Thinking Anglicans

AMiE explains more of its plan to subvert the CofE

Updated again Monday

The Anglican Mission in England has published an article by Vinay Samuel and Chris Sugden titled AMIE is a game-changer.

The ordinations of three young Englishmen by the Archbishop of Kenya in June and the launch of the Anglican Mission in England was a “game-changer”. It marked a turning point after four and a half years of discussions with and proposals to Lambeth Palace. These discussions were to seek a way of providing effective Episcopal oversight to those for whom this had become problematic in the Church of England.

The launch of AMIE and the establishment of its panel of bishops indicated that we would no longer play the game of Church of England politics as defined by the Church of England Establishment.

The rules of the Establishment are premised on the fact that they have the luxury of time. They hold all the cards. All they have to do is to sit where they are. Their main tactic is to weaken the orthodox ranks in two ways: by co-opting some of the orthodox into their number and second by suggesting that there is such a significant divergence of views among the orthodox that they have neither coherence nor cohesion…

The first comment on this article has appeared at Episcopal Cafe where Nick Knisely has written Speaking frankly about the Anglican Mission in England.

…Much of this is familiar to people who remember the first moves of the AMIA movement here in the US back in 2000 and the subsequent irregular ordinations of Chuck Murphy and John Rodgers to the episcopate. This latest essay makes clear that the new organization in England is also planning to ignore the rules of the Anglican Communion when they get in the way of their goals.

It will be interesting to see how the arc of this storyline parallels that of the Episcopal Church’s experience with their dissident voices over the last decade.

Lesley Crawley offers AMiE – An explanation

Vinay Samuel and Chris Sugden (pictured here with Chris on the left) have written on the AMiE web site an extremely schismatic piece, explaining what AMiE (Anglican Mission in England or St Augustine Society) is trying to achieve:

  • “It has a different view of being Anglican which embraces a global Anglican identity based on the Bible rather than a technical institutional identity.”
  • “It has a different view of episcopacy…”
  • “It has a different view of women in ministry…”
  • “we will remain Anglican but not on the current terms of the CofE establishment…

So lets get this straight – the Church of England, through General Synod (of which Chris Sugden is a member) has determined its view on episcopacy, women’s ministry and the determination of Anglicanism.

Normally when people belong to an organisation with which they disagree they leave it. But not in this case – why is it that AMIE wish to remain in the Church of England if they have such a low opinion of it?

Colin Coward offers Which game is AMIE playing?

…The astonishing thing in the statement issued by Chris Sugden and Vinay Samuel about AMIE being a game-changer is that God doesn’t get a look-in until paragraph 9, and gets just that one mention – AMIE will follow the calling to mission wherever God leads. Even more astonishing for an organisation that claims the Biblical and theological high ground is that Jesus doesn’t get mentioned at all…

I know this is an audacious proposal, but I’d like to call Chris Sugden and Vinay Samuel back to the reading of the Bible and discover there a complex narrative of humankind’s experience of and relationship with the God who calls and reveals, tenderly, intimately, infinitely in love.

Jonathan Clark offers The Anglican Mission in England

…I’m not prone to getting seriously cross, but the tendentious mis-representation of the Church put out by AMiE in their recent statement has brought me close to the brink. It’s not just that they want to set up a church based on the myth of doctrinal purity, nor that they seem to want to do so from within the Church of england, rather than doing the decent thing and leaving. It’s that they have the temerity to claim that they are the true inheritors of Anglican identity.

No-one with any knowledge of history could claim that the Anglican history has been characterised solely by the desire for peace and inclusivity. There have always been plenty of people who wished to purify it of those who were different. But they have never quite succeeded, at least not up till now.The DNA of Anglicanism has been too much wound together with the geography of dioceses and parishes, with the knowledge that we were the church for all the people of the place, if they wished to come to us. That’s what we’re for. We’re a church full of diversity, for a diverse nation. That is the Anglican mission in England – always has been, still is…

44
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
44 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
LapinbizarreFather Ron SmithJPMIain McLeanMartin Reynolds Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Rob
Guest
Rob

It sounds a lot like the process used to bring about women’s ordination in the US.

Una Kroll
Guest

This action is not unexpected, and should be respected as being made in good faith.

All I want to say is that we remain united in Christ through baptism:”for I am persuaded that neither death…..nor any other creature shal be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus”(Romans 8 38-39. Nothing, but nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.” Not even acts that prompt schism. Una

robert ian williams
Guest
robert ian williams

And what is orthodoxy to persons like Chris Sugden and Nazir Ali? They have reduced it to the homosexual issue and women bishops. Yet they are prepared to join with Anglo-Catholics who have a different and contradictory understanding of the very meaning of the Gospel to Evangelicals.

In effect they are just as heterodox as the liberals, and they have no consistent understanding of the gospel and a flexible view of orthodoxy. It is like trying to play a game with a person who makes up the rules for themselves!

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Nothing much seems to have changed ….

Perhaps this article makes Wallace Benn’s life as a CofE bishop impossible rather than very difficult, but the thesis is they are no longer seeking positions of authority within existing structures so he shouldn’t mind.

It makes the explanation for the ordinations from the Archbishop of Kenya look like a pack of lies and that cannot be a very auspicious start to a new Church.

Laurence C.
Guest
Laurence C.

“we will remain Anglican but not on the current terms of the CofE establishment” Samuel/Sugden

An example, perhaps, of the old adage “everything before the word ‘but’ is a lie”.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

When will the Church of England realise that A.M.i.E. is just a clone of A.M.i.A. and the other African Churches that have invaded Canada and America – hoping to bring down TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada. That will not happen, of course, but in the meantime, much damage is being done. It’s interesting to see just who, in the Church of England, is behind the Archbishop of Kenya’s plan to ordain clergy for this new development in the U.K. None other than our old friends, ‘anglican mainstream’s Chris Sugden (member of C.of E. General Synod?) and Vinay Samuel!… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

I wonder if Rowan will allow them to walk off with church property, the way he expects us in North America to do.

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

Sounds quite a lot like leaving the C of E to me. It’s what happened with previous generations of dissenters too.

Feria
Guest
Feria

I looked up a biography of Vinay Samuel. I note that he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, which places him outside the jurisdiction of the episcopacy. So he can cheerlead for this or that form of “effective Episcopal oversight”, safe in the knowledge that he personally doesn’t have to live with the consequences. Nice.

Counterlight
Guest

“And what is orthodoxy to persons like Chris Sugden and Nazir Ali? They have reduced it to the homosexual issue and women bishops. Yet they are prepared to join with Anglo-Catholics who have a different and contradictory understanding of the very meaning of the Gospel to Evangelicals.” For once I actually agree with RIW, this much anyway. In this country we gays can take credit for drawing together the legacy of Arian Christianity (the Mormons) with the spiritual descendants of St. Athanasius (the Roman Catholics among others) in a common effort to defend all that is clean and holy from… Read more »

Paul McKechnie
Guest
Paul McKechnie

Lesley Crawley asks: ‘Why is it that AMIE wish to remain in the Church of England if they have such a low opinion of it?’

Well, Lesley, possibly they are trying to reform it, wouldn’t you think?

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

It seems fairly obvious to me that Sugden and Samuel (and who else?) have been making a play for the soul of the Church of England for “four and a half years of discussions with and proposals to Lambeth Palace.” What is also fairly evident from the article is their frustration that this policy has failed. What I don’t understand why they bother hanging around any more. Their vision of what the Church of England is is so eccentric, and bears so little resemblance to the life of most parishes and dioceses that they will do better to take the… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Chris Sugden is no longer on General Synod as I expect several people will point out…perhaps that has emboldened him….Perhaps once he has retired Wally Benn will play a more active..ordaining? role.Perhaps with the papalists entering the Ordinariate and these conservative evangelical creating their own thing a slightly slimmer C of E may be a happier place.

Peter Owen
Admin

Perry

Chris Sugden lost his place on General Synod in the 2010 elections. But I understand that he has now filled the vacancy that was created when Jonathan Baker became Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

Colin Coward
Guest

Chris Sugden is indeed now back on General Synod and was present at York in July.

Grumpy High Church Woman
Guest
Grumpy High Church Woman

I have some memory of someone in the CofE comparing groups like AMiA to the Confessing Church in Germany, which sort of made the Episcopal Church the Nazis in this, let’s face it, not very good historical analogy (whatever your views) since the Nazis wanted to exterminate gay people and thought women were only for producing lots of pure blooded Aryan babies for the Fatherland – neither of these being mission objectives of the Episcopal Church. Can anybody remember that and provide the reference? Or maybe I misremembered.

JPM
Guest
JPM

“Why is it that AMIE wish to remain in the Church of England if they have such a low opinion of it?”

Perhaps it’s because the Church of England owns a lot of really cool stuff.

That seems to be the chief motivator of the so-called “orthodox” here in the U.S.

Ian Montgomery
Guest

Jeremy writes: “What I don’t understand why they bother hanging around any more. Their vision of what the Church of England is is so eccentric, and bears so little resemblance to the life of most parishes and dioceses that they will do better to take the word Anglican and go off and do their own thing.” My memories of the Church of England – I left for foreign shores in 1978 – may be old. However I do remember a C or E where Evangelicals were pretty mainstream and where the 39 Articles and the Scriptures were honoured in most… Read more »

rjb
Guest
rjb

“Well, Lesley, possibly they are trying to reform it, wouldn’t you think?”

Indeed. Possibly they’re trying to ‘reform’ it, in the same sense that Rupert Murdoch “reformed” the Times back in the early 80s.

The C of E has already had one Reformation, thanks very much, and for many of us that was one too many.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Grumpy High Church Woman on Monday, 19 September 2011 at 2:50pm BST asked who was the “someone in the CofE comparing groups like AMiA to the Confessing Church in Germany,”?

There may be some answers here:
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/ss/archives/000841.html
and then here:
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/ss/archives/000841.html scroll down three items

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Meanwhile mainstream Anglicanism surely is pretty well defined by the BCP 1662, the 39 Articles and the ordinal.”

No, Ian, that’s “Anglican Mainstream (TM)” [sic].

“I do remember a C or E…where the 39 Articles …were honoured in most places”

And you look GREAT for 300! 😉

Colin Coward
Guest

I’m curious about the relationships between the various groups campaigning against homosexuality on the conservative evangelical wing of the Church. In particular, what is the relationship between the Anglican Mission in England, of which Canon Chris Sugden is secretary, and Anglican Mainstream, of which Canon Chris Sugden is Executive Secretary? The question interests me not only because of AMIE’s declared intention of no longer playing the Church of England’s political Establishment game (which sounds like a schismatic declaration to me) and Canon Sugden’s membership of General Synod. What is the relationship between AMIE and Mainstream? In what way is Dr… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Colin – the point about the grandiose AMIE claim about their “Primates’ Council” and who they represent is that the truly Anglican response to that is “Fancy!”. Anglicanism has never ever attempted a universal claim to jurisdiction, and has always rejoiced in the diversity and independence of its provinces – most of which have usually had some kind of national character. Those national characteristics and the histories by which they came into being are not all the same, and have sometimes very significant differences woven in to them – look at the Episcopal Church of Scotland and TEC’s connection with… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Is the next Church of England General Synod going to adopt a Motion for the inclusion of A.M.i.E and A.C.N.A. as Honorary Anglican Provinces in the Communion? If that were to happen, then Messrs; Sugden, Giddings, and Ms Finch, might still be persona grata on the Synod benches. Otherwise, what are they doing there??

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

And now a fascinating hymn of praise to the religious freedom-loving government of the Peoples’ Republic of China (hardly a trace of Erastianism there!) from the Gafcon Primates – http://www.globalsouthanglican.org/index.php/blog/comments/communique_of_the_global_south_primates_during_their_visit_to_china_in_sept

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Well that just about takes the biscuit. Do these primates seriously believe that if the Chinese Communists thought that they were any kind of threat, or that they would pronounce against the government of political order, they would have been allowed in. Nothing said I see about political repression, absence of free speech and civil liberties and the many political prisoners. They may think it looks good but actually it stinks.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Thanks for correcting me Peter and Colin. How ironic that one semi-detached anglo-catholic should be replaced by a semi-detached conservative evangelical.
Canon Sugden’s piece is certainly schismatic in intent…perhaps he should re-consider his position in relation to the Canons of his Church.

A 1 Of the Church of England
The Church of England, established according to the laws of this realm under the Queen’s Majesty, belongs to the true and apostolic Church of
Christ; and, as our duty to the said Church of England requires, we do constitute and ordain that no member thereof shall be at liberty to maintain
or hold the contrary.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

P.S. I cant but feel that had Mr Sugden published these thoughts 50 yrs ago and held a licence from,say, Bishop Christopher Chavasse, he might be having an interview with his bishop……unlikely in our present caring and sharing church, of course

Father Ron Smith
Guest

A simple question, but maybe difficult to answer:

If Messrs: Sugden and Samuel and Ms Finch have openly expressed their repugnance for the polity of the Church of England, what are they doing remaining on General Synod, for goodness sake?

Pluralist
Guest

No one has mentioned here the effect of the Anglican Communion Covenant in giving credence to the AMIE lot on claiming ‘Global Anglicanism’ as a source of authority. When the actual authorities are themselves trying to create a more global Anglicanism by process, they give encouragement to the fringes in their entryism.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

I think the links which Martin references above, in response to GHCW, might be better as

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/ss/archives/000826.html

and then

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/ss/archives/000841.html

Iain McLean
Guest
Iain McLean

By this statement, surely Chris Sugden has expelled himself from the General synod? And Wallace Benn has expelled himself from his post as a bishop in the C of E. Haven’t they?

When the Militant Tendency of the 1980s had similar “entryist” designs on the Labour Party, they did not broadcast it to the world. But (after too long a delay), Labour leader Neil Kinnock threw them out. What is the analogue? And if they are not thrown out, why not? They are perfectly free to form a church of their own, aren’t they?

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Isn´t Canon Chris Sugden also Canon of Jos, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)? Certainly there is much ¨unity¨ and healing to be done in blood-drenched Jos, Nigeria rather than stirring up more division, anger/discrimination and marginalizing-of-others mischief at in England? Seems Canon Sugden leaps from a burning disaster of a ¨part time¨ foreign ministry to igniting ¨full time¨ troublemaking at home.

Feria
Guest
Feria

I’m surprised by JCF’s view that the 39 Articles are the preserve of anti-liberal organisations like Anglican Mainstream. I (as a novice just beginning to look into such things) had been starting to come to the conclusion that the 39 articles could be considered strongly liberal, for two reasons… Firstly, article 7 makes the distinction between “civil precepts” and “commandments which are called moral” in the Old Testament. This appeared to offer a strong counter-argument against every instance where there is an attempt to enforce illiberality by applying some or other Old-Testament law to contemporary society, as long as that… Read more »

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

Feria, in a great part of TEC the Articles are usually considered historical absurdities relegated to the “Historical Documents Section” (Oh how quaint, look what they believed–and how they said/spelled it!!– back then) given to seminary students for something to write about or tear apart. They are not included in the main part of the 1979 BCP, and certainly not taught in most parishes as something regular members believe. It’s generally thought of as something those conservatives who still want to use the old versions of the BCP and who demand that the King James Bible is the only one… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

When is the Church of England going to actually DO something about the likes of Sugden, Samuel and Fitch remaining on Synod, when they have declared open war upon its polity. Is this a case of Aggression being overcome by Soft Love? In this instance, it does seem to be a bit like harbouring a viper in the bosom.

Tobias Haller
Guest

Feria,
I think you are correct. Your reading of the Homilie is well in keeping with Augustine’s principle that Scripture must always be understood through the lens of the Great Commandment and Summary of the Law. This was Augustine’s application of a principle laid out by Jesus and Paul, of course. Given the strong Augustinian thinking of Cranmer and the other Anglican Divines, this was no doubt in their thinking. There is ample evidence, as well, that the authors would have held that the “commandments called Moral” are those of the Decalogue, following on Patristic tradition.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Fr Ron asks: “When is the Church of England going to actually DO something about the likes of Sugden,”? I suspect Fr Ron that this is precisely the question Sugden and Co are asking. Surely this extremist and provocative essay which describes the reaction of the English establishment to date as a “wall of silence” is rather desperately hoping for a reaction. One suspects there can be nothing more annoying to the likes of this pair than to be ignored. There is an obvious desire for martyrdom in the cause of their version of orthodoxy and then the appeal will… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Do you mean, Martin, that Messrs Sugden and Samuel might yet end up in a sort of College of Cardinals with Robbie Duncan in ACNA? I wouldn’t want to wish that on either the USA or Canada. On second thoughts, it could get them out of Rowan’s hair.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I think this has been part of the plan from day one, Fr Ron …. I regret they are unlikely to want to leave Rowan and everyone else alone, their stock is diminishing others …….

Iain McLean
Guest
Iain McLean

But, Martin, if General Synod expels them as it surely ought to, and congregations join them, they will have to find new buildings. They then become a small denomination with conservative views on sexuality not shared by most religious people in the UK (see British Social Attitudes), but which people are free to join. Let the religious marketplace work – is there any harm in that?

JPM
Guest
JPM

You know, Fr. Ron, we have heard very little out of Bob Duncan since his defeat in the courts.

Perhaps he is out looking for a rented office suite from which he can reign over his archdiocese.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“That’s what we’re for. We’re a church full of diversity, for a diverse nation. That is the Anglican mission in England – always has been, still is” – Jonathan Clark – I reckon Fr. Jonathan is right here. The Mission of the Church of England is a mission to the reality of the situation of diversity in that country. People are longing for that ‘Blessed Assurance’ that the Church in England has always held out for its citizens. This is precisely why the English (like my own family there) though not necessarily regular churchgoers, are always ready to access the… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Ten days of deafening (“pregnant” maybe? We’ll find out soon enough) silence on this topic is interesting.