Thinking Anglicans

Sandy Millar and Uganda

The Diocese of London has issued this announcement:
Preb Sandy Millar to become a Bishop

Bishop of London hails the appointment as ‘a very welcome step’

The Most Rev’d Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda, with the August 2004 consent of the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, appointed a priest of the Church of England, the Rev’d Prebendary Sandy Millar, as Assistant Bishop in the Church of Uganda. He will be consecrated in Uganda on 27th November 2005.

Bishop-elect Millar will be licensed to act as a Bishop in Mission in the London Diocese using his wide experience as a church planter and growth practitioner…

This story goes back a full year and more, see CEN from September 2004, Sandy Millar proposed as ‘missionary bishop’ or Church Times Millar’s tale is not confirmed.

Read the full press release for all the details. But note in particular the following excerpts:

“…This step has been taken with the full support and encouragement of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The two Archbishops were in touch by letter about the proposal in 2004. The consecration of Prebendary Millar with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury could not be more different from the intrusions into the affairs of other provinces which formed part of the agenda for the Windsor Commission. Unsanctioned intrusions lead to fragmentation. This step by contrast recognises the reality of a wired up world in a way that promotes closer communion. The particular circumstances of this appointment make it very unlikely that it will establish a precedent…

“…Sandy will of course continue to respond to invitations as he does now but to suggest [as some people have done] that he might become a standard bearer for Church of England dissidents in other Dioceses is to misunderstand the man and to misunderstand the disciplines under which bishops in our church operate…

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Mark Beaton
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Mark Beaton

I’m a bit new to these denominational things. What does this appointment have to do with the Anglican Church of Uganda? Are they going to set up churches in England? Will they be Ugandan churches?

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

I’m also a bit surprised by this. If a need is perceived for a prelate in a role such as that proposed for Mr Millar, I can’t understand why he is not consecrated in the C of E to a post analogous to one of the PEVs or the Bishop of Fulham. I see no reason for the involvement of the Archbishop of Uganda.

Dave
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Dave

Yes, weird… Is there an implication here that we can now only be “included” outside the CofE’s structures ?!! However, Sandy is an excellent choice for episcopal duties. I can think of a few other folk who effectively have episcopal authority already (in the eyes of many people) but have never been consecreated by the powers that be: John Stott because of his huge influence on evangelical clergy and christians in the UK and around the world. Then there’s Robert Warren who grew St Thomas Crookes into a mega-church, David Pytches who set up the NewWine network (Oooh! he *was*… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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What others have said here: translation? [Can you find a (qualified) source which can clarify, Simon?]

Pete Broadbent
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Pete Broadbent

He can’t be consecrated in the CofE because he’s not got a see to be consecrated to. He’s retired and is not being paid. You can’t create a new suffragan see without a Measure and permission from Brenda.

And Uganda wanted to do it, consulted Lambeth and London, and have elected him. Best possible compromise solution to build links with our African brothers and sisters and avoid all the impossible legalities of being an established Church.

Neil
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Neil

Thanks Pete. Do we know why Uganda wanted to do it?
It sounds like a good idea. But why?

And if this is the best possible compromise solution, why is it not a precedent?

Mark Beaton
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Mark Beaton

Ok, that explains the legal side to it. Good to see some break with the Christendom ‘prince bishop’ model ruling territory like a feudal lord. Because of mobility, internet etc, people’s lives today are much more associational and elective than geographical and ‘given’. It’s good to remember also that the Nigerians have strongly promoted the ‘missionary bishop’ model, consecrating a team of men in the 1990s to establish dioceses from scratch, which they did. A new group of missionary bishops was recently appointed there. The AMiA missionary bishops consecrated by the Anglican churches of Rwanda and Singapore are also doing… Read more »

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

As we have so many bishops in England, perhaps a few of them could be taken away from their fixed geographical sees, and sent out (“apostles”) to be missionary bishops? It would be much more like the New Testament and much less like an old county map.

J. C. Fisher
Guest

OK, I’ve read Pete’s post, and I’m still going “Huh?” (“Brenda”???)

Lemme clarify: could you translate for *non* Brits? 😉 Thanks!

Dave
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Dave

+London and ++Canterbury might need strong nerves if they are intending to allow churches to transfer to Sandy’s episcopal oversight… the stampede could be frightening !

Peter Owen
Admin

JC – Brenda is a nickname for Queen Elizabeth II. It was invented by the satirical magazine Private Eye http://www.private-eye.co.uk/

stephen
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stephen

It is all very curious to me as an Antipodean. Does it now mean that the Diocese of Newark could consecrate a woman to work as a missionary gender-inclusive Bishop in England, where will it end?

Neil
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Neil

I’d still like to know what Uganda’s motive is? Why do we think they consider this necessary?

And I’m also unsure what this lack of precedent is that has been asserted?

Kim Salo
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Kim Salo

Predictably, there are the “Oh, dear, not quite cricket” comments on this brilliant move. Nice to see people commenting who get it, and who have likely read Mission Shaped Church. Half of the trouble we have as Anglicans in doing mission locally and globally is paranoia about geographical boundaries. The fortress Anglicana attitude seems to be, “no matter how badly we do it in our parish/diocese/province, everyone should do it our way.” Yet Anglicans have been sending missions to the Global South for centuries, with tons of overlapping jurisdictions. Wisely, the C of E recognizes that sending works both ways.… Read more »

Mark Beaton
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Mark Beaton

I’m still trying to sort this out. Does this mean that churches in London and maybe elsewhere in England will be able to transfer to the Church of Uganda?
How will a church come under Bishop Millar?
Will these churches be able to start church planting without regard to English parish boundaries?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Mark
The short answer to your questions is No.
As an Assistant Bishop in the diocese of London, Bishop Millar will have no area jurisdiction, such as Bishop Pete has for the Willesden Episcopal Area.
Do read in full what Bishop Richard said in
http://www.london.anglican.org/NewsShow_5129 from which I pulled the quotes shown above.
Church Planting does already occur in the diocese and is done only with the approval of the relevant area bishops, I am sure Pete can elaborate.

Graham
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Graham

“The AMiA missionary bishops consecrated by the Anglican churches of Rwanda and Singapore…”
CORRECTION: The consecrations of Bishops Barnham, Johnston and Weiss were carried out by the Archbishop of South East Asia, Yong Ping Chung, not by the Bishop of Singapore. The other three Diocesan bishops in the province (including Singapore) publicly dissociated themselves from his actions at the time.

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

Bishop Millar will have no area jurisdiction, but neither do the “Flying Bishops”. They are still permitted to function, however, and no doubt Millar will be in great demand in conservative churches which would not welcome a visit from an Anglo-Catholic prelate. It might even be just the reason why he is being welcomed by the church authorities, who don’t want an official Evangelical Flying Bishop, but are happy to see the demands for one being met by Sandy Millar, keeping them quiet at no cost to the Church of England. It has great potential for backfire, however, as they… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Alan

Although in London, the arrangements are different, see the “London Plan” explained at
http://www.bishopoffulham.co.uk/Fulham%20Jurisdiction.htm
the Provincial Episcopal Visitors function elsewhere under the terms of the Act of Synod, see
http://www.bishopoffulham.co.uk/Act%20of%20Synod.htm

The office of Assistant Bishop really is quite different from all this.

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

Simon, This is all true, but the fact remains that the so-called Flying Bishops have no jurisdiction anywhere. They function as an extension of the ministry of the diocesan bishop, at his invitation. In some dioceses they have also been appointed as Assistant Bishops, bringing them so far as possible into the mainstream life of the diocese. I predict that the same will happen to Sandy Millar. He will have an official welcome in the diocese of London, but will also be asked to visit numerous Evangelical congregations up and down the country which do not want a visit from… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

From the mid 16th century untill 1772 the Church of Sweden had Ordinaries called Superintendents, but these were always heads of territorial jurisdictions.

Now, since the 1990ies there is a suffragan Bishop of Uppsala, whose jurisdiction also is territorial. We have not and would not contemplate anything like “flying bishops”.

So this appointment of an Assistant Bishop in London by the Archbishop of an other Church Province is beyond me…

Please, can anyone explain how this is different from kaos.

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

The difference is that the Church of Sweden has chosen to purge itself of its conservative elements. It is very sad to see such authoritarianism at work in a soi-disant liberal church.

The Church of England has sought to keep a variety of views within its embrace, by providing pastoral support for them, in the shape of three Provincial Episcopal Visitors, (or “Flying Bishops”), one for the province of York and two for the province of Canterbury.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Goran
Sandy is not going to be appointed an Assistant Bishop in London by any bishop in Uganda. Rather, Sandy, after being consecrated as a bishop in Uganda by Ugandans, will subsequently be appointed by the Bishop of London, nobody else, as an Assistant Bishop in his London diocese. This is a fairly usual event, appointing as an Assistant Bishop somebody who is already in episcopal orders, but is now retired and resident in an English diocese.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Hm, so Mr Millar is moving from one diocese to another and then back again…
Why?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear Göran, it’s probably an attempt at true *Christian inclusivity* when we find that there are important issues that we disagree on..(as opposed to liberal “inclusivity” – which excludes everyone who is not liberal enough!)

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Like Goran I remain rather puzzled. It does seem to be using the episcopate in the way that an hon. canonry is sometimes used — good chap, has slogged for the diocese (in this case: helped invent the Alpha course) lets give him an “honour”. Perhaps African Anglicans see things that way? I remember my second Vicar Bertie Moore(RIP) once saying how when he began in the diocese in the late 30’s there were 3x as many on the electoral rolls, only 2 suffragans and the 3 or4 archdeacons all had parishes; perhaps we’re getting like the health service! Perry… Read more »

Brian from Sheffield
Guest
Brian from Sheffield

I’ve just seen Sandy leading the sevice at 10am on BBC1 on Sunday morning ‘Stranger in the Manger’. Simply fabulous. I can see why this appointment is so universally approved. I can’t wait to see if he can ‘fly’ to the North and I could hear him in person.

Bill from Blackpool
Guest
Bill from Blackpool

I’ve just heard Sandy Millar’s sermon on Stranger in a Manger, 18/12/05. My response to hearing him put into words what I have been thinking for so long, was to look for him on the internet and led me to this site. Like Brian from Sheffield I hope that he comes North sometimes so that I can hear him in person. Is there any way to find out if he has any such plans?