Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth invitations: updates

Updated Friday morning

Anglican Mainstream and titusonenine have both published the full text of this week’s Church of England Newspaper letter from Lord Carey, from which I quoted only an excerpt earlier.

To read it in full go here, or alternatively here.

The text of (then) Archbishop Carey’s letter in February 2000 concerning the AMiA bishops, to which reference is made in the CEN letter can be found on ACNS by going here. It really deserves reading in full.

The Church of England Newspaper front page article by George Conger can be read by going to his blog: Fallout after Lambeth Invitations Continues.

There are interesting comments on the Fulcrum forum about both the authorship and the formal status of the CAPA ‘Road to Lambeth’ report referenced by various African primates recently: go here and scroll down.

Bishop Pierre Whalon also has some comments on his blog arising from his attendance at the recent Church of England bishops’ meeting:

…Among the many topics at this year’s meeting was the letter sent to most of the world’s Anglican bishops (well over 800, including eleven women) inviting us to the 2008 Lambeth Conference. While the proceedings of the meeting are confidential, I think I can make a few comments that are pertinent.
First, much has been made of the timing of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter. Clearly he would rather had sent them out after meeting with the American bishops in September, but the need to organize is becoming prominent. The last Lambeth Conference in 1998 has been described as a “organizational nightmare,” and this one seeks to be better, much better. Thus the invitations have been sent earlier than expected.
Second, the letter states that the Archbishop is still taking counsel for one or two cases. This means that no bishops of the Communion has been “uninvited,” yet. I am firmly convinced that Bishop Gene Robinson will be asked to participate. The question is, under what status? That remains to be negotiated. The Windsor Report had mandated that Rowan Williiams not invite him at all. Clearly the Archbishop wants to find a way forward despite that.
Third, the case of the bishop for the Convocation of Nigerian Churches in America, Martyn Minns, was not discussed at all. I did not know that he had not been invited until I was able to get some internet connectivity. This means that he is considered to be in the same category as the bishops of the Anglican Mission in America—validly consecrated but not a bishop of the Anglican Communion…

Pat Ashworth in the Church Times has Ugandan bishops shun Lambeth.

Another report from Uganda is in New Vision Orombi skips talks over gays.


Lambeth invitations: further comments

Updated yet again Thursday afternoon

Andrew Brown has written this commentary at comment is free: Stand up for yourself, Rowan.

Jonathan Petre reports in the Daily Telegraph what Gregory Venables thinks in Anglican Church in a ‘mess’ over gay bishop row.

Akintunde Popoola took steps to remind us what Peter Akinola thinks when he spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria as reported by the Nigerian Tribune in Akinola Threatens To Boycott Anglican Meeting.

Henry Orombi of Uganda has issued this statement:

On 9th December 2006, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, meeting in Mbale, resolved unanimously to support the CAPA Road to Lambeth statement, which, among other things, states, “We will definitely not attend any Lambeth Conference to which the violators of the Lambeth Resolution are also invited as participants or observers.”

We note that all the American Bishops who consented to, participated in, and have continued to support the consecration as bishop of a man living in a homosexual relationship have been invited to the Lambeth Conference. These are Bishops who have violated the Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which rejects “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture” and “cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions.”

Accordingly, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda stands by its resolve to uphold the Road to Lambeth.

The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi

See also the Living Church report here.
Further Update see ENS report UGANDA: Archbishop Orombi questions Lambeth Conference participation.

George Carey has written a letter to the Church of England Newspaper which in part says the following:

Sir, Kenneth Kearon suggests (CEN May 25) that the decision not to invite AMiA
bishops, or the recently consecrated CANA Bishop, to the Lambeth Conference
relates to a precedent I set in 2000…

…This, of course, was before 2003 when the Episcopal Church clearly signalled its
abandonment of Communion norms, in spite of warnings from the Primates that the
consecration of a practising homosexual bishop would ‘tear the fabric of the Communion’.
It is not too much to say that everything has changed in the Anglican Communion
as a result of the consecration of Gene Robinson.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s prerogative to invite bishops to the Conference is a
lonely, personal and important task. Before each Conference a number of careful decisions
have to be taken, with the focus being on the well-being of the Communion. The
circumstances facing each Archbishop of Canterbury will vary according to the needs
of the hour. For these reasons, I believe, that Dr Rowan Williams should not regard
the advice he has evidently received that this matter is ‘fixed’ as necessarily binding
on him in the very different circumstances of 2007.

Thursday afternoon update
The full text of letter of the 20 February 2000 letter from then Archbishop Carey to the Primates on the AMiA consecrations can be found here.


Jesus' Family Values – Seminar

Ekklesia is sponsoring an event:

You are invited to join Professor Deirdre Good in conversation about ‘Jesus’ Family Values’ and their challenge for the churches’ current stance.

11-12am (with refreshments), Thursday 31 May 2007.
St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace
, 78, Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AG.

The meeting is free. It would help if you could tell us you are intending to come by emailing:

British-born Dr Deirdre Good, now Professor of New Testament at General (Anglican) Seminary in New York, has already caused waves in the USA with her book Jesus’ Family Values, which argues that Jesus replaced his family of origin with differently configured communities and households.

The subject is highly topical. Churches are embroiled in angry arguments about adoption, sexuality and the future of marriage. The latest British Social Attitudes survey says traditional family structures are under pressure. And the government is highlighting family policy as a major focus.

This event – which launches Professor Good’s book in the UK – is being promoted by the UK think-tank Ekklesia, which examines the role of religion in public life. It is being hosted by St Ethelburga’s, a centre in the City of London for reconciliation among people of different religions and beliefs.

Full details here.


Wycliffe Hall: a couple of items

First, wannabepriest has drawn attention to how the situation there has changed by linking to this from 2005:

Does the organisation Reform have a place within the evangelical firmament of the Church of England, not to mention the wider Anglican Communion? The question is prompted by the recent decision of the council of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, to ban meetings of the local student branch of the movement until a policy can be formulated on the ‘issue’…

Second, Giles Fraser has written a comment article Not faith, but fanaticism in today’s Guardian which concludes like this:

…Of course, what should really happen is that the bishops of the Church of England stop using colleges like this to train its priests. Places such as Wycliffe are turning Anglicanism into a cult. But it’s a symptom of how bad things are in the C of E, and how frightened its bishops have become of the financial muscle of conservative evangelicals, that they won’t find the gumption to cut Wycliffe adrift.

But clearly they should. For Anglicanism is fast becoming the nasty party at prayer, with traditionally inclusive theology being submerged by a bargain-basement prejudice that damns to hell all those who disagree. This isn’t faith, it’s fanaticism. And the University of Oxford should not be supporting its work.


Colorado Springs: the voting results

Updated again Wednesday morning

Episcopal Café reports in The latest from Colorado that:

In a news release [PDF, html version here] dated May 26, 2007, the parish leadership of Grace and St. Stephen’s, Colorado Springs, announced the vote which took place from Sunday, May 20th through Saturday, May 26th, saying that 93% of the congregations members chose to align the congregation with CANA and keep the property they now occupy.

According to a report in the Colorado Springs Gazette, there were 370 votes cast and 342, or 93%, were in favor of the parish leaving the Episcopal Church and joining CANA. The tally was 348 to 22 about authorizing the vestry to fight to retain control of the $17 million dollar plant.

Before the break-up, the parish reported a membership of 1500-2000 communicants. The breakaway parish claims 600 to 800 of these, while the Diocese claims that 200 to 400 members of the original parish now worship in the borrowed space down the street.

370 voting out of 600-800?

348 votes from a congregation previously reported as 1500+ strong?

These numbers simply don’t compute. Can anyone shed more light please?

See also Rocky Mountain News Colorado Springs parish votes to break from Episcopal Church.

Update Monday morning
Many thanks to commenters for their input, see below. Another paragraph from Andrew Gerns article on Episcopal Café says this:

The leadership of the Episcopal parish contends that the rules established by the breakaway parish make the outcome of the vote a foregone conclusion. The rules established for the vote require that members of the Episcopal parish must re-register as members of the CANA congregation, contribute to the new congregation and attend its worship. Members of the Episcopal congregation voiced concern that the use of the rolls, or even the possibility of signed ballots, might be used in court in validate the breakaway parish’s claim.

And another Rocky Mountain News article Secession leaves a fractured flock in Springs says this:

Armstrong opened services Sunday by noting the results of vote tallies showing that 93 percent of 370 voting members – out of 822 eligible voters – approved of the plan to leave the Episcopal Church. Saturday’s vote capped the uncertainty that began March 26 when Armstrong and a majority of the church’s governing board declared they were each individually leaving the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Colorado.

Update Wednesday morning
Episcopal News Service has Former members of Colorado Springs congregation approve break from Episcopal Church.


Wycliffe Hall on BBC radio

The Sunday radio programme had a feature on Wycliffe Hall. You can hear it by going here, and going forward 34 minutes 20 seconds. Better URL later in the week, after the BBC updates its site on Tuesday. About 10 minutes long.

Better URL now here:

Wycliffe Hall dispute
One of the Church of England’s six evangelical training colleges is at the centre of a dispute over the management style of its new principal. Since Richard Turnbull took over the reins at Wycliffe Hall, more than a third of its staff have resigned. Some also fear he’s wishing to take the college in a more theologically conservative direction. Mike Ford has been trying to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Listen (8m 54s)

Richard Turnbull declined to be interviewed (though clips from the video are used) but you can hear various other Evangelicals, including David Peterson, Graham Kings, Pete Broadbent, Christina Rees, and Chris Sugden.

Update Monday morning
You can read evangelicals commenting on this at various places:
Fulcrum forum thread here and Ugley Vicar comment thread here.

There is now a summary of the broadcast, below the earlier transcript of the video, here, complete with cartoon sketches of the people speaking.


Whitsuntide columns

Vincent Nichols writes about Pentecost in The Times: Pentecostal drama explodes with energy, freedom and joy.

Carolyn Reynier writes about the Anglican chaplaincy in Nice in Face to Faith.

The Daily Telegraph has Christopher Howse on The enigma of Gerontius.

Giles Fraser writes about Ascensiontide in the Church Times: No clinging to the old ragged cloth.

The Tablet has a feature article: Pentecost is just the start by Denis Minns.

Last week’s Church Times had an article by Bob Holman about why Christians, especially bishops, should not seek power in the Lords: What happened to servanthood?


Lambeth invitations: Church Times comment

The Church Times has this news report: Robinson, Kunonga, and Minns left off Lambeth Conference invitation list.

In addition the Church Times has a leader about it: Who can come to the party. This starts out:

THE AMERICANS are coming. Invitations to the 2008 Lambeth Conference went out to 800 bishops on Tuesday, scotching rumours that those in the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Church of Canada would not be welcomed without further concessions over Gene Robinson (and no further initiatives on gay partnerships).

The September deadline set by the Primates for the US bishops to agree an alternative structure for their conservatives still stands, but attendance at the Lambeth Conference will not hang on it. Threats might still be made, and attempts to persuade Dr Williams to invoke his right (which his letter carefully reserves) to withhold or withdraw invitations.

But Dr Williams is unlikely to act so unwisely. For all their talk of alternative gatherings, the conservatives will not want to walk away when they feel in possession of the centre ground, especially given their numerical confidence…

Read the whole article.


yet more on Turnbull and the Reform video

The Independent has a news report by Andy Smith headed The man who says we are all going to hell and a commentary by Charles Nevin The Third Leader: Hell’s bells!

(The reference to the TA website in the news report is incorrect.)

And here is what Richard Turnbull writes in today’s Church of England Newspaper via Anglican Mainstream:
Forming Tomorrow’s Ministers – a renewed vision for theological education


Pew Forum on Anglican Communion

Global Schism: Is the Anglican Communion the First Stage in a Wider Christian Split?

Some of the nation’s leading journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in May 2007 for the Pew Forum’s biannual Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life.

Philip Jenkins, a Penn State University professor and one of the first scholars to call attention to the rising demographic power of Christians in the southern hemisphere, analyzed the ongoing schism in the worldwide Anglican church. While the dispute concerns attitudes toward homosexuality, Jenkins argues the core of the conflict lies in how biblical authority is defined.

Will the current alliances between conservative Western and African leaders endure? Will African leaders begin to press an ultra-liberal economic agenda? Are other mainline denominations in the U.S. headed for similar splits? Jenkins answered these and others questions, while offering a fascinating glimpse into the life of African Christianity.

Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies and History, Pennsylvania State University

Michael Cromartie, Vice President, Ethics & Public Policy Center; Senior Advisor, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Read the whole transcript here.


More on Wycliffe Hall and Richard Turnbull

Here is a transcript of the video linked previously which may be valuable to people without the time to watch it: Principal Dr Richard Turnbull speaking at the Reform Conference in October 2006.

And here is the article in tomorrow’s Church of England Newspaper via Religious Intelligence by Stephen Bates and titled College row reflects crisis in Anglican Church.


Lambeth invitations: more reactions

Updated again Thursday evening

The Living Church has a further report, Presiding Bishop Urges Calm Approach to Lambeth News.

Reuters has African Anglicans could boycott summit over gays by Paul Majendie.

Associated Press has Archbishop of Canterbury still considering Lambeth Conference invitation for Harare bishop.

Affirming Catholicism has issued a press release, Disappointment at Lambeth invitations.

Changing Attitude has also issued a press release, Changing Attitude England regrets that bishop Gene Robinson has not been invited to the Lambeth Conference 2008.

ACI, Inc. issued Response to the Statement of the Archbishop of Canterbury Regarding Lambeth Conference Invitations.

Ruth Gledhill has links galore to other people at Bishops Gene and Martyn ‘not invited’ to Lambeth.

CANA has issued a 2007.05.23 Letter from Bishop Minns.

InclusiveChurch has issued a second press release (first one here) which appears in full below. It is now also available at InclusiveChurch.

Anglican Mainstream has published a list of Exactly who has not been invited.

An article by George Conger from the Friday, May 25, 2007 issue of the Church of England Newspaper has been published by Episcopal Café, see Cavalcanti not invited to Lambeth either.

Another CEN article is on Religious Intelligence at Anger as gay bishop snubbed for Anglican summit by Ed Beavan.

Doug LeBlanc has written at GetReligion about the US press coverage: Archbishop Williams: Bishop to G7.

AMiA has issued a statement.

ENS has Individual bishops respond to Lambeth Conference invitations announcement.



Richard Turnbull speaks to Reform

The Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Richard Turnbull spoke to the Reform Conference last year. You can hear and watch his remarks by following this video link. You may find them interesting.

Update: another copy of it is now here.

Stephen Bates of the Guardian has a report on this: Theologian damns most Britons to hell.


Lambeth invitations: the morning papers

Daily Telegraph Jonathan Petre Church conference snubs gay bishop
Guardian Stephen Bates Anger at decision to exclude gay bishop from conference
The Times Ruth Gledhill Gay bishop is left off Canterbury guest list
Daily Mail Steve Doughty Williams snubs U.S. bishop in church split

New York Times Laurie Goodstein Gay and Dissident Bishops Excluded From ’08 Meeting
Los Angeles Times Rebecca Trounson Anglican event excludes two U.S. bishops
Only a Nib in the Washington Post paper edition
Washington Times Julia Duin Minns, Robinson left off the list for Anglican meeting


Lambeth invitations: other reactions

InclusiveChurch issued this statement:

InclusiveChurch welcomes the news that the Archbishop of Canterbury has issued the first invitations to over 800 bishops in the Anglican Communion to attend the Lambeth Conference 2008. We believe the Anglican Communion will benefit from engagement among this diverse group of bishops. It is regrettable that a small number of bishops are not to be invited, but recognizing the painful fractures within the Communion we understand the need for generous sacrifice on all sides. We hope that in the spirit of such sacrifice the bishops who are not receiving invitations to the conference, including Gene Robinson, the Bishop of New Hampshire, might be welcome as observers.

‘We clearly have a mountain to climb, but this is a real sign of the underlying unity of the Anglican Communion’ said the Rev’d Giles Goddard, Chair of InclusiveChurch. ‘I am pleased that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada will be able to share our experience of the ministry of lesbian and gay Christians’, said the Rev’d Scott Gunn, an American member of InclusiveChurch.

See also second statement.

Anglican Mainstream comment can be found here.

Canada’s Anglican Journal reported the news this way: Lambeth invitations exclude American gay bishop.

Episcopal News Service has First Lambeth Conference invitations sent out and Decision on Lambeth Conference invitations draws reaction.

Episcopal Café has Reactions to Lambeth invites: a round-up.


Nigeria responds to Minns not being invited

According to Anglican Mainstream:

Witholding invitation to Minns is witholding invitation to all Nigerian Bishops – Akinola

Tuesday May 22nd 2007, 5:42 pm

In response to requests for comments on the Lambeth Conference invitations, Archbishop Peter Akinola reaffirms that the Church of Nigeria is committed to the CAPA commissioned report “The Road to Lambeth”.

Since only the first set of invitations had been sent, it is premature to conclude who will be present or absent at the conference. However, the withholding of invitation to a Nigerian bishop, elected and consecrated by other Nigerian bishops will be viewed as withholding invitation to the entire House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria.

The Lord bless you as you remain in Christ.

The Venerable AkinTunde Popoola
Director Communication
Office: +234 [0]9 523 6950/ 0987/ 0989 Fax: 1527
Mobile: +234 [0]805 800 1382
E-mail: ,
Primate’s Office, 24 Douala Str., Wuse Zone 5, P.O. Box 212 ADCP, Abuja,
F.C.T., Nigeria.

CANA has issued this Statement by Bishop Minns on Lambeth Conference:

(Fairfax, Virginia) — A statement was issued by the Anglican Communion Office on May 22 regarding the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Communion bishops scheduled for July 2008. The Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns, Missionary Bishop of CANA (Convocation of Anglicans in North America), has made the following response:

“I have read the statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office regarding next year’s Lambeth Conference. While the immediate attention is focused on the invitation list, it should be remembered that this crisis in the Anglican Communion is not about a few individual bishops but about a worldwide Communion that is torn at its deepest level. This point was made repeatedly at the Primates’ meeting in Dar es Salaam. Depending on the response of The Episcopal Church to the Primates’ communiqué by September 30, the situation may become even more complex. One thing is clear, a great deal can and will happen before next July.”

CONTACT: Mr. Jim Robb, CANA Media Officer
mobile: 202.285.4390

The Living Church interprets this as Global South Attendance at Lambeth Conference Doubtful.


Who has not been invited to Lambeth?

We list below reports on who has not been invited. From these it appears that they include Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire and the bishops from CANA (Martyn Minns) and AMiA. Bishop Robinson may be invited as a guest.

Robert Barr (Associated Press) in The Washington Post 2 Bishops Not Invited to Anglican Parley [This article has been published on many other sites but this appears to be the earliest.]
Update that Washington Post page now contains a later AP story by Rachel Zoll Gay Bishop Kept Out of Anglican Meeting. The earlier Robert Barr story can be found here.

Reuters Luke Baker Gay bishop snubbed by Anglican conference
Ruth Gledhill in The Times Gay bishop not invited to Lambeth conference
Natalie Paris and agencies in The Telegraph Gay bishop’s church conference snub
BBC Gay row US Anglicans miss summit

Bishop Robinson has responded to his non-invitation here.

The Living Church has more detail on other exclusions at No Lambeth Invitation for Bishop Robinson by George Conger.


Lambeth Conference invitations

The Archbishop of Canterbury has sent out the ‘first’ invitations to next year’s Lambeth Conference.

The invitations have gone out to over 800 bishops from around the Communion, but the Archbishop notes that he has to:

reserve the right to withhold or withdraw invitations from bishops whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion. Indeed there are currently one or two cases on which I am seeking further advice. I do not say this lightly, but I believe that we need to know as we meet that each participant recognises and honours the task set before us and that there is an adequate level of mutual trust between us about this. Such trust is a great deal harder to sustain if there are some involved who are generally seen as fundamentally compromising the efforts towards a credible and cohesive resolution.

He also writes, in an extraordinary plea to all those invited to actually participate, that:

An invitation to participate in the Conference has not in the past been a certificate of doctrinal orthodoxy. Coming to the Lambeth Conference does not commit you to accepting the position of others as necessarily a legitimate expression of Anglican doctrine and discipline, or to any action that would compromise your conscience or the integrity of your local church.

Further invitations will be sent later to ecumenical representatives and other guests, and Mrs Williams will send out invitations to a parallel spouses’ conference.


Bishop of Southwark – no further action

Press release from Lambeth Palace:

Monday 21st May 2007

For immediate use

Bishop of Southwark – no further action

The Archbishop of Canterbury has caused the incident involving the Bishop of Southwark, which was reported in the media last December, to be investigated under the Church’s new clergy discipline procedure.
In the light of all the evidence submitted to him Dr Williams has determined, under section 12(1)(a) of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003, that no further action should be taken.


CANA update

Updated Monday evening

Julia Duin in the Washington Times reports Church schism set for Va. court.

The mother of all lawsuits pitting Episcopalian against Anglican kicks off today in the red-brick confines of Fairfax County Circuit Court.
The case has amassed numerous court filings involving 11 churches, two dozen lawyers, 107 individuals, the 90,000-member Diocese of Virginia, the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church and the 18.5 million-member Anglican Province of Nigeria…

Meanwhile, the CANA website has some new material:

  • The “CANA Celebration Sermon” preached on 5 May by Bishop Martyn Minns
  • An Essay: The Church is Flat: A New Anglicanism dated 3 May by Bishop Martyn Minns

The following draft report was commissioned by the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) in February 2006; it was received with gratitude by the CAPA Primates on 19 September 2006 and commended for study and response to the churches of the provinces in Africa…

Updated Monday evening More useful links to background documents on this can be found in Andrew Gerns post at Episcopal Café titled Virginia Split Goes to Court Today. He also links to this op-ed article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch EPISCOPAL DILEMMA The Church Betrays Its Own by the “vice chairman of the Anglican District of Virginia”.