Thursday, 16 January 2014

ACNA priest to become a Six Preacher at Canterbury Cathedral

Lambeth Palace has announced: Archbishop appoints US priest as Canterbury preacher

Archbishop Justin hopes the Revd Dr Tory Baucum’s presence as one of Canterbury Cathedral’s Six Preachers will help promote ‘reconciliation and unity’

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, is delighted to announce the appointment of the Revd Dr Tory Baucum, Rector of Truro Church in Fairfax, Virginia, as one of the Six Preachers of Canterbury Cathedral.

Dr Baucum will be installed as one of the Six Preachers during Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral on 14 March. The Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral unanimously approved the nomination of Dr Baucum shortly before Christmas.

The College of Six Preachers was created by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 1541, forming part of his plans for a new foundation to replace the dissolved Priory. Canterbury was unique in this; no other cathedral had a group of preaching priests and was a reflection of Cranmer’s determination to give greater prominence to preaching. Today, the Six Preachers are called to preach on various occasions at Canterbury Cathedral, the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion. The preachers serve five-year terms, which can be renewed.

While Dr Baucum has extensive experience of preaching, evangelism and peace-making, his appointment is also recognition of his commitment to reconciliation, which is one of Archbishop Justin’s ministry priorities. Truro Church seceded from the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church in 2006 and subsequently became part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

When Dr Baucum became Rector in 2007, the church and the diocese were involved in litigation over property rights. Dr Baucum, a priest in ACNA, developed a close friendship with Episcopal Bishop of Virginia, the Rt Revd Shannon Johnston, and a settlement was subsequently reached.

Commenting on the appointment, Archbishop Justin said: “Tory is a fine scholar, an excellent preacher, and above all someone with a holistic approach to ministry. The close friendship he has forged with Bishop Shannon Johnston, despite their immensely different views, sets a pattern of reconciliation based on integrity and transparency. Such patterns of life are essential to the future of the Communion. I hope and pray that Tory’s presence as one of the Six Preachers will play a part in promoting reconciliation and unity among us.”

The Dean of Canterbury, the Very Revd Dr Robert Willis, said: “In recent times, the Six Preachers have become a significant and diverse group from across the whole Anglican Communion and fulfil a role of preaching and teaching from time to time in Canterbury. We look forward to welcoming Dr Baucum, whose particular gifts will enrich the group still further.”

Dr Baucum said: “I am deeply moved by the honour bestowed upon ACNA and especially the congregation of Truro Church in this appointment by Archbishop Welby to be a Six Preacher of Canterbury Cathedral. I am devoted to Archbishop Welby’s vision for the Anglican Communion and I hope this appointment might help, in some small way, translate that vision into reality.”

About the Revd Dr Tory Baucum

The Revd Dr Tory Baucum is the Rector of Truro Church in Fairfax, Virginia, a post he has held since 2007. He holds degrees from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry and Asbury Theological Seminary. He also teaches at Virginia Theological Seminary. His areas of expertise include St Augustine, Wesley, homiletics, evangelism and contextual theology. He has ministered and taught in several Anglican provinces and theological colleges, including the Diocese of London, St Augustine’s in Lima Peru and Bishop Barham College in Kigezi, Uganda. Dr Baucum is Chairman of the Board of Fresh Expressions USA and a Board Member of Alpha-USA. He is married to Elizabeth and they have three teenage daughters.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 10:36am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ACNA | Church of England

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is a good friend of Nigeria, has not said anything about the same sex marriage prohibition law in Nigeria. People needs to remember that the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion were frontlining and telling everyone that homosexuality is sin and gave their full support to the law. I need help on how to organize and force the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to say something. What methods will be best to get a public outcry against the leaders of the Anglican Communion over their silence about Nigeria and Uganda? We need to protest the church because this draconian law was born out of religious views.

Posted by: Davis Mac-Iyalla on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 10:59am GMT

"The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is a good friend of Nigeria, has not said anything about the same sex marriage prohibition law in Nigeria."

Why would Welby criticise something that he is perfectly happy about?

Posted by: Interested Observer on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 12:17pm GMT

As I watch what is unfolding in Nigeria, and all the right wing Americans bankrolling this pogrom and cheering it on, I'm beginning to think that it is time to repeal Godwin's Law.

Posted by: FD Blanchard on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 12:25pm GMT

Is ACNA actually part of the Anglican Communion?

Posted by: paul richardson on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 12:47pm GMT

I think this appointment is a very good thing. Reconciliation among the factions is our best hope.

Posted by: Dmitri on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 1:08pm GMT

‘reconciliation and unity’ ?

Self-righteous arrogance and oppression/marginalization that harms LGBT at the Anglican Communion/beyond is plain dangerous! CANA/NIGERIA´s principal message smears the integrity and humanity of fellow Anglicans both at home and in North America.

This is not ¨holding our differences in tension and covering them in prayer¨ as ++Justin preached in Guatemala City.

This appointment validates the dishonest behavior at the Angican Communion by those who think themselves better than, and morally ABOVE, others.

LGBT people in Nigeria and Uganda will pay the price for this sad attempt at ¨reconciliation¨ with their lives.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 1:32pm GMT

I couldn't find Dr Baucum on the VTS website, but did find this:

I may be missing something, but the differences between ACNA and the events last year in Sheffield Diocese are what exactly? That would be a conversation worth having out in the open.

Posted by: Judith Maltby on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 2:27pm GMT

I'm not entirely sure if a Six Preacher has to be a member of the Anglican Communion...

Posted by: Simon Butler on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 3:05pm GMT

The VTS website has a second reference to Dr Baucum here

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 4:04pm GMT

Sorry, Simon. I meant there was no mention of his name in the list of faculty.

Posted by: Judith Maltby on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 4:34pm GMT

Schism without cost, how very progressive!

To be fair, the ACNA is a better fit with the rest of the communion. Given the actions of the provinces of Nigeria and Uganda, along with the Church of England and Sydney Diocese, the ECUSA might well be better off out of it.

Posted by: James Byron on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 4:43pm GMT

As Episcopal Café reported in March last year, Dr Baucum seems to have pulled the plug on the peace-process with Bishop Johnston due to the ordination of a lesbian. Were the Archbishop and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral aware of these developments before the appointment as Six Preacher was made?

'A Bishop of the Anglican Church of North America has advised the Rev. Dr. Tory Baucum, Rector of Truro Anglican Church, Fairfax, VA, to terminate the dialogue with the Episcopal Bishop of Virginia, the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston. Baucum has complied and ended the dialogue.

'This comes after the two of them appeared together at a peacemaking and reconciliation conference at Coventry Cathedral, which was highlighted by Archbishop Justin Welby as an example of reconciliation.

'Baucum claims that two events changed his mind: the ordination of partnered lesbian to the priesthood by Bishop Johnston and talks by New Testament scholar John Dominic Crossan at parish and diocesan events.

'But at the end of the letter. Baucum's bishop, John A.M. Guernsey advised him to break of the relationship, which he did.

'Here is the letter Baucum wrote to his congregation:

...This week I learned of two events in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia that have challenged those principles of Christian peacemaking.

'First was the ordination of a non-celibate lesbian in the former home of the Falls Church Anglican parish this past December. This was a problem of both menu and venue, of what and where it was done. This kind of ordination, which violates scriptural teaching, caused the Anglican schism in the first place. I believe that holding the service at the Falls Church shortly after they lost their building showed a disregard and lack of respect for the good and godly pastor and the people of the Falls Church. This was a failure to treat others in a way that honors the imago dei in each of us. It was extremely painful to learn of this action and my full sympathy is with John Yates+ and his congregation. ...'

Posted by: Andrew on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 5:02pm GMT

This is the gentleman who wandered around with his local episcopal bishop sitting down on a stage together sharing their differences and common beliefs and making noises for reconciliation. Then the bishop's speeches were dissected by the usual suspects and he was forced to back off and denounce his mate.

The sad thing about this is its lack of vision and the loud message that Welby has already fallen into the trap of the Lambeth hegemony who seem to have convinced him there are only a few tools in his box. It's rather pathetic.

Mind you, anyone who can deliver the speech he made in the equal marriage debate and then at the end of the next day vote for the fatal amendment proposed by Lord Dear is capable of any foolishness.

Someone please tell him that Rowan Williams tried to use the Six Preachers College as a way of showing imperial favour on those who were "in" and deemed to be rather nice people who should go far. He installed Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon from Kaduna, Nigeria back in 2007.
There was little doubt at the time that Lambeth was indicating its hope that Josiah would replace the power hungry troublemaker Akinola.

All that happened is that the nasty brigade sharpened their sticks and Josiah lost not just the race for the Primacy of Nigeria, but the Archbishopric of Kaduna province.

I think we can expect the venom to flow immediately. The Revd Baucum can take some small solace in the fact that after years of hate principally from his own constituency he will get the Cross of St Augustine ........... Ah, well .....

That's not to belittle some of the greats like Nick Stacey who have walked this path.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 6:08pm GMT

That page in fact lists only the 24 full-time faculty members.
Elsewhere the website explains that there are an additional 26 "adjunct faculty" who are presumably only part-time.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 6:16pm GMT

Interesting development. Last year, Fr Baucum was brought to heel by John Guernsey, his ACNA bishop, who forced him to break off cooperation and friendship with Shannon Johnston, Episcopal bishop of Virginia, on a transparently trumped-up pretext, the obvious reason being the objection of ACNA's hierarchy to any cooperation with TEC - basic information and links here:

Comments on David Ould's new Stand Firm post indicate the issues this appointment is raising in the ACNA camp -

Posted by: Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 6:18pm GMT

"Non-celibate lesbian," yup, language like that makes the good doctor a perfect fit for Canterbury. Him and Welby will, I'm sure, get on just great.

I hope Welby lavishes praise on the ACNA, and invites lots of folk from Uganda round Lambeth for afternoon tea. The enabling moderates and battered liberals must, surely, have a breaking point somewhere along the line. The sooner it's found, the sooner we can begin the long path to redemption.

Posted by: James Byron on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 7:00pm GMT

As Lapinbizarre has pointed out, as much as Baucum's appointment upsets some commenters on TA, it will upset ACNA more and bits of Gafcon yet more still. In that sense, it is an appointment that liberals should welcome rather than fear.

We also need to try to get into Welby's mindset and understanding of Christian faith. First and foremost, Justin wants people to accept Jesus as their personal saviour. He doesn't much care if their ultra-Prod, Roman, Orthodox, or married lesbians attracted to liberal Protestantism. For Justin, the best thing anyone can do with their lives is to love Jesus.

Justin will do whatever he needs to get people to love Jesus. 1 Corinthians 9:20-23 is a good guide to his thinking.

His next most important priority is reconciliation - which he believes Christ is a great facilitator of, despite two millennia of intra-Christian bloodletting that argues to the contrary. Morality and justice are there too, but way down the list.

Welby would dearly love to reconcile the schism with ACNA, or at least the bits of it that can be reconciled with. If he can't be nice to somebody like Baucum, he might as well give up, and he's not going to give up.

He has also done some reaching out to liberals, not least by going to Reykjavik to hang out with liberal Nordic Lutherans - including, I think, Eva Brunne, the openly lesbian Bishop of Stockholm. Remember how disgracefully the Church of Sweden was treated by so-called liberals like Bishop Hill of Guildford when Sweden passed marriage equality? Well, that isn't happening any more. This is Justin the reconciler who doesn't much care what you believe as long as you love Jesus. In this regard, he's a vast improvement on his predecessor.

Where Justin falls down is when his dream of all the Jesus people loving Jesus together is threatened by justice. Hence his abject failure on the Nigerian and Ugandan Nuremberg Laws. Of course, he's no worse than Williams or Sentamu in that regard. The Lambeth establishment sort of assumes this won't make the situation for LGB in Nigeria and Uganda any worse than it already is. In fact, the evidence is that some have been waiting for a long time for these laws. A serious anti-gay sweep seems to be underway in Northern Nigeria.

England or the Communion? He may yet have to make that choice.

Posted by: The Rev'd Mervyn Noote on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 7:40pm GMT

I've been acquainted with Tory for a long time. He left the Episcopal Church for the Church of England in proper procedure, and then became part of the Church of Nigeria - Anglican. The relationship of ACNA and CON does give Lambeth some "plausible deniability," I suppose. Tory is a scholar and a good preacher; but this is absolutely tone deaf on the part of Lambeth. And of course one has to wonder whether Archbishop Welby was really part of the selection process, or simply signed off on some committee's or some person's recommendations.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 8:02pm GMT

Inviting Tory Baucum, a member of ACNA, to preach at Canterbury could be seen as tantamount to welcoming ACNA back into the fold.

Alternatively, it could perhaps be the ABC's way of splitting ACNA - on the grounds of ACNA's current dissatisfaction with Fr. Baucum, because of his one-time out-reach towards TEC's Bishop Johnston (Virginia).

Stand firm offers its own opinion here:

"At Stand Firm we suspect there may be some who will question Tory’s “commitment to the present day reformation” given his willingness to affirm Johnston’s ministry. It will be viewed by them as a compromised commitment."

It should be obvious that this invitation to Fr Baucum will have ACNA people severely divided on its import: Will it mean ACNA's incorporation into the A.C.? Or does it spell a sell-out of ACNA's intentional separation from TEC?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 8:25pm GMT

In the context of the comments by Davis Mac-Iyalla, and Andrew, I'm just sickened by this. Fiddling while Nigerian LGBTs burn. Kyrie eleison!

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 8:27pm GMT

Returning from my day off, I discover that the Abp of Canterbury has appointed a schismatic conservative to an honorary post. In the meantime neither he nor his colleague in York has passed comment on brutal legislation in Uganda and Nigeria, backed by the hierarches of those countries. And I wonder, why the hell do I do a sixty hour week which, I think, gives the impression that the C of E might be a good thing? At what point, as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, does one give up on such a helplessly compromised and self-preserving institution? Guidance welcome.

Posted by: fr.rob on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 10:08pm GMT

This is a high risk strategy on the part of Justin Welby. It is either inspired or profoundly naïve.

By bestowing the prestigious position of a Six Preacher on someone who is part of a schismatic movement which is predicated on an anti-gay agenda, the Archbishop may seriously offend all those who do not subscribe to such a negative approach to Christianity. More especially he could easily be seen as snubbing the Episcopal Church and its leadership.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 10:34pm GMT

Mervyn Noote: I couldn't care less about upsetting the ACNA. They're a breakaway church for conservatives, of no interest to me. So long as they keep to themselves, good luck to 'em.

Amoral "reconciliation" concerns me a great deal more, regardless of what half-baked HTB theology underpins it.

Posted by: James Byron on Thursday, 16 January 2014 at 11:21pm GMT

What makes this so interesting is that the Truro Church case has cost the Episcopal Church, millions.

Reconcile with a denomination, costing TEC millions and pursuing their hi-jack with purpose...ridiculous

Posted by: Robert ian Williams on Friday, 17 January 2014 at 12:05am GMT

Please understand that as an Episcopalian I know little of the appointment process and the lines of authority within the Church of England. I must assume that whoever controls the purse-strings for the Archbishop of Canterbury is in agreement with his decisions, and is just as "delighted by an appointment of a member of ACNA" to the Six Preachers College. Was ECUSA consulted? Why is there only silence from our Mother Church regarding church policy and politics in Nigeria and Uganda. The world is waiting and watching.

Posted by: Granpa, USA on Friday, 17 January 2014 at 1:02am GMT

And yet, despite all the hand-wringing, no one in TEC seems to be willing to cut loose the corpse of Canterbury. That is why real activists continue to doubt Christianity's place as a transformative community. Moral cowardice.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Friday, 17 January 2014 at 5:29am GMT

Just a question: Are any of the Six Preachers women?

Posted by: Sara MacVane on Friday, 17 January 2014 at 6:52am GMT

"At what point, as a committed follower of Jesus Christ, does one give up on such a helplessly compromised and self-preserving institution?"

I don't know how to answer this question; I really don't.

Reconciliation? Or continued fence-sitting?

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 17 January 2014 at 8:53am GMT

I don't have a list of the Six Preachers, and there doesn't appear to be one on the Cathedral's website, but I do know that there is at least one woman: Paula Gooder.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Friday, 17 January 2014 at 11:57am GMT

"I don't know how to answer this. Reconciliation, or continued fence-sitting?"

Thanks for your honesty, Jeremy. Sums my quandary up very succinctly.
If Christ is the "victim who dies no more, the Lamb once slain who is risen" - the one who died and rose again that relations of victimisation or scape-goating might be ended without creating new victims or scape-goats - then reconciliation has ultimately to be possible; but not at the expense of those currently victimised or scape-goated. Hope that makes sense.
Reflecting on the article on the real reasons for Nigeria's new laws, funny how our central story makes sense of religious legalism + political expediency + mass emotion of hate = a victim. Sadly not at all funny for LGBT people in Nigeria.

Posted by: fr.rob on Saturday, 18 January 2014 at 9:42am GMT

"Reconciliation or continued fence sitting...sums up my quandary succinctly"
Completely agree with Fr Rob's Giradian analysis of victimhood, and the unacceptability of tacit collusion. Would only add that true reconciliation is only possible with rigorous honesty, and cannot be achieved in an atmosphere of craven silence. With ACNA, we are playing pretend if the church simply ignores our deeply fractured eucharistic and ecclesial fellowship and blithely welcomes this appointment as if it were unproblematic. We'd need to be much more explicit about how this was a deliberately risky, bridge building gesture. In the failure to speak out against Nigerian homophobia, we betray the vulnerable, and thus the gospel. In both cases, we adopt a dishonest silence in order not to upset people with whom we seek reconciliation, but in so doing, destroy the only foundations on which any true reconciliation needs to be built. I realise the dangers of white western opposition simply increasing local support because it fans the flames of the "un-African" argument, but there has to come a point when that sensitivity just makes us liars through our silence, and when we allow other people become the victims in order to preserve our sensibilities, that point has been crossed.
Christ, after all, took that victimhood upon himself in order to lift it from others.

Posted by: fr.dom on Saturday, 18 January 2014 at 11:20am GMT

Agreed, Fr. Rob. As a one-time TEC missioner in Africa, I loved the work and the people there, but I ultimately felt like just a shill for the Church itself. And thank you, Peter Owen. I have been trying to determine who "the other five" are... Could find no list or reference. I did find Michael Battle; you found Paula Gooder. Who else, please? Why is it not more public? And how much $$ does the Church spend (including housing and travel costs) on these six people for their very part-time, "honorary" positions?


Posted by: Dianne Smith on Saturday, 18 January 2014 at 6:40pm GMT

Thank you, Dianne. Clicking on your link reminded me of what we have to learn from places and people with whose Church real communion can sometimes feel difficult. It's another quandry, the same as in parish ministry: the institution can seem, or be, insufferable; but the people, and their relationships with God, in Christ - in all sorts of different ways - are so often wonderfully, sometimes heart-breakingly, amazing. Which I guess begins to answer my initial question.

Posted by: fr.rob on Saturday, 18 January 2014 at 11:16pm GMT

Bishop Stephen Pickard of the diocese of Canberra Goulburn is a six preacher.
Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Bishop of Kaduna diocese was a six preacher- he may still be one but as he was appointed in 2007, his five year term has expired but the post is renewable

Posted by: John Sandeman on Monday, 20 January 2014 at 1:08pm GMT

Another reason for members of TEC to absolutely and completely ignore the ABC. Our relationship was strained by the previous ABC. No efforts to make amends have been made, yet he lifts up a person from a splinter group.

This appointment is offensive, but it will be received here with a yawn and a "Justin who?"

Posted by: Cynthia on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 at 6:53am GMT
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