An important news report from last week’s Church Times and only now available: Dr Butler blasts irregular ordinations by Pat Ashworth. This includes among other information the following about Anglican Mainstream spokespersons:
After the ordinations, the Co-Mission Initiative invited signatories to a statement of “full support” and “recognition of the validity” of the ordinations. An early signatory among the 177 names was Canon Chris Sugden, executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream and a newly elected member of the General Synod. He confirmed on Tuesday that he had attended the ordinations, and had signed the statement in full knowledge that the rite used had been unauthorised.
He said on Tuesday: “My presence there indicated our support for gospel ministry and the growth of the Church. While not approving of an irregular ordination, we were expressing our understanding of the pressures behind the decision which the people of Dundonald had made, to do something which they were well aware was irregular . . .”
Dr Philip Giddings, convener of Anglican Mainstream, was not a signatory. Asked on Tuesday whether he approved of the action, he said: “I don’t approve or disapprove. I understand the reasons that have produced this, just as I understand the frustration and irritation of neighbouring parishes and the diocese. . . As far as I’m concerned, it’s symptomatic of a breakdown in pastoral relations, and what should be addressed is not this particular symptom, but how reconciliation can be achieved.”
And on a lighter note, the Guardian today has an item of church news hidden in a Diary column by Stephen Moss.
The item reads as follows:
Almost impenetrable story from the Diary’s ecclesiastical department (actually there are two departments, hopelessly at loggerheads over the issue of how long eggs should be boiled). The Church of England’s most senior civil servant, William Fittall, may soon be out of communion with his own church. Fittall, secretary general of the C of E’s general synod, which has been meeting this week in London, is a lay reader with a church in Battersea whose vicar has fallen out with his bishop. The vicar in question, Paul Perkin, is a hard-line, evangelical, anti-gay supporter of a rebellious Wimbledon cleric who has had his licence removed by Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark, for calling in a non-Anglican South African bishop to ordain three lay members of his flock without Butler’s permission. Are you following this? Mr Perkin is a pillar of Reform, the conservative evangelical pressure group, which has come out against all the bishops of the C of E who, like Butler, have signed up to allowing clergy to register under the new civil-partnerships legislation. That means he’s in rebellion against his own bishop. Which way will Fittall jump?
Sorry, that was hopelessly long-winded and complicated. Professor John Sutherland has kindly done a simplified text message version for us. Godsez man+wmn=gd rckn sum clrx. Ovr bshps w brds dont. bit o prob 4 burcr@ sposed 2 kp anglican shw on road. who rlly gvs toss?
Sutherland has I think got it right.