Comments: GAFCON announces its "missionary bishop"

Can someone in the SEC tell us how many parishes are likely to ask for the services of the "new" bishop?St Silas Glasgow and St Thomas Edinburgh were both evangelical churches which only became part of SEC in the tos I think.Are there others?

Posted by Perry Butler at Thursday, 8 June 2017 at 6:50pm BST

A reminder:

Lambeth 1988, Resolution 72:

This Conference: 1. 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 2. 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.

Posted by Tobias Stanislas Haller at Thursday, 8 June 2017 at 8:10pm BST

What kind of religion is this ?

How is it 'religion' ?

Posted by Laurie Roberts at Thursday, 8 June 2017 at 8:58pm BST

A reminder … Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10

This Conference: in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;
cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions;

Posted by Bob Marsden at Thursday, 8 June 2017 at 9:21pm BST

Here it comes, dear friends in the Church of England - the very same aggressive piracy that GAFCON was up to in spawning its schismatic outreach in North America (ACNA). It is significant that it is this same illegitimate offspring (ACNA) that is now being used by GAFCON to invade SEC - the Episcopal Church in Scotland.

We in the outer reaches of the Anglican Communion (especially here in ACANZP) are now awaiting the action of the Archbishop of Canterbury - Primus-inter-pares - to shake off the fundamentalist, conservative militancy that has been brewing in Sydney, ACNA, AMiA, and the GAFCON Provinces, and which has threatened, and still threatens, the stability of traditional broad-church Anglicanism.

Christ is not in the tomb. He is Risen, Alleluia!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 8 June 2017 at 10:14pm BST

Good thing Williams and Welby catered to these people at every turn. It really won them over.

Posted by JPM at Friday, 9 June 2017 at 1:23am BST

Perry Butler: The parishes that left the episcopal church in Scotland objected to tractarianism, and especially closing off worship and fellowship to other christians in Scotland. They returned when these issues had lost their particular 19th century character within the SEC. You are right that they became Church of England parishes within Scotland and remained so for a generation. So we are seeing something of a similar development. There is also the Westhill parish in Aberdeenshire. All are sizable parishes. They could be the largest parishes in the SEC. My memory is that there are more than three parishes in this anglican network.

Posted by cseitz at Friday, 9 June 2017 at 7:39am BST

Reading the statement it is full of legal phrasing, and bending over backwards to show itself to have some kind of authority. This by reference to a collection of 'bishops', whose name are strung out as giving themselves legitimacy.
A cold dry legalistic communion, showing no Christian love, only division and coldness.

It is time the Primates of the United Kingdom and Ireland met together, and publicly rebuked and brought the weight of the Anglican Communion resolutions on cross border invasion to effect.

If the ABC fails to act, then the other Primates should act, and bring Welby to task for failing in his duty as senior Primate of the Anglican Communion.

Fr John Emlyn

Posted by Fr John E. Harris-White at Friday, 9 June 2017 at 8:04am BST

This is the same Foley Beach who in January was invited to the Primates meeting in Canterbury?

Posted by Iain Baxter at Friday, 9 June 2017 at 9:26am BST


Sadly yes.

Fr John Emlyn

Posted by Fr John E. Harris-White at Friday, 9 June 2017 at 11:44am BST

In the vast, vast, majority of parish churches in towns and villages across the land people are completely unaware of GAFCON. Most 'ordinary' C of E congregations want to remain loyal to their bishop and operate within recognised structures. They also have a real sense of what it means to be established through keeping and serving a wide nexus of relationships, being present in schools, nursing homes and so forth whilst seeking to keep the local church open and in good order. These are their basic priorities. Whilst differences exist most congregants in such churches are pragmatic and get the notion of twin integrities. These sorts of church are the heartbeat of the C of E; we really should stop worrying about GAFCON and their ilk. We should be far more focused on maintaining the essential character of the vast majority of the C of E than on 'power churches' and their threats perceived or real.

Posted by Andrew Lightbown at Friday, 9 June 2017 at 4:28pm BST

Yes indeed, Andrew Lightbown. Not only are they unaware of GAFCON, they are largely unaware of bishops except their own. This is just as it should be. The ABC hath no jurisdiction in this realm of Lichfield. The people are loyal to each other, and within limits to the other churches served by the same incumbent. They have affection for the cathedral. They exhibit much that is good about congregationalism and do not understand why diocesan rules should stifle initiative. They care about their communities, schools and hospitals. I have no intention of telling them about GAFCON and I shall leave judgment to the Lord.

Posted by Stanley Monkhouse, the artist formerly known as Fr William at Friday, 9 June 2017 at 8:12pm BST

But they remain part of an organisation that tolerates and even encourages sexism, homophobia and discrimination. And their donations to Church central via the parish share help to finance that. So they (we) are all complicit.

Posted by Bernard Silverman at Saturday, 10 June 2017 at 7:23am BST

Oh, Tobias--surely you know that Resolutions are only binding on impure revisionists, and not on our betters...

Sorry C of E, but we've been warning you for at least a decade.

Posted by John Wirenius at Saturday, 10 June 2017 at 10:15am BST


"...the cries and pleas of those Scots who today have been marginalized..."

(a) the Scottish provisions are inclusive
(b) ah, so your concern is about people who are marginalised - if only LGBT+ people had ever been marginalised, then maybe they would know how that feels, but hey

"The attempt to redefine marriage is not one that a faithful Christian can support."

Huge claim - faith is about one's view on gay sex, and all the hospital visiting, care for the poor, love, grace still don't make you a real and faithful Christian if you refuse to marginalise the gays.

In fact, Foley, the substantial majority of Christians in the SEC who voted for inclusion, and an end to the marginalisation of LGBT+ people, should not be objectified as a "virus" but understood as fellow Christians loved and valued by God, as indeed are you.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Saturday, 10 June 2017 at 1:11pm BST

"Sorry C of E, but we've been warning you for at least a decade."

The context of the Gafcon input is for the moment the Scottish Episcopal Church, which have several parishes indicating to their Primus that this would be their response. Neither party is surprised at the development.

I saw the interview of +Chillingworth at CT and he seemed very calm and unsurprised. It also struck me that he didn't seem to object, but recognized this would be one outcome of the vote.

So perhaps your decades' long warning falls into a context different than TEC, which spent millions in court. The SEC isn't reacting in the same way.

Posted by cseitz at Saturday, 10 June 2017 at 2:38pm BST

The parishes in Scotland aren't leaving with the buildings, thus far. My recollection is that the conservatives in TEC did not apply for alternative oversight, they simply claimed they were the true church and therefore entitled to the property.

It's too early to tell what is really transpiring in Scotland. And for that matter, England. I've seen nothing from the ABC on Jesmond or on GAFCON's invasion. Time will tell.

The similarities between SEC and TEC is that in both settings, clergy have the option of following their own conscience in determining who to marry, or not.

Posted by Cynthia at Saturday, 10 June 2017 at 4:20pm BST

In Tennessee where I live, clergy do not have the option to follow their conscience. The bishop says there will be no same sex marriages. And the priests are obedient and I've heard them be vocal about local anti-LGTB school district policies but never about their own bishop and diocese.

So this is not Scotland.

Posted by Melissa Holloway at Saturday, 10 June 2017 at 7:48pm BST

'The attempt to redefine marriage is not one that a faithful Christian can support'. Is there any chance of explaining to Foley Beach that marriage has been being continuously redefined over the centuries?

Posted by Flora Alexander at Saturday, 10 June 2017 at 9:27pm BST

Evangelical Church of England congregations in nineteenth century Scotland refused to join SEC. especially as it developed in an Anglo-Catholic mould..Most eventually joined SEC after the second world war, the last only joining in the 1980s. So you may find some of the congregations returning to that independent status.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Saturday, 10 June 2017 at 10:19pm BST

"The similarities between SEC and TEC is that in both settings, clergy have the option of following their own conscience in determining who to marry, or not."

Actually, at present in TEC *Dioceses* have the ability to follow the canons they have passed on the character of marraige.

In the SEC one Bishop opposed this, alongside 1/3 of clergy. Dioceses in the SEC do not function in the same way as in TEC.

Posted by cseitz at Sunday, 11 June 2017 at 6:18am BST

Bishop Lines is the head of Crosslinks ,one of the ten official Church of England missionary societies. Formerly the Bible Churchman's missionary Society which broke from the Church Missionary Society in the 1920s over what it claimed was liberalism. Crosslinks has been a strong supporter of women's ordination.

Posted by robert ian williams at Sunday, 11 June 2017 at 7:46am BST

"The parishes in Scotland aren't leaving with the buildings, thus far."

I'd be curious how you know this.

See the comments of Robert Williams.

Posted by crs at Sunday, 11 June 2017 at 8:03am BST

Can anyone explain why it was ok for TEC to set up a missionary 'diocese' in the CofE jurisdiction of Europe (ie. border crossing), but no-one else is allowed to?

Doesn't this create precedence for overlapping jurisdictions within Anglican ecclesiology?

c.f. Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe.

Posted by s_snowberry at Sunday, 11 June 2017 at 8:25pm BST

The Bishop of Maidstone, the Rt Rev’d Rod Thomas, on his website welcomes this move and also boasts of 100 parishes now under his care.

Posted by robert ian williams at Sunday, 11 June 2017 at 8:39pm BST


The answer is multi-facteted.

It is a bit odd to have an actual anglican diocese of the Church of England NOT in England. The Gibraltar geographical base gave some scope for this. With the EU in place, it was possible to trade on the good will of this and see Europe as an international zone. Etc.

The American situation was traceable in many instances to military chaplaincies and their natural outreach to english speakers otherwise. There are some exceptions to this of course (Paris, Rome). The name "convocation" was apt. The Bishop was usually retired and was appointed by the PB whose "diocese" it was. It is a very small collection of worshippers, whose total ASA number is around 1000.

There are 60 congregations/chaplaincies for the CofE Diocese in Europe in France alone.

I believe the first "permanent" Diocesan for TEC was the Welshman Jeffery Rowthorn (he had been a suffragan in CT), who pushed for greater cooperation with the CofE Bishop, Henry Scriven.

So both arrangements have and continue to evolve. One could ask why there needs to be an American convocation or diocese at all, but no one seems to press for this. Brexit will create some special challenges for the Diocese in Europe equally.

I don't think it offers any clear analogy to the matter of border crossing however.

Posted by cseitz at Monday, 12 June 2017 at 6:08am BST

Henry Scriven was Suffragan in Europe, never diocesan, from 1995.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Monday, 12 June 2017 at 7:42am BST

Thanks, Mr Sarmiento. I was taking services in Munich at the time and that was my recollection. Rowthorne taught liturgics at Yale when I was on the faculty there, so I was working from memory about his move to Europe after being suffragan in CT. It may have been he and Scriven who worked on the theme of joint cooperation. Rowthorne was keen on that. That much I do recall correctly.

Posted by crs at Monday, 12 June 2017 at 10:25am BST

PS--In general, in an already divided church, it does seem to be a bit of a stretch for the ABC now to be quoting the council of Nicaea! With TEC Bishops and CofE Bishops with jurisdictions in places like France is of course an oddity all its own, not to mention the Orthodox. This much is to be granted in general terms in the question of Snowberry above...

I saw TEC's +Whalon at the ecumenical service (Evensong) in Paris where the Institut Catholique/RC Diocese was granting +Welby an honorary degree. But he was seated with clergy and played no formal role. Neither did the CofE Bishop present (+Innes).

Posted by cseitz at Monday, 12 June 2017 at 2:56pm BST

Apropos Brother Seitz comments, I do believe there have been meetings of the Diocese of Gibraltar, the Convocation of American Churches in Europe, the Lusitanian Church (Portugal) and the Reformed Church in Spain regarding cooperation. And, in any case, I do think he is right that neither Gibraltar nor the Convocation would function as "missionary" dioceses in any common sense.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Monday, 12 June 2017 at 3:58pm BST

Perhaps it's petty of me to take this up, but the piece about Seabury is so badly written and the foundation of its argument so nebulous that I think it's a mistake for the GAFCON people to use it to support their position on anything--except, possibly, the harm that mediocre writing can do to one's argument.

Posted by Daniel Berry, NYC at Wednesday, 14 June 2017 at 12:06pm BST

Mr Berry:

Do you object to the direct quotes from Seabury himself in the extract? Or the very basic biographical details nowhere under dispute by historians knowledgeable of the period?

Petty? No. Uninformed? Quite possibly.

Posted by crs at Wednesday, 14 June 2017 at 4:30pm BST

I’m afraid I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with fellow New Yorker Daniel Berry. Canon Cayangyang’s essay on Bishop Seabury may read as if it were culled from Wikipedia, but it generally gets the basic facts right. Much is left out, of course, including Dr. Seabury’s loathing of Calvinist Evangelicals and his support for such High Church customs as wearing the miter, auricular Confession, and the Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament for the dying, the sick, and the homebound.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Posted by Kurt Hill at Thursday, 15 June 2017 at 4:41pm BST

"his loathing of Calvinist Evangelicals" -- which would of course be consistent with his ardent Loyalist streak.

He was after all Chaplain to British troops and as "A.W. Farmer" a staunch defender of British sovereignty and no friend of american revolutionary puritans, calvinist or otherwise.

Posted by cseitz at Friday, 16 June 2017 at 6:03am BST

Yes, unlike many Episcopalians of his time (about half the signers of the Declaration of Independence were at least nominal Anglicans), Dr. Seabury was a Tory bastard. Yet his commitment to the Church Catholic was such that he not only reconciled to the Revolution, but became the first bishop of TEC. Of course, he was not the only Episcopal bishop in the eighteenth century to loathe Calvinist Evangelicals. One doubts that we had any bishops before 1810 who didn’t loathe them. Many of us in TEC--laypeople as well as clergy, conservatives as well as liberals--proudly continue in this tradition…

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Posted by Kurt Hill at Friday, 16 June 2017 at 9:32pm BST

"Dr. Seabury was a Tory bastard" -- well that's not a view I share. Lot of loathing and name calling for my tastes. Sunday blessings.

Posted by crs at Sunday, 18 June 2017 at 6:02am BST
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