Thinking Anglicans

Those AMiE ordinations

Updated Monday

David Pocklington has written at great length about this subject, see AMiE ordinations. There is little that can be added to his detailed account and comprehensive links.

The Church Times report has been updated to list the names and locations of those ordained:

The newly ordained priest was the Revd Peter Jackson, a pastor at Christ Church, in Walkley, an AMiE church plant in north-west Sheffield.

Those ordained deacon were Kenny Larsen, the associate pastor in Walkley; Jon Cawsey and Mat­thew Thompson, who together lead Christ Church, Stockport; Alistair Harper, from Grace Church, Bude (which has no website); Christopher Houghton, from Christ Church Central, in Sheffield; Martin Soole and Christopher Young, who are senior minister and student worker respectively at Trinity Church, Lancaster; and Robert Tearle, assistant minister at Trinity Church, Scarborough.

Christ Church Walkley includes among its trustees a member of the General Synod of the Church of England, Ms Jane Patterson. She is also listed for Christ Church Central.

The Christian Today report of the ordinations notes that:

…A number of senior conservative Church of England figures played prominent roles in the service.

The move will be seen as provocative as it sets up Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) as a rival Anglican Church to the Church of England.

Canon Andy Lines was appointed GAFCON’s ‘missionary bishop’ within minutes of the Scottish Episcopal Church allowing gay marriage in church.

Several retired bishops attended the ceremony at East London Tabernacle Baptist Church and a number of active CofE clergy were also present. Before the service a CofE spokesman said any clergy who ‘participate actively’ in AMiE’s services would be breaking canon law.

Rev David Banting, a well known evangelical in the Church of England and vicar of St Peter’s Harold Wood in the Diocese of Chelmsford, joined in the laying on of hands of the new ordinands – a key part in the process of ordination.
It is not clear whether this amounted to breaking the Church’s canon laws.

In a move that is likely to increase tensions with Lambeth Palace, two senior conservative Anglican leaders, the Archbishop of Nigeria and the Archbishop of Uganda, sent a video message welcoming the move. Both figures boycotted a meeting of global Anglican leaders called by the Archbishop of Canterbury in October over deeply entrenched disagreements on gay marriage.

The laying on of hands is a key part of the Anglican ordination service.
Rev Rico Tice, senior minister at All Souls’ Langham Place, a large evangelical church in central London, preached the sermon.

Jane Patterson, a senior conservative member of the Church of England’s general synod, gave a reading and Susie Leafe, director of the evangelical grouping Reform and a member of the General Synod, said prayers.

Before the service a Church of England spokesman said: ‘It has come to our attention that Bishop Andy Lines, a Bishop in the Anglican Church in North America, will be carrying out some ordinations this week in a denomination calling itself the Anglican Mission in England.
‘For clarity, this group is not part of, nor affiliated with, the Church of England, nor is Bishop Lines’s parent denomination part of the Anglican Communion.
‘Under our canon law, Church of England clergy are unable to participate actively in the group’s services.
‘Our prayers are, of course, with all those seeking to proclaim Christ.’

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Bernard
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Bernard

Jane Patterson is chair of trustees of both Christ Church Walkley and Christ Church Central. Both have finances in very good shape, with recent income much higher than expenditure.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

re Bernard’s comment here: ‘Boards of Trustees’ for church parishes sounds more like financial business management than propagation of the Gospel.This is a hallmark of Pastor ruled churches on a mega-church business model. Is the the new face of the Church in England?

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

I gather some of these chaps trained at OakHill…as independent students I hope.

american piskie
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american piskie

You are reading too much into it, Fr Ron. All English charities, including Parochial Church Councils, are run by trustees, accountable in most cases as a body to the Charity Commission.

Bernard
Guest
Bernard

No, Father R, that’s not quite fair. The Parochial Church Councils of many churches are constituted as registered charities, and the term “board of trustees” is a standard part of the ways charities report their activities. For example, St Matthew’s Westminster (which you have praised in another blog post) is reported at http://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity-details/?regid=1132355&subid=0 The charity commission reporting is interesting because it allows you to see which other charities individuals are involved with, as well as other information. This is all part of the sort of transparency that the Church of England doesn’t usually go in for, but if you want… Read more »

Peter S
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Peter S

No disrespect intended, but is this actually Anglican news?

Pete Broadbent
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Pete Broadbent

@Fr Ron All PCCs are Trustee bodies with charitable status. Non parochial churches have boards of trustees. It’s English charity law. Your hermeneutical suspicion leads you wide of the mark here..

Anne
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Anne

Bernard: Surely the issue isn’t whether or not the finances of CC Walkley or Central are ‘in very good shape’, the issue is surely that there is a serious conflict of interest for a member of the GS of the C of E to be a Trustee of an AMiE church or churches. According to the gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/manage-a-conflict-of-interest-in-your-charity: “You have a legal duty to act in your charity’s best interests when making decisions as a trustee. If there’s a decision to be made where a trustee has a personal or other interest, this is a conflict of interest ……… Read more »

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

The Labour Party is hardly an example to hold up for its avoidance of fissiparous dissension, but Jane Patterson would be immediately expelled from the Labour Party in the analogous situation. The Labour Party is weak on people who are members of “parties within a party”; for example, Militant. But the distinction between entryists and people who are merely members of factions and tendencies is very hard to draw; if a group of people who hold a particular view wish to organise to advance their cause, that is entirely proper, provided their view and the ways they wish to advance… Read more »

Malcolm
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Malcolm

Ms Patterson who took part in the ordination service of a Church which had separated itself from the Church of England is also an elected member of the Crown Nominations Commission. I presume that she will now follow through her recent action by resigning from the Commission and allow a lay member fully in support of the Church of England and its policies to be prayerfully involved in the appointment of future Diocesan Bishops.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

It’s hard to write about AMiE without accidentally, but dangerously, using the language of The Troubles. For clarity, words like “Real” and “Continuity”, associated with Republicanism, are not used to imply terrorist intent. It’s pretty obvious that the AMiE position is that they are the real CofE, and therefore that although they are organising outside the CofE’s structures they are doing so in order to protect the CofE from itself, or some similar argument. Catholicism has made a pretty serious set of rods for its own back by failure to deal with various SSPX-esque factions, most recently appearing in shambles… Read more »

Bernard
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Bernard

Anne

I was trying to be purely factual! “In good shape” means, in these cases, if you look at the accounts in question, that they are bringing in really quite large sums of money and in fact they seem to be accumulating rather than spending. I’ll leave it to others to speculate as to what it’s for.

I agree with you about conflicts of interest. So it’s me as well as you that would like to be enlightened…

Cassandra
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Cassandra

Peter S, yes, as Malcolm notes Ms Patterson is someone who chooses Church of England bishops so it’s not just Anglican news, it’s Church of England news.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

“Ms Patterson who took part in the ordination service of a Church which had separated itself from the Church of England is also an elected member of the Crown Nominations Commission.”

Appalling.

Or is the rule different if you come from a well-financed parish?

Malcolm Dixon
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Malcolm Dixon

Yes, it is appalling, Jeremy, and the rule does appear to be different if you are from a numerous and well financed parish, since numbers and finance are now the ‘be all and end all’, it seems. Even more appalling is the inaction of the Archbishops over this and similar infractions. Rather as with the case of +Blackburn and the Graham mission in Blackpool (discussed in another thread), this is a case where it is impossible to sit on the fence. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing. And ‘BishopPryke’ continues to function… Read more »

Judith Maltby
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Judith Maltby

The actions and attitudes of AMiE have reminded me of the eminent historian Peter Brown’s assessment of the Donatists, theological opponents of St Augustine in the early Church, in his ground breaking biography of Augustine of Hippo: ‘[Donatists thought of themselves as a group which existed to preserve and protect an:] alternative to the society around them. They felt their identity to be constantly threatened: first by persecution, later, by compromise. Innocence, ritual purity, meritorious suffering, predominate in their image of themselves. They were unique, “pure”: “the Church of the righteous who are persecuted but do not persecute.”’ (The quotation… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

Is it worth getting hot under the ‘choler’ about this? If these developments have Divine approval, they will prosper. If not …. As for what should or should not happen to Ms Patterson, I have no great faith in the mechanisms of the CoE to ensure that justice is done, even if those mechanisms could work out what justice was. When I look at the CoE I wonder if maybe AMIE have a point or two, though I’d feel more at home with the RCs. I simply don’t see why we need yet more denominations.

Neil Patterson
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Neil Patterson

The reference to breach of canon law applies to David Banting and any others who laid on hands – which is forbidden quite specifically by Canon B43.5, unless in a church with which the C of E has ‘intercommunion’. (and NB although the Church of England recognises ACNA orders as valid, this is not the same – we recognise Roman Catholic orders as perfectly valid, but are definitely not in intercommunion). However, in terms of enforcement, I would say that like the consecration of Bishop Pryke and many other things, this could only be a case for the Court of… Read more »

David Lamming
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David Lamming

Does anyone know the name of the anonymous “Church of England spokesman” referred to in the Christian Today report, and on whose behalf he was speaking?

Stephen Griffiths
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Stephen Griffiths

Under our canon law, Church of England clergy are unable to participate actively in the group’s services.

Could someone expand on that part of the statement please?

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

https://vimeo.com/246509281

And no hi-jacking of Catholic ritual and symbolism.

Christopher Rees
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Christopher Rees

All very sad. Why can’t we just agree to disagree, and love one another as Our Lord loves us.

Susannah Clark
Guest

There’s no leadership intervention so anything goes, no consequences, it seems. If Church of England clergy can preach at and participate in ordinations that aren’t authorised by the Church of England, without intervention or consequences… …does that mean that other Church of England clergy can preach and participate in the marriages and public blessing of gay and lesbian couples? Or get married themselves? A Church is being set up, outside the authority of the Archbishops and General Synod. Surely clergy who engage in this should be told they have a choice: submit to the Church of England’s authority, or leave… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Sometimes I weary of dogma, and politics, and theological abstracts, and the rigidity of the human heart. Sometimes my heart sighs ‘enough’. And needs a little simplicity. Needs the personhood of faith, the simple friendship and kindness of God, the humanity of Jesus. Sometimes it’s just lovely to reflect upon the loving kindness of Jesus. How good and decent he was (and is, of course). The way he connected to people, the way people were attracted, and moved by his presence and grace. His engagement with women as well as men. His intelligence, but cleverness mingled with gentle goodness. His… Read more »

MarkBrunson
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MarkBrunson

Susannah,

It would be incredibly easy, wouldn’t it? In this fallen world, it can’t happen, apparently. Perhaps, only widespread real suffering will accomplish it.

Anne Lee
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Anne Lee

Susannah, thank you so much for bringing us back to the heart of the gospel.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Susannah raises a fair point.

Will there be any consequences for these CofE clergy and highly placed laity?

Or are consequences imposed only in cases of uncanonical marriages, as opposed to uncanonical ordinations?

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”

Simon W
Guest
Simon W

Why do these people feel a call to plant churches in Lancaster, Sheffield and Scarborough where there are already thriving Evangelical churches and evangelical Anglican churches, to boot? It’s the same as the Salisbury scenario that hit the headlines a couple of years ago – that little city is full of evangelical churches of all denominations! Presumably the wrong kind of evangelical?

CRS
Guest
CRS

SW–if the US example is useful, conservatives work hard where they know there is a conservative base in place already (TX,SC,CFL).

That isn’t the question so much as how the conservative CofE churches in this region regard them. Do they see them as hurting their own witness? Competing for their people? Evangelical co-workers?

Unlike TEC the CofE is the established church. This may lower the potential tension as it represents two very different options. The US is already full of competing denominations.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

I agree with Simon W. In the latest Anglican Unscripted Gavin Ashenden pointed out that there seems to be little Anglican in AiME unless you see Anglicanism simply in Sydney terms.Here in Canterbury we have the City Church,Emmanuel,Barton Free Church,Vinyard, New Life and Victory churches and perhaps others plus a Baptist church ,an evangelical/charismatic URC Church and a well attended C of E charismatic/evangelical Church.AiME can only make headway in some specific places and hardly at all I imagine in the countryside. There is only a certain percentage of the English people who will go for that sort of Christianity.… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Just what does the Church of England General Synod propose to do about AMiE-affilated Trust Members pretending to be part of the Church of England anyway – especially if they are claiming that the C. of E. is doctrinally heretical?

What are your diocesan bishops and archbishops doing about Ms Patterson’s duplicity? Or is it alright for her to claim membership of both Churches when one is out to destabilise the other?
No wonder GAFCON is gaining ground in the U.K.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

Simon, it’s easier to open a restaurant in an area with a lot of restaurants than not: there are plenty of people for whom eating in restaurants is a thing, so all you have to do is convince them that your restaurant is slightly more interesting than the places next door. Ditto theatres, coffee shops, whatever. You don’t need to build a customer base, you just need to fragment an existing one.

It’s hard to think of any reason why it would be different for churches.

Charles Read
Guest
Charles Read

And in England it all began in about 2003 with Jesmond and Bishopsgate planting a church in Durham out of the URC church there. They claimed there were no churches working with students in Durham. It is still there, claiming to be Anglican:

http://www.christchurchdurham.org/

Pilgrim
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Pilgrim

I would politely disagree with the last comments on this and suggest that in my experience (both within the CofE and with free churches) church planting is not and must not be a zero sum game i.e. there are a fixed number of Christians and another church simply takes another share of a fragmented “pizza’. the whole point of church planting is to step out in faith and grow the “pizza” and having been involved in church planting for 20 years it usually does, I believe . (I am excluding here people sent deliberately from the parent church, if there… Read more »

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

AMiE is basically a sheep stealing enterprise. Nothing expecially wrong with that, many churches do it, although most do not make it a matter of policy. Of course it doesn’t advance the Kingdom but does at least make a few comfortable that they are receiving their version of biblically accurate teaching. When I was at school it would have been regarded as a minority sport. The publicity it generates is disproportionate to its influence, as is the recent statement of the PCC of St Helen’s Bishopsgate.

John Bunyan
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John Bunyan

One point. “Rival” Anglican churches have been founded before, such as the Free Church of England that remains as a very small body (allied with the larger US Reformed Episcopal Church which is far from being anything like, for example, my own Sydney Diocese). The Methodist Church when it became a separate body, I suppose, was also a rival”. Some of what is written here such as talking of the new group as “basically a sheep stealing enterprise” or putting the title of one of its leaders in inverted commas -“bishop” – is hardly helpful. Let’s Keep Calm (that means… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“In a move that is likely to increase tensions with Lambeth Palace, two senior conservative Anglican leaders, the Archbishop of Nigeria and the Archbishop of Uganda, sent a video message welcoming the move.”

If several Archbishops of Canterbury had imposed severe consequences for border-crossing, when TEC was the province whose borders were crossed, we might not now be at this pass.

But as it is, the border-crossing chickens are now coming to London to roost.

Malcolm Dixon
Guest
Malcolm Dixon

I think that you are missing the point, John Bunyan. The problem is not that rival churches are being set up, but that serving priests and senior officers of the CofE are taking part in the services of the rival church.
In the case of ‘BishopPryke’, he is purporting to be a bishop in another church whilst still functioning as a curate in a CofE parish.