Thinking Anglicans

Overseas ordination for a church in Sheffield

Updated Tuesday

Anglican Mainstream has published the following press release: Ordination in Kenya of Minister in Anglican Church Plant in Sheffield

In Sheffield, South Yorkshire, statistics show that only 3% of the population regularly attend church. Back in 2002 the leadership team at Christ Church Fulwood were invited by senior diocesan staff to investigate the possibility of church planting, with the aim of sharing the Gospel with people who had moved into the new residential developments in the city centre. Despite extensive discussions, diocesan support for this initiative was withdrawn, but with mission our priority Christ Church Central was “born” in October 2003 as “a church for people who don’t go to church” outside the formal structures of the Church of England.

Nearly 10 years later both parent and daughter churches have continued to grow numerically and partnered one another in mission to the city. An expression of this partnership was the planting of Christ Church Walkley last year, with the initial members drawn from both congregations living in the area. Pete Jackson, who has been one of the associate ministers at Christ Church Central, is the founding minister.

Although recommended by the Reform Panel of Reference and trained at Oakhill Theological College, Pete had not been ordained since Christ Church Central was not part of Sheffield Diocese. Concern that his ministry and that of the new church should be appropriately recognised led us to consult the leadership of the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), who subsequently wrote to the GAFCON Primates’ Council with a request that they should facilitate Pete’s ordination.

We are immensely grateful for the leadership of the Archbishop of Kenya, Eliud Wabukala, as chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council, and to the Bishop of Kitui, Josephat Mule, who ordained Pete as a deacon in the Anglican Church of Kenya on Saturday 9th February. We see this event as the latest expression of Gospel partnership between the churches in Sheffield and Kenya. Tim Davies’ father was Provost of Nairobi cathedral in the 1970s, Tim was born in Kenya and is himself an honorary canon of All Saints Cathedral Nairobi. Christ Church Central already supports mission partners in Nairobi…

The statement is signed by:

Tim Davies, Senior Minister, and Jane Patterson, Trustee, Christ Church Central

Jane Patterson is a General Synod member from the Diocese of Sheffield and a member of the Crown Nominations Commission.

Update

The Diocese of Sheffield has issued this:

ORDINATION IN KENYA

Reports are now circulating in the public domain of an ordination in Kenya in recent days. The Communications Office was inundated with calls wanting clarification and comment.

+Peter has issued the following statement today:

“The Diocese of Sheffield was made aware last week that Pete Jackson from Christ Church Walkley had been ordained in Kenya on Saturday 9 February 2013. This came as a total surprise as we had no prior knowledge or communication regarding this. We continue to seek further clarification and dialogue with those involved in the ordination at various levels and are taking advice so that we have a comprehensive picture of what took place. This will enable us to reflect further on the developments and their implications.”

(+Peter is the Bishop of Doncaster)

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Will Douglas Barton
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Will Douglas Barton

“diocesan support for this initiative was withdrawn”
“outside the formal structures of the Church of England”
“Pete had not been ordained since Christ Church Central was not part of Sheffield Diocese”
“Anglican Mission in England (AMiE)”

What exactly is supposed to be “mainstream” about this?

Concerned Anglican
Guest
Concerned Anglican

This is the fissiparous end of protestantism that is the hallmark of American religion and unique to that region. It won’t work in England.

I feel slightly sorry for the Kenyans who are being led by the nose into a Babylonian captivity which is really that of the ACNA more than GAFCON.

Commentator
Guest
Commentator

This faith community lists its 8 o’clock service as Holy Communion. Do I presume then that their Minister, Tim Davies – and indeed his colleagues – holds a bishop’s license or Permission to Officiate? All of which would be quite odd, when this community is not part of the Church of England diocese in which it stands

Paul David
Guest
Paul David

And so it begins!

johnny may
Guest
johnny may

Hang on a minute! Aren’t we are supposed to be desperately short of full-time priests. Here is a guy who it appears has been part of running two churches- both of which seem to be thriving. He has a training from an Anglican college. Why not ordain the guy? Moreover we are a church in numerical decline which has always had a poor record in urban areas. I have googled Walkley- urban, mainly small victorian terraces, 75% of houses under £200,000, no great student population- isn’t this just the sort of area which the Church needs to get into? Here… Read more »

Paul David
Guest
Paul David

Possibly this is one of those nice young men from Oakhill the Lorna Ashworth was talking about at the recent General Synod debate !

Pam Smith
Guest

Is there any indication that Tim Davies has sought ordination in the C of E and been refused? I can’t see any myself.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Jonny May wrote:

“Here is a guy who it appears has been part of running two churches- both of which seem to be thriving. He has a training from an Anglican college.

“Why not ordain the guy?”

I don’t know. But one might presume that there is more to the story than will be revealed by Anglican Mainstream. One can hardly argue that the Church of England should endorse any form of ministry, no matter what it looks like. Diocesan support was withdrawn deliberately: I don’t know why this happened, but that reason is surely pertinent to the current discussion.

Pluralist
Guest

Oh, an opportunity to return to an old theme in my blogging – religious trotskyism. The smaller body, superficially more successful than the larger body, invades it, uses the host’s ‘reach’, but keeps its own control and acquires foreign management under GAFCON. http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/entryism-active-in-church-of-england.html One wonders what the new Archbishop thinks of this? The situation only becomes another ACNA – or ACNE (Anglican Church of Northern Europe) – if actions are taken to remove the entryists. If the entryists are not removed, they become the decision making centres instead of the dioceses. They build for themselves the ‘Third Province’ that has… Read more »

Chris H.
Guest
Chris H.

@johnny, If it means accepting more conservatives into the church, for some, the answer is probably that they would prefer decline. Is Oak Hill an accepted Seminary in England? And would the new archbishop be willing or able to bring the church into the fold? I’m a little confused by Commentator’s post; are Anglican priests the only ones in Britain who can give holy communion? What of the Methodists, Catholics,etc.? Does the CoE have to approve every congregation in the country? If the project was begun with CoE support and then they changed their minds, should the church have closed… Read more »

Iain McLean
Guest
Iain McLean

Looks as if the Archbishop’s New Director of Reconciliation has his first job on his hands

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Hard, with this degree of diversity and indeed diversification, to see the ‘Church of England’ authorities wish to use the marriage equality legislation (Bill undergoing the Committee Stage now, to prvent clergy and parishes from marrying ALL their parishoners, as they would wish.

ian
Guest
ian

i don;t know how old you are, pluralist, but if your memory stretches back to the seventies you will recall that the first women priests were ordained in america by Anglican liberal-leaning retired bishops ‘ doing their own thing’ as you put it.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

While it may seem to be a disturbing development, ultimately there is freedom of religion in the UK, right? The claim “Anglican,” yet alone “Anglican Mainstream” is distasteful. But ultimately CoE decides for itself who they are, what they believe, and who they serve. CoE might want to just treat them like Methodists or Presbyterians, whatever that may be. After all the schism and whatnot in TEC, it is the liberal churches that are growing. Actually, outside TEC, even the conservative Evangelical Churches that were once so powerful are in decline. Their young adults aren’t accepting the Gospel of Homophobia,… Read more »

Commentator
Guest
Commentator

Chris H – My point is that having chosen to operate outside the indigenous Anglican Church it seems disingenuous to use language on their website that would suggests ‘normal Anglican usage’. For a priest ordained within the Church of England to exercise a sacramental ministry he/she is required to hold a license or a permission to officiate from the Diocesan Bishop. This faith community is operating outside the Diocese of Sheffield, so Mr Tim Davies (& his ordained colleagues) are not sharing in the Bishop of Sheffield’s sacramental ministry. Advertising “8 o’clock Holy Communion” is destinctly misleading. They appear to… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest

So it turns out that all those people who told me the schismatic tactics of the far right would never happen in England were lying?

I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you.

As shocked as Captain Renault.

http://youtu.be/SjbPi00k_ME

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Tim Davies has an entry in Crockford

DAVIES, Canon Timothy Robert. b 64. Bradf Univ BSc87. Wycliffe Hall Ox BTh93. d 93 p 94. C Eynsham and Cassington Ox 93-97; C Fulwood Sheff 97-03; Crosslinks Assoc Ch Ch Cen from 03; Hon Can Nairobi Cathl from 08

This does not tell us whether or not he has a PTO from the Bp of Sheffield. But it appears he has not held a license from him since 2003.

Pam Smith
Guest

Interesting that Crosslinks crops up in Tim Davies’ CV.

IIRC The Plant church in Manchester was set up 2004 by two ministers who had been ordained and served title in the C of E. They were then authorised by Crosslinks as Anglican missionaries to the student population of Manchester and set up The Plant, which therefore had a much less clear relationship to the C of E than this church does.

The Plant nowadays seems also to be known as Grace Church and their website doesn’t seem to mention any organisational or historic relationship with the C of E.

Rosie Bates
Guest
Rosie Bates

You are giving me ideas! I have an entry in Crockfords but when writing to a certain Archdeacon for PTO it doesn’t help to have a name like Rosie, Elizabeth Jennie etc. Tom, Dick, Harry or Tim might be acceptable in Diocese of Europe in order to get the grace of a reply. They can’t even let their Yes be Yes and their No be No. Communion Services are now advertised locally and then cancelled – poor souls are short staffed.

JCF
Guest
JCF

Schism. We TEC Yanks know what you’re going through, CofE.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

The alternative structures that were promised take another small step forward. The birth of a new denomination is nothing to be concerned about.

Jonny May asks why ……

I think the honest answer is that this is all by design and this new priest would not find himself comfortable as a CofE cleric.

I am sure we all wish this man success and joy in his ministry for The Lord.

johnny may
Guest
johnny may

I have been doing further research- Christ Church in Fulwood, Sheffield is a hugely successful church that is “planting” (or whatever its called) in whatcan only be described as urban areas and in at least one case in a decidedly under-privileged. As far as I can work out this is their fourth church. In a chruch in numerical decline it baffles me that anyone would want to do anything other the pray for, encourage, fund, facilitate and enthuse about such a work. I’m afraid debates about schism, “liberation” or the relative success of churches 3,000 miles away, or whether someone… Read more »

John Roch
Guest
John Roch

He is not listed among those with PTO in the 2011/2012 Diocesan Directory

peter kettle
Guest

Given the information in Crockfords, why did he need to be ordained again in Kenya? I didn’t think you could be ordained again in the same ‘church’. Or am I missing something here?

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Commentator, since when did the CofE have a monopoly on using the words “Anglican” and “Holy Communion”?

I don’t support conservative schismatics, but your point is ridiculous. Welcome to religious pluralism.

They say it’s a service of Holy Communion. Who are you to say it’s not?

John dsandeman
Guest
John dsandeman

Cynthia,
I am certain you are right that many Liberal churches are growing in TEC. But “After all the schism and whatnot in TEC, it is the liberal churches that are growing.” would imply that all, or nearly all liberal churches are growing.
Has someone done a survey? TEC has good stats, but I have never seen one that shows this.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Commentator I cant see an 8 o’clock Holy Communion on the website..they seem to have !meetings” ( a la Sydney) at 10 30am and 5 30pm.Perhaps the young man in question wasnt recommended for ordination training in the C of E and trained at Oak Hill as an independent student ( there are a good number of students at Oak Hill not training for C of E ministry altho it is a recognised college.)No doubt we will hear more in due course…

Chris H.
Guest
Chris H.

Anybody have an idea why the diocese pulled out? Should the whole thing have collapsed when they did?

Pam Smith
Guest

Peter Kettle – I was puzzled till I realised we’re talking about two different people here.

Pete Jackson is the man who has just been ordained in Kenya, who trained at Oak Hill but may or may not have been sponsored by a C of E Diocese to train.

Tim Davies, the signatory of the letter above, is the senior minister of the church, and was ordained in the C of E and according to Crockford’s has held two curacies in the C of E before going to Sheffield.

johnny may
Guest
johnny may

Martin Reynolds- “I think the honest answer is that this is all by design and this new priest would not find himself comfortable as a CofE cleric.” I think you might need to explain, to someone like me what “by design” means- it sound exciting is there a conspiracy? Are there fifth columnists? Do tell. If the issue is why he is not “comfortable as a CofE cleric” when he is trying to establish a new church in an urban area of 3% church-going isn’t the more important question to ask why he is not “comfortable” when he seems just… Read more »

carl jacobs
Guest
carl jacobs

Christ Church Central was a non-parochial church plant in the parish of another church. The other church objected to this intrusion on its territory. That’s why no support was forthcoming. So they went outside the CoE and did it anyways. This board mystifies me at times, and not just because of the whistling past the graveyard about ‘growing liberal churches.’ I read the threads on WO and gay marriage and it’s evident you can’t wait to be rid of churches like this. “No room for bigotry!” as the pontification goes. But when they do leave, you accuse them of being… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

The point is this church could be ‘successful’ within the diocese, with its churches coming under the bishop as usual. Fresh Expressions places act like that. It could also be ‘successful’ as a separate denomination. As in separate denominations, there are already, for example, women bishops and even a woman archbishop in England, Scotland and Wales. But no one has done this consecrating and also claimed to be Church of England. What it is doing, this ‘Christ Church’ franchise, is using its ‘success’ to undermine one form of authority and substitute another.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Well well! The Church of England was warned what would be happening after the arrival of faux-bishop Minns & Co. in Blighty. By encouraging the likes of the GAFCON primates to pursue their own fundamentalist trajectory, through the emergence of AMiE, you have begun to reap the whirlwind!

Pam Smith
Guest

As of now, the parent church of Christ Church Central, Christ Church Fulwood, also appears to be an independent church. So as things stand, a man who was trained and ordained by the C of E now leads a group of independent churches, and someone in leadership in that group has apparently been selected for training for ordination by Reform and ordained by someone outside the C of E to operate in England. To all intents and purposes, Reform has therefore started to operate as a separate church with its own selection procedures and ordinations. It seems to me that… Read more »

David Walker
Guest
David Walker

Two observations, neither of which is for or against this development.

As a matter of fact, in the C of E it is not lawful for anyone to be ordained unless they have a “title”, usually a parochial appointment, to go to. If Christ Church Central is not part of the diocese then the bishop cannot ordain someone to minister there. Kenyan rules may be different.

Is this development different in kind from the Southwark case of some years ago, or just another isolated example?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Why do you say that about Fulwood, Pam?
The parish is listed in A Church Near You as a CofE parish. And its weekly notice sheet (on the website) has details of electoral roll procedures…

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Now Johnny, I am personally delighted that a Christian community is flourishing, I am not so sure that I would be quite so delighted if I was the local Vicar and congregation who might easily feel ill at ease. As others point out above, Johnny, there are many similar and equally successful projects like this going forward under the labels of “fresh expressions” etc. within the CofE. Some of these are also in difficult to reach areas for our faith. But, in this case, we are dealing with a group, or collection of groups that have already spiritually broken away… Read more »

primroseleague
Guest
primroseleague

Martin, I think that’s a very fair comment – and I’m glad you seemed to come down so positively by the end, as all the way through I was thinking “Methodism” (not in terms of overseas support obviously). I’m not of the Reform party AT ALL, but I can’t help thinking that having “something to prove” might be a very good spur to small e evangelism. However, I do know, from the history of my own AC wing of the church, that the idea of foreign diocesans coming over to ordain survived until relatively recently, and whatever else is going… Read more »

Pam Smith
Guest

Simon – apart from the mention of an electoral roll – which I missed – I spent some time looking at the website to find out if it was part of the Church of England and couldn’t find any mention of it. I know that it’s questionable to argue from a negative but I honestly thought I was looking at the website of a completely independent church. I assumed there had been an understanding with the Diocese that Fullwood could plant a new church within a current parish but the Diocese later withdrew its co-operation. Maybe the fact that the… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

I’m calling them schismatics because that’s what they appear to be. Having said that, I’m not deeply opposed to schism if people decide they cannot stay in one church, and leave by striking out on their own, without taking any property of the church they are leaving. As I said above, that’s called religious pluralism. I might disagree with whatever issues on which they are posting their theses. And I probably do in this case. But church unity for the sake of church unity is vastly overrated. So yes, I will call these people schismatics. But from what I’ve read… Read more »

david rowett
Guest

Perhaps one issue overlooked by the enthusiastic applauders of the CCC initiative is that it lacks what, for want of a better expression, I’ll call ‘humility’ (see RB chapter 7!). On Sunday I was invited to preach at the local New Life (“the usual address is thirty-five to forty-five minutes, David”, so I had to cut down a bit from my usual). So a black-clad trad catholic was able to join a charismatic evangelical service in complete comfort and mutual respect. It is the insistence of the CCC set-up that the Church of England is not a tradition to be… Read more »

johnny may
Guest
johnny may

It has made my day that some people can rejoice in this initiative but I am again baffled by a few things- Jeremy- “I’m not deeply opposed to schism if people decide they cannot stay in one church…” it is a frankly bizarre organisation that desires its growing part to leave. Why not do all that we can to get them in the fold? As people here are objecting to- they want to be Anglicans! Martin -“I am not so sure that I would be quite so delighted if I was the local Vicar and congregation”, in an area of… Read more »

badman
Guest
badman

After all the huffing and puffing about Lambeth Conference resolution 1.10 of 1998, the Primate of Kenya might like to remind himself of Lambeth Conference Resolution 72 of 1988 which: “reaffirms its unity in the historical position of respect for diocesan boundaries and the authority of bishops within these boundaries; and in light of the above affirms that it is deemed inappropriate behaviour for any bishop or priest of this Communion to exercise episcopal or pastoral ministry within another diocese without first obtaining the permission and invitation of the ecclesial authority thereof.” This was not new. It goes back, indeed,… Read more »

Peter Ould
Guest

Pam wrote,

“As of now, the parent church of Christ Church Central, Christ Church Fulwood, also appears to be an independent church.”

This is completely untrue. Christ Church Fulwood is a parish church within the Diocese of Sheffield.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

Lets see if I’ve got this right. CoE parishes are geographical areas where only 1 CoE church can be. The diocese asked Christ Church Fulham to plant new churches. They did so, but the parish church already there got huffy about the new kids on the block, so the diocese backed out. Now the leaders of the new church can’t be ordained in the CoE because of the rules. After a decade of not being accepted into the CoE, the new church wants ordained priests,but since the CoE won’t do it they asked a foreign church in the Anglican Communion… Read more »

johnny may
Guest
johnny may

Badman- indulge my ignorance but what “episcopal or pastoral ministry” is the Primate of Kenya exercising in the Diocese of Sheffield? The press release is clear that the ordination took place in Nairobi (or perhaps Kitui?) so I take that the diocese in which authority was exercised is therefore in Kenya. I presume that in his own diocese a Kenyan bishop can do as he pleases- can’t he?

johnny

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

John, A recent statistic showed growth in 33 of TEC’s 100+ dioceses, including mine. As far as I can tell, anecdotally, liberal ones are thriving. We tend to be in urban locations. And that news shows the sea change that we feel. Johnny called me out on: Cynthia – “make nice with them, just don’t let them run things” would that make them “second class” Christians when I note here that any suggestion of women as “second class” bishops is unacceptable? Why the judgement? Their work is successful- so just the people run things aren’t they? Johnny – It doesn’t… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Peter Ould has a careful blogpost on this, it may deepen Johnny’s understanding. Just click on his name above.

Johnny, we would all rejoice to see the gospel of Christ flourish. There may be some concerns about church plants from Westboro Baptist or Rock House Holiness Church and others, but in general we would value and applaud genuine mission, successful or not.

All we want to know is: Is this Marks & Spencer’s or Marx and Sponsors? And it’s increasingly looking like a branch of the second variety.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

The permanent URL for the article mentioned above is
http://www.peter-ould.net/2013/02/19/a-little-spat-in-sheffield/

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

No Cynthia ..there is no Church Tax in England so the C of E operates as a voluntary body ( while endeavouring to be a geographically organised national church), with help from historic resources esp the Church Commissioners…though that is now largely a pension fund.