Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Jesmond Parish Church issues press release

Jesmond Parish Church has issued this press release:

On St Athanasius’ Day, 2 May 2017, Jonathan Pryke, the senior minister, under its vicar, of Jesmond Parish Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, was consecrated a “bishop in the Church of God”. This was by the Presiding Bishop of REACH SA (the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa), formerly known as CESA (the Church of England in South Africa) and whose orders of bishop, priest/presbyter and deacon are recognized by the Church of England. But like the new ACNA (the Anglican Church in North America) whose orders are also recognized, it is not in communion with the Church of England. Officially the Church of England is in Communion with the heterodox ACSA (the Anglican Church of South Africa), and with the heterodox TEC (The Episcopal Church [of America]). But, in practice, many orthodox English and Global Anglicans are in communion with both REACH SA and ACNA.

The service took place neither in a Church of England “place of worship” nor an unconsecrated place of worship designated under s.43 of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011. It did not take place in Jesmond Parish Church. The ceremony was according to the REACH SA consecration Holy Communion service with only REACH SA bishops taking part. The declaration, however, was to the Church of England’s Canon A5 which says:

“The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the 39 Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal.”

The oath was of “all due reverence and obedience” not to the Presiding Bishop of REACH SA but to “bishops and other chief ministers” under whom Jonathan is set. So he has a dispersed responsibility and duty: in things temporal to the Bishop of Newcastle, with whom, sadly, in things spiritual, Jesmond Parish Church along with other churches in the diocese are in impaired communion; in terms of Jesmond Parish Church, to the vicar of Jesmond and where there is united agreement, to the Jesmond PCC; and, pastorally, to one of the participating REACH SA bishops. This bishop particularly understands the English situation and does not want to see bishops “parachuted in” to form a new “orthodox church” or “province”. He sees the role of REACH SA simply as helping English people have the courage to take responsibility for reforming the Church of England to be in line with Canon A5, to evangelize and to see growth. This consecration took place after considerable discussion and encouragement from leaders in the Church of England, and with the Presiding Bishop of REACH SA convinced it right to proceed after discussion with the Secretary of GAFCON.

There is a very lengthy section entitled Information for Editors which can be read by following the link above and scrolliing down.

Another copy formatted as a PDF is now available here. I recommend reading it carefully in full.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 12:44pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | News

Does Pryke rhyme with Pike as in Bishop Pike?


Posted by: John B. Chilton on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 1:16pm BST

"leaders in the Church of England" - I wonder who they are? Would JPC like to tell us?

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 2:03pm BST

So Jesmond is simply following the ACNA example, against which the Archbishops made little protest at the time.

Such are the fruits of appeasement.

Posted by: Jeremy on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 2:04pm BST

I find this hard to reconcile with the Oaths of Canonical Obedience:

34. At ordination and on taking up any office in the Church of England priests and deacons are required under Canon C 14 to swear or affirm that they will “pay true and canonical obedience to the Lord Bishop of C and his successors in all things lawful and honest.” Bishops are similarly required to take an oath of due obedience to the archbishop of the province. Clergy and bishops also take an Oath of Allegiance to the Queen and make the Declaration of Assent.

35. These Oaths and the Declaration are important because they each involve recognition that a person does not exercise ministry in isolation or on their own authority but within a framework of relationship with others and within the tradition of faith as the Church of England has received it....

Posted by: Paul on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 3:52pm BST

There was once a rather distinguished colonial governor called Sir Richard Turnbull (1909-98) who, during his administration of Tanganyika and Aden, was wont to scribble the following in the margins of those reports and memoranda with which he disagreed:

“Round objects”

And that too is my own opinion of this communiqué.

Posted by: Froghole on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 4:02pm BST

soon they will be like ACNA and AMiA -- more bishops than members

Posted by: Ann Fontaine on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 4:31pm BST

"to evangelise and see growth" is exactly the point of the 10 day 'Thy Kingdom Come' prayer initiative, called by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Never in my lifetime has the CofE leadership at national and Diocesan level had as much focus on mission and evangelism as they do now. So I find this reasoning rather odd.

Posted by: David Keen on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 4:36pm BST

Time for the Bishop of Newcastle to earn her stipend. Immediate unannounced episcopal visitation to Jesmond, preferably this Sunday. Followed up first thing next week with a CDM prosecution.

Posted by: Cantab on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 5:05pm BST

Then we have this from the parish statement:

'The main thing that is significantly different now as far as Jonathan is concerned is that Jonathan can ordain men for the ministry, whereas other presbyter/priests of us involved in evangelism cannot. Some leaders obviously
need this "power" (as the 16th century Richard Hooker would say) as more men are trained for ministry and to be faithful to Canon A5.'

Note the use of the word "men." Twice.

I take it that this is one of those we-ordain-men-only parishes?

Posted by: Jeremy on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 5:21pm BST

'The service took place neither in a Church of England “place of worship” nor an unconsecrated place of worship designated under s.43 of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011. It did not take place in Jesmond Parish Church.'

This reads like a bad spoof. Just where did it take place then, in a music hall? It's a great recipe for ecclesiastical anarchy. I doubt whether the Archbishops (the C of E ones) will actually be able to do very much except follow Edward Markham the poet and "draw a circle and take them in".

Posted by: Nicholas Henderson on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 5:29pm BST

On further reflection, 'Episcopus vagans' is the description that comes to mind.

For those few who might lose sleep over this case may I recommend either 'Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church' by H.R.T. Brandreth or 'Bishops at Large' by Peter F. Anson? They are both a bit ancient, Brandreth's from 1947 and Anson's from 1964. Nevertheless, they are worth a read as the practice of irregular and sometimes downright oddball consecrations has been going on in the wider Church pretty well ever since post New Testament times and the development of bishops as they might be understood today.

Anyway, if you do suffer from insomnia, I can recommend them, you'll be off to the land of nod in minutes.

Posted by: Nicholas Henderson on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 6:19pm BST

Yes Nicholas it is somewhat in the line of 'episcopus vagans'. The advocates of the sort of thing happening in Jesmond often say they find their justification in (a) the Didache and (b) - leaping forwards in time a bit - Roland Allen.

Obviously there is no justification in the canonical polity of the episcopally-ordered Church of England.

Will the real bishops please stand up.

Posted by: Linda Woodhead on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 7:12pm BST

Yes, yes, it's all farcical, but what harm is it doing? Con-evos who've washed their hands of the wider church won't be trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.

Now, after the Sheffield debacle, the broad church is toast, the only hope for equality lies in evangelicals going off and doing their own thing. Far from condemning this, liberals should be encouraging it, and encouraging open evangelicals to do likewise. Then do the same ourselves, and appoint liberal bishops committed to equality.

Ultimately, some loose confederation, with different bishops for different groups, is the best hope the CoE has.

Posted by: James Byron on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 7:28pm BST

I am not sure the hassle of a CDM is necessary. Does the Revd Pryke hold an office, common tenure style? He is described as Senior Minister at Jesmond Not the Parish Church. He receives no stipend from the diocese that I can discover. He only functions with permission of his diocesan. She should withdraw it immediately. Perhaps experts in canon law can elaborate.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 7:41pm BST

Isn't this sort of thing just what the Archbishops want people to keep quiet about and allow.

After all we have to support those who oppose women priests, or those who say women belong in the kitchen - let's call it 'mutually flourishing' or maybe its 'polite disagreement' or whatever other weasel words come along.

PS Who pays these men - are they on C of E stipends?

When will bishops actually take a stand?

Posted by: Simon C on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 8:51pm BST

Absolutely right Cantab. And change the locks while she's there!

Jeremy: you guess correctly.

(Froghole: who is Round, and why do they object?)

Posted by: ExRevd on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 9:35pm BST

Ann Fontaine is correct. When ABC Rowan played nicely with ACNA and AMiA, some of us in the Episcopal Church in the US told you the likes of them had the Church of England in their sights.

Posted by: June B Butler on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 9:49pm BST

Meanwhile, GAFCON, ACNA, and the rebellious AMiE leaders are rejoicing that a schismatic Church in Africa has done the job for them - without them having to lift a finger (except that Pryke was on the board of AMiE and someone must have smelt the gunpowder. Clean hands but NOT pure hearts!

You can't say, Archbishops of the C.of E., that you weren't warned about GAFCON's intentional schism!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 9 May 2017 at 11:41pm BST

Can only agree with Cantab above

Posted by: Confused Sussex on Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 1:00am BST

Wasn't REACH the apartheid church?

Posted by: JPM on Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 2:56am BST

Well, Rowan, Justin, congratulations!

You got peace in your time!

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 6:05am BST

"soon they will be like ACNA and AMiA -- more bishops than members"

Let's not make things up.

And while we're at it, TEC also has an awful lot of Bishops given the total number in the pews.

Posted by: crs on Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 10:31am BST

REACH or as it is still legally registered, The Church of England in South Africa results from congregations that refused to join the Church of the Province of South Africa when it was constituted in 1870. CESA orders have been recognised by the Anglican communion since 1966.
It never condoned apartheid but believed in praying for the country's leaders.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Thursday, 11 May 2017 at 9:40pm BST
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