the clergy. As a matter of conscience under the Biblical command to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” with those “who change the grace of our God into a licence for immorality”, we cannot accept the oversight of a Bishop who refuses to teach such fundamental Biblical doctrine. The Bible is clear that un-repented wickedness (including homosexual practice) prevents us from inheriting the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). The refusal of church leaders to teach this truth with compassion and clarity imperils the salvation of gay people we seek to love in our community by suggesting that repentance isn’t necessary. In this conviction we have enjoyed warm fellowship within many Evangelical networks but have longed for orthodox Episcopal oversight within the Church of England that will support Biblical teaching in our church-planting movement…

Richard Perkins, of Christ Church Balham has written at The Urban Pastor about AMiE. This article reflects on a BBC radio interview from last week.

Robert Piggott, the BBC Religious Correspondent, got it about right on Saturday on Radio 4. In his piece on the Today Programme he commented that, in launching the AMiE, conservative evangelicals had parked their tanks on the front lawn of Lambeth Palace.

It’s obviously the case that the establishing of this new mission society is seen by some as unnecessarily provocative. Even by some of those who are orthodox on the issue of human sexuality. But it’s worth asking why some evangelicals thought that such a drastic move was necessary. A ‘conversation’ is supposed to be taking place between, if I may simplify, the liberal revisionists and the evangelical reformers. But clearly one side doesn’t feel that they’re being listened to. They are now, I’ll wager…

Some historical background can be found in this presentation by John Richardson.

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Alastair Cutting
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Andrew Goddard has also posted an article called:
Civil Partnerships & Same-Sex Relationships in the Church of England on the Fulcrum website, which gives some context to the sexuality debate:
https://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/page.cfm?ID=639

Fulcrum’s position on AMiE is fairly robust:
http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/?ID=633

Grumpy High Church Woman
Guest
Grumpy High Church Woman

Good to know they have such a guardian of morality as Wallace Benn as a leader … (see item about Chichester).

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Richard Perkins writes nonsense. He might fantasize that gay people are treated in a loving manner in the evangelical church, should any venture within the doors of such a place, but the reverse is the case, as everyone knows. As everyone knows, what a gay or lesbian person gets from an evangelical church is: whispering, finger-pointing, rumor-mongering, bullying, shunning, and exclusion. Not to mention offensive, ugly stereotyping, obvious loathing, expressions of astounding ignorance, and an overwhelming nastiness, pouring out in torrents from the pulpit as well as from the congregation. It’s so mean-spirited that most want nothing at all to… Read more »

sjh
Guest
sjh

Do the people at Fulcrum and AMIE really think any gay people are paying any attention to their attempts to control other people’s sex lives. Who do they think they are to attempt to exercise this control? I know of one evangelical Christian who committed suicide because he was unable to reconcile his faith and sexuality. That is the result of their arrogance and attempted control and their ‘listening’ to gay and lesbian people, though only the ones who agree with them of course.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

But clearly one side doesn’t feel that they’re being listened to. They are now, I’ll wager… No, I don’t feel we queers are being listened to now. I notice it is all about liberals and conservatives talking or not — Coekin and co say not about speaking and listening to the gays they say they love so much. If he does love me I have to say it remains unrequited – he’ll have to woo me. Now there’s a thought ! Meanwhile gay life goes on as creatively, inventively, sometimes courageously and yes, as gaily as ever ! Why do… Read more »

Simon Butler
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Simon Butler

While I might understand your righteous anger – and possibly your pain, Charlotte – most of us in the Church of England do not want to be rid of our Evangelicals. Indeed, some of us consider ourselves such. What we long to be rid of this naked land-grabbing based on so-called ‘biblical principle’, which this tiny minority within the wider Evangelical family seem to specialise in. The vast majority of Evangelicals – including those in Southwark Diocese where I serve – are heartily sick of this self-delusional posturing. Orthodoxy (whatever that is) is NOT under threat in the Church of… Read more »

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

I tend to agree wholeheartedly with Charlotte who posted in this thread. I saw the Anglican evangelicals try to launch one of their “churches” here in San Francisco and it failed. They turned people off almost immediately with a Billy Graham style but much more aggressive. They represented themselves as an independent Anglican Church, not affiliated with ECUSA. They suddenly disappeared and no one has seen them since. I think Charlotte is right. These kind of evangelical groups have so shown their colors that ordinary, decent human beings are ashamed to be near them. Their hypocrisy and arrogance was at… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“we cannot accept the oversight of a Bishop who refuses to teach…”

This is *heresy*. A bishop’s charism for oversight has NOTHING to do w/ what s/he “teaches” (or refuses to teach).

If said bishop’s taught doctrine is excruciatingly heterodox, the proper episcopal authorities will try the bishop.

But it’s not up to clergy to decide whether they will accept the bishop’s oversight based upon that doctrine.

I can’t believe how bald-faced Coekin is about this. As a (similar minded?) US politician would put it, Coekin has Choots-spa!

Hugh James
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Hugh James

I do know evangelicals who fit Charlotte’s description, but not all do, For example, Accepting Evangelicals is a open network of Evangelical Christians who believe the time has come to move towards the acceptance of faithful, loving same-sex partnerships at every level of church life, and the development of a positive Christian ethic for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.See http://www.acceptingevangelicals.org/ for more information. I do believe we should not stereotype evangelicals or any other group of people.

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

Unlike the tiny ordinariate group ( who had to stretch the law to get charitable donations) at least the AMIE are self financing, and have a enough people to be a church within a church for a very long time.

AMIE simply formalises the situation, which has been de facto for years.

Its a type of UDI.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

“[C]“ontend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”

Presumably this is the faith that approved of slavery.

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

I wonder how AMIE finances materialized? Where did their actual funds come from? Are they from a few wealthy members or are they from organizations set up to support right wing causes in various forms? I would really like to know. While it is true that not ALL evangelical Christians are rabid right wingers, the general populations of the evangelical communities at least as far as I have observed over the years, tend toward the right wing and thus has considerably less tolerance for others with differing views. I have met very loving, kind, evangelicals who not only “accept” but… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

There is, of course, the ethnic perspective. Consider the statistics compiled and released last year by the Research and Statistics Department of the Archbishop’s Council and, this year, by the EHRC (briefing paper 1). The average age of Anglican churchgoers reported in the UK was 61, although, in London, it’s 54. By comparison, a recent survey indicated that the average age of UK Pentecostal churchgoers is 32. In 2005, there were 16,247 Anglican churches in England, with an average congregation size of 54. In contrast, there were 2,227 Pentecostal churches in England, with an average congregation of 129. While the… Read more »

cryptogram
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cryptogram

I note from Crockford that Mr Coekin is also a solicitor. His exegesis if scripture bears the hallmarks of the lawyer’s approach. See Matthew 23:13, 15.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

‘I know of one evangelical Christian who committed suicide because he was unable to reconcile his faith and sexuality.’

God love him

Thank you for sharing this- it should reduce us all to silence and to tears.

‘(On that day)It will be more tolerable for Sodom…’

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

of course Simon Butler Evangelicals are safe everywhere unlike gay folk.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Why do so many Evangelicals and others, here and elsewhere seem to write and talk as if their / our beliefs are objective or scientific facts, rather than beliefs ?

Do we really think that this or that item of the creeds is factually true, rather than being truths of faith ?

Facing that beliefs are belief can make quite a difference, you know.

For one thing we not be so embattled or at logger-heads about things – need we ?

John
Guest
John

‘The Church of England – and the Diocese of Southwark – is a perfectly safe place for Evangelicals.’

I think this is completely right. It is also true of Liberals (forget all the hysterical stuff about if and when the Covenant is passed, liberals will forever be defeated – in this matter, as in others, people will simply disobey -as pretty well all groups do). Is it true of gays? Yes and no. Depends where you are, depends how vocal you are, depends what sort of church career you want.

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Richard Coekin: “We clearly needed to discover if the new Bishop would be orthodox in the presenting salvation issue of homosexual practice.”

It’s pretty breathtaking to describe attitudes to homosexuality as a salvation issue – I can’t see how any Bible-believing Protestant could elevate anything not mentioned at all by Jesus to such a level. Is it just me or are these men unhealthily obsessed with the whole thing?

A J Barford
Guest
A J Barford

We should embrace the AMiE as we should the Ordinariate – to provide those opposed to equality legislation on both wings of the C of E a safe haven with which to proceed at a glacial speed on these issues.

guyer
Guest
guyer

i think it would be cool if the AMiE took on the mortal sin of gluttony, given the obesity rate in the West and the malnutrition and starvation rates elsewhere…no that it’s a sexy issue, but anyways, just sayin’…

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

David, I would wholeheartedly agree with you that AiME recognises the power of evangelicalism and that this is the expression of faith that most appeals to a large section of minority ethnicities. To be honest, the liveliness and sheer joy of an evangelical service is something I would truly appreciate in our more liberal churches too. And where there is a genuine grappling with Scripture, any decent evangelical priest can deliver a stunningly enriching service. But that’s not how AiME developed. Genuine evangelicalism has merely been hijacked to pin an anti-gay agenda on to. There are as many people among… Read more »

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

‘I know of one evangelical Christian who committed suicide because he was unable to reconcile his faith and sexuality.’

I have never forgotten the case of a young man from East Anglia (I think) who was also unable to reconcile his faith and sexuality. After he killed himself his father said that his son was better off dead than gay, and went on to found an ‘ex-gay’ organisation.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

‘This is evident from a loss of confidence in basic Biblical doctrine concerning the uniquely saving substitutionary death…’ The Church of England has never authoritively defined the meaning or the workings of the atonement and the bishops no doubt have a great variety of definitions. I wonder why this grouping of schismatics haven’t fallen out with their bishops on something I would have thought was much more important for them. So once again one has to ask why these people are so obsessed by homosexuality and why now. There are of course, no more LGTB people around in society or… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

Mortal sin, indeed. Where in the bible does it indicate the level of consumption that would make a person guilty of gluttony? In fact, Christ himself said, ‘The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard’ ( Matt.11:19) Also, St.Paul positively endorses the endorphin kick that food produces. He told the Gentiles of the God who: ‘did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with *food* and gladness.’ (Acts 14:17, emphasis mine) I don’t know about you, but I don’t want bishops poking around in… Read more »

david rowett
Guest

David Shepherd’s comment about ethnic minority representation needs a little bit of a reality check, even from this non-statistician. For starters, it’s a complete red herring to make comparisons with ethnic minority MPs for the obvious reason that there’s no ‘faith test’ (so far as I know) for those wishing to enter parliament. And I smell are other examples of nifty footwork to grind the ConsEv axe. That’s not to say there’s no cultural issue here – clearly there is – but let’s please approach it with a bit of logic, rather than compare oranges with gudgeon pins.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

I remain puzzled as to how this Co-Mission set up currently relates to the C of E. Ch Ch Mayfair is clearly a London parish church with licenced clergy..indeed one of them is someone I saw through the ordination process when I was Edmonton DDO, tho I see that he is described on their website in one place as curate ( quite C of E!)and elsewhere as Elder ( ??!) Coekin holds a licence in Sothwark tho he ministers in one of the few proprietory chapels left ( and is therefore rather semi-detached) and some of the other churches seem… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest

David Rowett, I didn’t compare the proportion of Minority Ethnicity Anglicans (MEA’s) in the total Anglican population with the proportion of Minority Ethnicity MPs in the UK parliament. I did compare the latter with the *proportion of MEA’s who become clergy*. One might assume they had already passed the Anglican ‘faith test’ of baptism and confirmation beforehand. I did quote the GS 1844 statistics on ethnic leadership diversity in the wider society, and (in the same way that many others have compared the level of sexual diversity outside of the church), I declared that our Anglican leadership is a striking… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

After he killed himself his father said that his son was better off dead than gay, and went on to found an ‘ex-gay’ organisation.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Monday, 18 July 2011 at 8:44am

Striking presumption – straight folk feel quite able to pass comment on our value and whether we ‘should’ live or die ?

Samuel Denyer
Guest
Samuel Denyer

I struggle to understand the ecclesiology behind these statements. The C of E *is* an episcopal church: that cannot be ignored. If you declare yourself out of communion with your bishop then that is when the bishop as principal eucharistic minister and focus of unity – within the diocese and with the rest of the church – bites. Is there not a strong case that the bishop should withraw the license from any such person, if only to complete the process initiated by the individual and tidy up things at his end? If you are out of communion with your… Read more »

john
Guest
john

‘The low proportion of MEA clergy and preferment is a striking ecclesiatical scandal that cannot be swept under the carpet.’

I entirely agree with that.

commentator
Guest
commentator

Samuel Denyer speaks the truth. These folk speak of ‘impaired communion’ which means broken communion. So they are not part of an Anglican diocese but have chosen to be non-conformist. It IS possible to disagree with your bishop and remain part of his diocese. Many people do just that. If you say you are in ‘impaired communion’ you excommunicate yourself. Why not keep your personal integrity and purity intact and leave?