Thinking Anglicans

CANA and Common Cause

The NACDAP/Anglican Communion Network has been very active in promoting an alliance with other North American groups, which has been named Common Cause. See the original June 2004 announcement. The partners so far have been eight in number and are listed here.

And now, CANA is to become number 9 in this list. This is noted in the latest report on Roundtable Drafts Articles for a Common Cause Federation:

The Common Cause Roundtable which represents nine orthodox Anglican jurisdictions and organizations in North America met in Pittsburgh August 16–18, 2006 to continue its unifying work. The Common Cause Roundtable Partners accomplished three major tasks:

  • affirmed their Covenant Declaration;
  • amended and approved the Theological Statement of the Common Cause Partnership; and,
  • recommended the formation of the Common Cause Federation (CCF).

…One of the actions of the Common Cause Partners’ meeting was to include the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) as the ninth roundtable partner.


We intend by God’s grace:

  • to partner together in a renewed missionary effort in North America and beyond, driven by our passion for Jesus and His Gospel.
  • to ensure an orthodox Anglican Province in North America that remains connected to a faithful global Communion.
  • to create a unity in the essentials of our Anglican faith that respects our varied styles and expressions.
  • to build trusting relationships marked by effective coordination, collaboration, and communication.

Mark Harris discusses all of this here. He notes that:

The careful reader will note the singular “an orthodox Anglican Province” and “a faithful global Communion.”

The ends are clear – one province (not by the way The Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada) for all of North America, and related to an unspecified “global Comunion” (not by the way necessarily connected to communion with the see of Canterbury.)

Somewhat curiously for Americans, given ECUSA’s history on these points, the Theological Statement now contains:

6. We receive The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the Ordinal attached to the same, as a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline, and, with the Books which preceded it, as the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship.

7. We receive the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1562, taken in their literal and grammatical sense, as expressing the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time, and as expressing the fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief.

Mark Harris explains how these wordings differ from the earlier draft.


from the Saturday papers

Guardian Glynn Cardy writes that Church liturgy needs to use more metaphors in order to help people communicate with God in new ways, in Face to Faith.

And Evolution forgot the democratic process by Barbara Toner which is a follow-up to this earlier article by Harriet Swain: How did we get here?

Telegraph Christopher Howse on Compo’s gimcrack Gothic chapel.

The Times Roderick Strange writes that A discriminating discrimination is one of the seven pillars of wisdom. Also, Darren Oldridge says that It takes two to beat words into ploughshares.

1 Comment

yet another group of bishops

Updated Saturday

The Anglican Communion Office has issued this statement:

Following consultation with the Presiding Bishop the Archbishop of Canterbury has asked Bishop Peter Lee of Virginia and Bishop John Lipscomb of Southwest Florida to convene a small group of bishops from the Episcopal Church (USA) to meet together to discuss some of the difficult issues facing the Church and to explore possible resolutions. Along with Bishop Griswold, those invited include Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop Bob Duncan, and Bishop Jack Iker . The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion will also attend. The first meeting will be taking place in New York in the first half of September.

This statement from Bishop Jack Iker indicates that others will be attending: including Bishops Salmon (South Carolina, retired but now acting bishop until the new election occurs) and Stanton (Dallas):

…In accordance with the Archbishop’s instructions, we are each to bring along another Bishop to share in these deliberations, and we have asked Bishop Ed Salmon of South Carolina and Bishop James Stanton of Dallas to join us. All four of us are member Bishops in the Anglican Communion Network and our dioceses have requested alternative primatial oversight from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

We are grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his efforts to broker a cease fire in our current conflicts and to assist us in finding a way to work through the impasse we have reached. If things go well at this initial meeting, additional dates have been set aside to continue our deliberations in the future. Your prayers are asked for the participants as we seek a way forward for a church in crisis.

Episcopal News Service has issued this news report by Mary Frances Schjonberg Communion representative to confer with some Episcopal Church bishops:

…The meeting has been in the works since the Episcopal Church’s 75th General Convention in June, according to Canon James M Rosenthal, director of communications in the Anglican Communion Office.

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, attended the convention. At the time he commended the Episcopal Church for the “very careful way they have taken seriously the requests of the Windsor Report, and you see this seriousness in the way that business is being conducted on this particular issue at Convention.”

Rosenthal said that Kearon will be “facilitating” the meeting in September.

He added that the Anglican Communion Office is a “very proper and appropriate place to begin” a conversation of this importance.

“The Anglican Communion Office has been responsible for many of the meetings and committees that have been given the portfolio for concerns of church unity in the midst of our diversity,” Rosenthal said. “This meeting could well be an important step in that continuing work…”

Rachel Zoll of Associated Press managed to speak to Bishop Lee:

…Virginia Bishop Peter Lee, who is among the six U.S. invitees, said the participants “have agreed not to talk at length with the press” about the gathering.

“The archbishop of Canterbury is encouraging American bishops to try to work on these questions,” Lee said in a phone interview. “We’re trying to hold together people who have differing views and to respect those differing views.”

Update Saturday
The Living Church has a report: Bishop Iker: Bishops’ Summit May Provide Clarity:

“Obviously I have my reservations about how productive a meeting like this can be,” Bishop Iker told The Living Church. “I think it is significant that I have heard nothing from either the Presiding Bishop or Katharine Jefferts Schori since General Convention. To me this indicates that he [Archbishop Williams] is trying to respond to a pastoral situation and they are trying as hard as they can to ignore it.”

Bishop Iker said he was first contacted by Lambeth Palace more than two weeks ago and asked if he would be willing to participate in a meeting designed to “facilitate a solution” to the current controversy and division within The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. In addition to bishops Iker, Lee and Lipscomb, invitations to the mid-September meeting in New York have been extended to Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, Dallas Bishop James Stanton, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., acting Bishop of South Carolina, and the Rt. Rev. Don E. Wimberly, Bishop of Texas.

Bishop Wimberly previously called for a consultation in Texas of all bishops who are willing to stand firmly with the recommendations of the Windsor Report. The consultation is scheduled to begin after the meeting in New York City.

“Four of the seven bishops who asked for APO will be there,” Bishop Iker said. “I believe everyone should see the consolidated APO request before the meeting and I would hope we could come away with a clear statement of what APO should look like as well as an assurance that it will be provided.”

The Diocese of Southwest Florida has two related reports:Bishop: Ties to American church, Canterbury to remain and High-level meeting called to discuss resolutions to ‘difficult issues’


latest Nigerian news

There are no new reports relating to the Minns consecration in today’s Church Times but Paul Handley’s interview with Bishop Peter Lee that I mentioned last week, is now on the web: ‘Lawsuits would be unbiblical’ says Bishop Lee.

The Church of England Newspaper also has no further news about the consecration on its website but it does have an interesting story about the Nigerian church by George Conger: Nigeria’s Hezbollah fears. See the original press release here.

But the most interesting report is on the Nigerian provincial website itself: Coming Over to America to Help:

Coming Over to America to Help

A Background to the Nigerian Mission to America.


Thousands of Anglicans in North America have long watched with dismay as their much loved Churches slid from the known teachings of the Bible to that which seems to conform more to the ideas of civil society groups.

Questionable doctrines include teachings that;

  • Imply the Creator God is unable to decide whether he wanted to make a person male or female.
  • Portray Jesus the Christ as only ‘a way’ out of ‘many paths’ to God instead of THE WAY. John 14:6
  • Love of a person means acceptance and love of the person’s sins.
  • The Holy Spirit stopped convincing of sin (John 19: 8 ) and became a dispensable adviser.
  • The Holy Scriptures lost relevance as the ‘developed industrialized world’ could respond to many human problems.
  • Different people could propound any new teaching as long as it makes the listeners feel good. 2Tim 3:3-4
  • Heaven and hell are figurative languages used in the bible as it is wrong to frighten people with such old ideas in the modern world.
  • Mission and ministry assumed new meanings.

Many Nigerians in the US found it increasingly difficult to identify with the Anglican communities, and thus found themselves worshiping in other denominations.

When a Canadian diocese approved church ceremonies to allow homosexuals exchange marital vows and The Episcopal Church in the USA (ECUSA) followed by consecrating a practicing homosexual as a bishop, the spiritual life of many got threatened, and the Church of Nigeria became concerned.

“For us it is crucial and most urgent that we find ways of providing alternative avenues for the thousands of Nigerian Anglicans who live and work beyond our shores,” said Archbishop Peter Akinola, at the Standing Committee meeting of the Church in Ilesa, March 2004.

What started as an outreach to provide a safe harbour for Nigerians soon became overwhelmed with requests for participation and the Convocation for Anglicans in North America (CANA) was born. Announcing the formation of the Convocation in April 2005, Archbishop Akinola wrote:

“Our intention is not to challenge or intervene in the churches of ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada but rather to provide safe harbour for those who can no longer find their spiritual home in those churches”

In September 2005 at the 8th General Synod of the Church of Nigeria, the necessary constitutional changes were made to permit the formal establishment of the Convocation in the USA and by November the necessary legal framework to establish CANA as a recognized Anglican Church structure in the USA was completed. Abraham N. Yisa, Esq., Registrar of the Church of Nigeria was appointed chairman of the board of trustees, Chief Gboyega Delano of Chicago, the secretary and Mrs. Patience Oruh of Maryland, the treasurer for CANA. The Rev. Canon Nathan Kanu was appointed the interim communicator, and some Nigerian bishops were delegated to give Episcopal oversight.

In November, the Church of Nigeria entered into a covenant agreement with the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America. These are two Churches spread over the US that had also separated from ECUSA on doctrinal issues. Though their bishops and some other faithful bishops in the US continued to be very supportive of the Nigerian initiative, the need to have a US- based Bishop for the growing convocation became more apparent over time, as the ECUSA remained unwilling to change course.

In June 2006, the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria met to among other things, elect bishops to fill vacant Sees after which the names of four new bishops-elect including that of the first CANA bishop was announced. Also a committee led by the Rt. Rev Benjamin Kwashi, Bishop of Jos and including the Rt. Rev Segun Okubadejo, bishop of Ibadan North and the Rt. Rev Ikechi Nwosu, bishop of Umuahia, was appointed to supervise the CANA mission.

The consecration service for the Rev. Canon Martyn Minns as Bishop in the Church of God for the CANA is on Sunday, 20th August 2006.

(Church of Nigeria News)


ENS reports on CANA

Episcopal News Service has published a report about CANA in today’s Diocesan Digest. Scroll down that page to find it. The item is titled VIRGINIA: Bishop, US rector elected as Nigerian bishop ‘in conversation’.

The letter from Bishop Peter Lee is now published on the Virginia diocesan website.

An earlier report from ENS makes interesting reading now. This was published in October 2004, shortly before the publication of the Windsor Report: Canterbury says Akinola’s convocation plan not approved by Williams (emphasis added):

Akinola said he had spoken with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams about the convocation and that Williams had told him, “I wish that you would do this with the Network” of Anglican Dioceses and Parishes, or NACDAP. So, he said, the convocation will be conducted in what Truro’s rector Martyn Minns described as a “partnership” with NACDAP.

Reached on Wednesday, Archbishop Williams’ press secretary, the Rev. Jonathan Jennings, released a brief statement: “The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, and Archbishop Akinola have discussed difficulties for some Nigerian congregations in the USA arising from the General Convention decision and the consecration of Gene Robinson. Whilst the issue and its presenting difficulties were discussed, and the role of the ‘network’ raised as providing a possible solution within the structures of ECUSA, the possibility of a Nigerian convocation in the United States and of the Nigerian House of Bishops commending, recommending or choosing a bishop was not raised and formed no part of these discussions…

The only newspaper account I can find of the press conference on 5 October 2004 is this: Nigerian bishop forms U.S. denomination.


Sentamu interviewed

Inside is an odd place to pitch a tent … is the headline on an article in the G2 section of the Guardian this morning. The story is about John Sentamu and is written by Stephen Bates.

There are some prayers for peace and also some photographs on the York diocesan website. (Click on each picture for a larger version.)

Update The Church Times has a story about this too: Pat Ashworth York’s hermit fasts for peace.

Update The Sunday Times has a substantial interview by Martin Wroe Why I’ve pitched my tent in the cathedral.


What happened to the Nigerian chaplaincy?

On the CANA website, Martyn Minns says the following:

…It’s a little known fact that Nigerians have a significant presence in the US-many are doctors, communications professionals, and successful business people-and a large segment of these Nigerians are Anglican Christians. For a while, the Anglican Church of Nigeria attempted to work with Presiding Bishop Griswold and ECUSA dioceses to meet the pastoral needs of these Anglican Nigerians in the US.

But, ECUSA proved over and over again that it was unwilling to respect the faith of Anglican Nigerians by its divisive actions. One of these actions was that ECUSA unilateraly sacked the former Nigerian chaplain appointed to care for Anglican Nigerians in this country, the Rev. Canon Gordon Okunsanya. So, we can really say that ECUSA itself made the creation of CANA necessary. Necessity is truly the mother of invention.

Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria attempted to meet the needs of Anglican Nigerians in this country himself. But, he soon realized that maintaining a vital mission in the US could not be sustained without the presence of a domestic church structure and a local bishop. Thus, my election as CANA’s missionary bishop.

Archbishop Akinola is also well aware of the pastoral crisis that ECUSA has caused for Anglicans of all races and ethnicities in the US. And so, he is committed to seeing that CANA is welcoming of everyone-whether they’re from Nigeria or not-who believe in the uniqueness of Jesus the Messiah, the authority of the Bible in our lives, and the historic faith of the Anglican tradition…

Also Archbishop Peter Akinola himself says this elsewhere on the site:

Several of our Nigerian clergy in America have been informed they can no longer work in an Episcopal diocese or have had their funding cut. Finally, the unilateral dismissal by the Presiding Bishop of the Chaplain we had jointly appointed to minister to Nigerian congregations illustrates the extent of the brokenness of our relationship and underlines the need to provide alternative structures for episcopal and pastoral care.

Last night, Patrick Mauney who was formerly ECUSA’s director of Anglican and global relations commented here on TA, as follows:

I cannot let pass unchallenged the statement on the CANA website by Canon Minns that TEC “unilaterally sacked the former Nigerian chaplain” who had been appointed to look after Nigerian Anglican expats in the U.S., and that by this action had made the formation of CANA necessary. This is untrue. I know, because until my retirement the end of 2004, I was the Presiding Bishop’s deputy for Anglican relations and responsible for oversight of TEC’s share of the Nigerian Anglican chaplaincy jointly established by Bishop Griswold and Abp Akinola.

The truth is that the chaplain had overspent his budget and further expenses on his part were disallowed until income was sufficient. The chaplain chose to interpret this as a sacking, but he was clearly informed that he was not being terminated and that he could resume his work once sufficient funds were on hand. Abp Akinola was kept fully abreast of this development, but by this time (2004) I think he clearly had intended to cease cooperating in the joint chaplaincy and to establish CANA, although he never informed the Presiding Bishop of these plans.

For the record, tens of thousands of dollars were raised for the joint chaplaincy, with major grants coming from the dioceses of Southern Ohio and Texas. Numerous TEC bishops had indicated their support and facilitated the work of the former chaplain. Abp Akinola, for his part, pledged US$5,000 to the effort, but had not made good on his pledge by the time I departed the end of 2004.

Subsequently Patrick Mauney wrote to me with additional information:

Gordon Okunsanya (the former chaplain, an American priest of Nigerian birth), was resident in the diocese of Atlanta and used a business credit card issued by the diocese. (The chaplaincy was deliberately not a national church-funded “program” but a partnership of the PB’s office, individual dioceses with large African expat populations, and, ostensibly at least, the Primate of Nigeria. Gordon charged his expenses on his diocesan card, then we reimbursed Atlanta, as we (815) were the reception point for the contributions from TEC dioceses.)

I have written to both CANA and to Martyn Minns personally inviting them to reply. So far nothing has been received here. I have also asked for a response from 815 Second Avenue and received this:

ENS contacted the Presiding Bishop’s Office and the accuracy of Canon Mauney’s recollections was confirmed.

Meanwhile, the following earlier reports relating to all this can be found on the web:

March 2003
ENS Chaplaincy to expatriate Nigerian Anglicans launched in US

October 2004
Washington Times Nigerian bishop forms U.S. denomination
Voice of America Nigerian Anglicans Consider US Gay Bishop Controversy (with audio interview of Canon Gordon Okunsanya)


more about CANA

The American Anglican Council has issued a press release: A Statement from the President of the American Anglican Council Congratulating Archbishop Akinola on Formation of CANA:

The American Anglican Council offers its congratulations and gratitude to the Church of Nigeria and its Primate, Archbishop Peter Akinola, in the establishment of CANA as Convocation for Anglicans in North America and the consecration of Canon Martyn Minns, as its first Missionary Bishop.

These are difficult times for faithful Anglicans and the AAC is especially thankful for the creative and timely response of many of the Global South primates in recognizing the danger that the Episcopal Church in the United States posed for the Anglican Communion and the offer of safe harbor that was and has been extended to congregations in the United States looking for orthodox episcopal and primatial oversight. Additionally the AAC is deeply appreciative of the clear and prophetic voice of Global South primates who have spoken up, at great cost personally and for their provinces, and called the Anglican Communion to a holy and orthodox faith consonant with the historic teachings of both Christianity and Anglicanism.

We take note of the vision and heart that the Global South has for evangelism, and in expanding the Anglican Church family, and note in particular efforts by the Global South Steering Committee members in reaching out to parts of mainland Asia and seeking closer ties and understanding. It is leadership such as this that combines pastoral concern for those churches in the United States that are under persecution by their own province, for adherence to orthodoxy of the faith, and for vision to reach fields still ripe for the harvest that marks Christian leadership that others can model their lives on.

Some of you may remember that originally CANA stood for Convocation of Anglican Nigerian Churches in America, see as evidence this statement (last April) from the official Nigerian provincial website:

After much prayer and careful discernment with appropriate colleagues and advisors over the last two years, and in full consultation with the Nigerian congregations in America, together with the enthusiastic endorsement of the Episcopal Synod and the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) we announce the formation of the Convocation of Anglican Nigerian Churches in America.

This Convocation will function as a ministry of the Church of Nigeria in America. Our intention is not to challenge or intervene in the churches of ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada but rather to provide safe harbour for those who can no longer find their spiritual home in those churches. While it will initially operate under our Constitution and Canons, it will have its own legal and ecclesial structure and local suffragan episcopate. I will be asking the next General Synod of the Church of Nigeria, which will meet in September 2005, to make the necessary constitutional amendments.

Then in September 2005, it became Convocation of Anglican Nigerians in Americas (CANA).

Now of course it stands instead for Convocation of Anglicans in North America a term first used officially in November 2005. Corrected: hat tip to Fr Jake

As the December review of 2005 explained:

April 2005
A carefully worded statement by the Primate of Nigeria announced the formation of Convocation of Anglican Nigerians in America. (CANA)
In a pastoral letter announcing the convocation, the Primate said the ministry of Church of Nigeria in the US will provide a safe harbour for worshippers who feel estranged because of the revisionist agenda of some North American Churches.
In the same month of April, the Primate published a letter to members of the Church intimating them about the recent developments of the Anglican Communion particularly the outcome of the Primates’ February meeting in Northern Ireland. He talked about the intransigence of the North American Churches on the issue of homosexuality. He dismissed it as unfounded the alleged influence of external forces on some Primates in their decision to suspend the North American Churches.

November 2005
The Church of Nigeria announced a covenant with the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America, signaling the implementation of the amended constitution. Chapter 1 Section 3 of the constitution states that “The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) hereinafter called “The Church of Nigeria” or “This Church” shall be in full communion with all Anglican Churches Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and Discipline of the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church as the Lord has commanded in His holy word and as the same are received as taught in the Book of Common Prayer and the ordinal of 1662 and in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.” With a name change, they now become part of CANA, The Convocation for Anglicans in North America.

And, in case you forgot, the Primates at Dromantine said in February 2005 (emphasis added):

15. In order to protect the integrity and legitimate needs of groups in serious theological dispute with their diocesan bishop, or dioceses in dispute with their Provinces, we recommend that the Archbishop of Canterbury appoint, as a matter of urgency, a panel of reference to supervise the adequacy of pastoral provisions made by any churches for such members in line with the recommendation in the Primates’ Statement of October 2003. Equally, during this period we commit ourselves neither to encourage nor to initiate cross-boundary interventions.

Earlier, the Windsor Report had recommended:

155. We call upon those bishops who believe it is their conscientious duty to intervene in provinces, dioceses and parishes other than their own:

  • to express regret for the consequences of their actions
  • to affirm their desire to remain in the Communion, and
  • to effect a moratorium on any further interventions.

We also call upon these archbishops and bishops to seek an accommodation with the bishops of the dioceses whose parishes they have taken into their own care.


Wimberly statement published

The expected statement from Bishop Don Wimberly of Texas relating to the forthcoming meeting of “Windsor bishops” has been published on the Diocese of Texas website. It is reproduced below the fold.

The Houston Chronicle has published a news report: Episcopalians will gather, chart course on gay issues.



Dallas clergy dissent from diocesan action

Earlier, I reported that not all Episcopalians in the dioceses which had requested “alternative primatial oversight” or had otherwise sought to “disassociate” their diocese from the actions of the General Convention 206, were happy with all those actions.

The latest example comes from Dallas where fifteen clergy have signed a statement of their “intent to remain members of The Episcopal Church”.

Their statement can be found here.

The diocesan statements to which this is a reaction can be found here. This is the diocese which has asked for “direct” primatial oversight from the Archbishop of Canterbury:

“To this end, we call upon the bishop to appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury for a direct primatial relationship with him for the purpose of mission, pastoral support, and accountability.


Melbourne election: candidates announced

The Diocese of Melbourne has announced its candidates for archbishop. The election is next weekend.

The candidates are

  • the Right Reverend David Albert Beetge of South Africa
  • The Right Reverend Michael David Doe of England
  • The Right Reverend Dr Philip Leslie Freier
  • The Venerable Dr David James Powys

More details of the candidates available here. More information about the Melbourne election process here.


CANA on the web

Updated Tuesday

The Convocation for Anglicans in North America which is “an Anglican missionary effort in the US sponsored by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)” now has a website. There’s a video which features the Primate of Nigeria and others.

The website also includes forms, one for clergy and one for congregations, that desire to affiliate with CANA. As the forms state:

The Convocation for Anglicans in North America (CANA) meets the needs of Anglicans who have been disenfranchised by the divisive actions of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA). CANA offers congregations and clergy an authentic connection to the Anglican Communion. CANA welcomes all who want to share in the apostolic faith and life of orthodox Christianity in the Anglican tradition.

Two of the questions asked on both forms are these:

Please explain why you are seeking to register with CANA (500 words or less). Include any reservations you may have about the uniqueness of Jesus the Messiah, about the authority of the Bible in our lives, about the fact that CANA is a mission of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), about working with people of diverse backgrounds, and about episcopal pastoral care and authority.

Please explain why you think your affiliation with CANA will or will not result in a dispute with your current bishop (100 words or less).

There is also a press release, on the Nigerian provincial website, about the consecration on the 20th.

(Hat tip to Mark Harris who has commented on the claims made by CANA.)

Update Bishop Peter Lee issued a letter on the weekend, which was referenced at the bottom of this earlier article. As it still has not appeared on the Virginia diocesan website, I reproduce it in full below the fold. Now also available here.

Update The Living Church has also reported on this letter: Bishop Lee, Bishop-Elect Minns Seek Solution.



more on the "Windsor bishops"

Updated Sunday and Tuesday

For initial reports see here.

Jonathan Petre had this report in the Telegraph on 7 August: Bishops fly to US for summit of Anglican hard-liners.

The Church Times carried a short news report (subscription only for another week) which includes the following:

…Dr Wright said on Tuesday that the group consisted of those who wanted to hold to as broad a base of Episcopalianism under the Windsor and Communion rubrics as they could, and who needed to be taught some Anglican and biblical theological pathways by which they could do so. “They need to be encouraged to extend their left arms as far as they can in one direction and their right arms in another to prevent what could otherwise be multiple fracturing and break-up,” he said. “The Bishop of Winchester and I want to see ECUSA refreshed, renewed, and full of vigour.”…

The Episcopal News Service has issued a report headlined Windsor-compliant bishops meeting has Archbishop’s ‘blessing’. As it is not yet Now available on the web, a copy also appears here, below the fold. This refers to statements issued in Texas, which also do not yet does now appear on the diocesan web site. An earlier statement by Bishop Wimberly appears here.



opinions for the weekend

Sam Wells wrote in last week’s Church Times on Why our culture won’t heed the Church on sex.

Jonathan Sacks writes in The Times this week that Scripture tells us that we hold the Earth in trust for future generations.

David Self writes in today’s Guardian about the Christian right and its support for Israel in Face to Faith.

Christopher Howse writes about The Rapture Index in his Telegraph column headed It’s not the end of the world – or is it?

Last Sunday’s Observer had this article by Robert Pape What we still don’t understand about Hizbollah.


Sentamu to fast and pray for Middle East peace

Updated Sunday

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, is to embark on an act of ‘public witness’ to encourage people throughout the country to join him in a week long campaign of prayer and fasting for peace in the Middle East.

Read the Church of England press release:Middle East Conflict: Protest, Pray & Fast.
Read the York Minster press release: Archbishop Calls for Fast Action on Middle East.

Listen to his interview on the ‘Today’ radio programme, speaking about his initiative, via this (Real Audio) link.

Reuters Archbishop to hold vigil for Middle East

Associated Press Bush’s comments “counterproductive”

BBC Archbishop’s peace vigil in tent

Yorkshire Post Archbishop criticises Bush’s war words and Blair

Ekklesia Sentamu to launch week-long York fast against violence

From the press release:

“In the Middle East there are thousands of people sleeping in churches, bunkers, underground car parks and shelters in an attempt to escape from the bombs and rockets that are falling on both sides of the border” said the Archbishop.

“This act is a rallying call to people of all faiths and none, to encourage them to feel that there is something that can be done. The UN has a role, diplomacy has a role and our Government has a role to play in bringing this conflict to an end. But we as people also have a role to play in showing our common humanity with all those who are suffering.

“We have an opportunity to stand up and be counted with those in Israel, Lebanon and Palestine and all over the world who seek after Peace. This is what this week will be about, people coming together for one purpose alone – to pray for peace in our troubled world and to pray especially for the Middle East.

“I will be inviting people from all over the country to pause for a prayer and light a candle for peace. I will lead every day, on the hour, every hour for seven days. Just like those sleeping on the floors of bunkers, car parks and churches, I will also spend the week camped out sleeping in the Minster.

“Many thousands of people have been denied access to food and water as a result of the fighting. Why not join me in a spirit of fasting during the week by being prepared to forego a meal and donate the money to charities, like Save the Children fund, who are working in the conflict zone? At a future date we must all give generously to the reconstruction of Northern Israel, Lebanon and Palestine.”


more reports on the Nigerian election of Minns

Updated Saturday and Sunday (twice)

Today’s Church Times has a further report on the Nigerian election of Martyn Minns as a bishop for CANA, by Doug LeBlanc Nigerians set to lay hands on Minns:

This week, Bishop Lee, who has Canon Minns in his jurisdiction for roughly another week, again voiced his doubts that the Canon will be able to serve as Rector of Truro and as a foreign bishop. “I think the conflicts are too great to make that do-able,” the Bishop said. The consecration date “adds a new element of complexity in the drama of ecclesiology in the United States”.

Additionally, the paper edition carries a lengthy exclusive interview with Bishop Peter Lee, until next week available only to subscribers, which includes the revelation that on 27 June, Minns came to see him about his impending retirement:

… I asked him if he was going to be elected a bishop in the Church of Nigeria. He looked very surprised, and answered something to the effect that anything might happen.

“Later that morning, he called my office from his car. He told me that Peter Akinola [Archbishop of Nigeria] had just phoned his car to tell him that he had been elected a bishop in Nigeria.”

Later that day, Archbishop Akinola had phoned Bishop Lee to ask whether Canon Minns could remain Rector of Truro while serving as a Nigerian bishop. “I used the word ‘impossible’…”

George Conger in the Church of England Newspaper reports in Minns to be made a Nigerian bishop that:

Conservative leaders in the US have declined to endorse Canon Minns’ election and have quietly backed the statement released last month by Lambeth Palace, which held the June 28 election “was not a welcome development. It is neither timely nor constructive as it further complicates an already complex situation.”

Doug LeBlanc has also written an article for the Living Church about this, Minns’ Consecration Set Before Discernment.


(thanks EP) From the Nigerian Guardian: Nigerian Anglicans To Ordain Bishop For U.S Diocese:

To shield its members from ungodly doctrines and practices, such as interaction with gay priests, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has created a separate diocese in the United States for them. It has also appointed a bishop for the faithful The diocese known as Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) will be presided over by Rev, Cannon Martyn Minns.

In a statement yesterday, the Diocesan Communicator Lady Nancy Oghenekaro explained that the action was part of moves to provide “safe spiritual harbour” and meet the needs of Anglican Nigerians in the wake of the divisive actions of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.

Cannon Minns 63, a British-born clergyman and based in the Rector of Truro Church, Virginia, will be consecrated at the National Christian Centre (Ecumenical Centre) Abuja on Saturday August 19, 2006 along with three other bishops -elect in a service to be presided over by the Primate of the, Anglican Communion, Rev Peter J Akinola.

This report by Julia Duin in the Washington Times appeared on 7 August: Consecration set for this month:

Originally set up for expatriate Nigerians, CANA also will shelter displaced church conservatives in ongoing Episcopal battles over issues of Scripture and sexuality. In July, Nigerian bishops released a statement calling the U.S. Episcopal Church a “cancerous lump” that should be “excised” from the worldwide Anglican Communion.
But the Nigerians’ decision to consecrate an American got a cool reception from conservative U.S. bishops. Only Quincy, Ill., Bishop Keith Ackerman applauded the move. Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, president of the Anglican Communion Network, the largest conservative Episcopal group, has refused comment.
“Bishop-elect Minns is a very gifted pastor, teacher and leader,” his communications director, Peter Frank, said recently, while adding that he was not speaking for the bishop. “The Church of Nigeria … has given leadership when no one else was willing to do it.”

From the Tide: Church of Nigeria to consecrate new bishops.

A further letter from Bishop Lee to the diocese of Virginia, issued this weekend, can be found below, in the comments (from Cynthia Gilliatt).


General Synod – transcripts of proceedings

Updated 20 August and 4 September with a complete list

Verbatim transcripts of the proceedings of last month’s proceedings of General Synod are starting to appear on the Church of England website. So far the following are available.

Friday afternoon
Friday evening
Saturday morning
Saturday afternoon
Saturday evening
Sunday afternoon
Sunday evening
Monday morning
Monday afternoon
Monday evening

The complete pdf files of the February 2006 Report of Proceedings are also now available here.


some American newspaper reports

Los Angeles Times Stephen Clark Anglican/Episcopal Rift Prompts Restructuring Talk has a Q and A format.

New York Times Tina Kelley writes about the forthcoming Newark diocesan election in For Diocese, Picking Bishop Means Facing Diocesan Rift.

Religion News Service via Fort Worth Star Telegram Daniel Kelly A call for unity which is an interview with Njongonkulu Ndungane, the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town.


Rowan Williams in the Observer

The Archbishop of Canterbury has a column in today’s Observer newspaper:
The voices of the innocent must be heard above the din of war.

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some American opinions

Here is a selection of recent items related to current debates:

Nick Knisely The Michelson-Morley Experiment and the Experience of Gay and Lesbian Christians

Teresa Mathes Don’t Call Them Conservatives

Paul Zahl interviewed in the Church of Ireland Gazette

Doug LeBlanc in Christianity Today Falling Apart

Mark Harris Challenging the Archbishop: The latest report from the pack of cards.