Updated again Tuesday lunchtime
George Conger has reported at Anglican Ink that a Church of England clergyman has been consecrated a bishop by persons as yet unamed, acting on behalf of the “Church of England in South Africa”, a body whose website says that the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA) is now the “official operating name” of CESA.
George’s report: Missionary bishop for Britain consecrated at Jesmond and is copied in full below the fold.
The clergyman is Jonathan Pryke of Jesmond Parish Church. His Crockford entry reads:
Curate, Jesmond (Clayton Memorial Church)
Ordained Deacon: 1985
Ordained Priest: 1986
Trinity College Cambridge BA 1980
Trinity College Cambridge MA 1985
Trinity College Bristol BD 1985
Curate, CORBY (St Columba and the Northern Saints) Peterborough 1985-1988
Curate, JESMOND (Clayton Memorial Church) Newcastle from 1988
The Church Times has this report by Tim Wyatt: Jesmond curate’s breakaway consecration surprises both diocese and conservative Evangelicals
THE authorities in Newcastle diocese still seem to be in the dark after an assistant curate of a conservative Evangelical parish church in the diocese was reportedly consecrated bishop through the action of a breakaway Church in South Africa.
The curate, the Revd Jonathan Pryke, has served at Jesmond Parish Church since 1988. He was consecrated by bishops from the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA) at a service in Newcastle earlier this month, several sources told the Church Times.
But a spokesman for the diocese simply said today: “The Bishop of Newcastle is aware of reports concerning this matter and is seeking clarification.”
The Church Times has repeatedly attempted to contact both Bishop Pryke and his Vicar, the Revd David Holloway, but neither has responded…
This AMiE Statement in response to the consecration of Jonathan Pryke has also been published:
The AMiE Executive Committee recently requested that the GAFCON Primates support the consecration of a Missionary Bishop. We were overjoyed when they agreed to do this for the sake of gospel growth.
We can confirm that the consecration of the Revd Jonathan Pryke was a gospel decision taken independently of AMiE. His consecration was never discussed at our Executive meetings.
Jonathan is a valued member of the AMiE Exec and we are thankful to God for his abundant gifts and wisdom. We will be praying for him in this new season of his ministry.
This statement has been issued by GAFCON UK: Statement on the consecration at Jesmond Parish Church
8th May 2017
Gafcon UK are aware that Jesmond Parish Church have for some years been in a form of impaired communion with the Bishop of Newcastle, and have developed a special relationship with REACH-SA (formerly CESA).
Over the past few years, several clergy have been ordained by REACH Bishops to serve in the Jesmond church network and in one other part of England.
The leadership of Jesmond church have for some time been speaking publicly about the need for new missionary Bishops in Western nations who can oversee new Anglican ministries in the Celtic model. The reasoning can be found in the statement from the 2017 Jesmond Conference, here.
Gafcon UK have been informed of the latest developments but cannot comment further at this stage.
Text of Anglican Ink original article:
Missionary bishop for Britain consecrated at Jesmond
A missionary bishop has been consecrated for evangelical Anglicans seeking a reformation for the reformed catholic faith in England. Participants in the 2 May 2017 consecration of the Rev. Jonathan Pryke at Jesmond Parish Church in the Diocese of Newcastle by bishops of the Church of England in South Africa (CESA) hope their ceremony will see a renewal and rebirth of the faith in England.
However, critics within the conservative movement warn this may be the start of the fracturing of the traditionalist coalition in the Church of England, with each faction opposed to the recent innovations of doctrine and discipline forging their own way forward.
Sources close to the participants in the ceremony state the decision to consecrate Bishop Pryke (pictured) was taken against the counsel of GAFCON-UK. At their meeting in Lagos last month, the GAFCON primates called for the consecration of a bishop to support members of the Scottish Episcopal Church who could not continue in that denomination should it enact legislation permitting same-sex marriage this summer, and for Anglicans alienated from their bishops in England over doctrine and discipline.
However the Jesmond consecration was not what GAFCON had in mind, its general secretary Archbishop Peter Jensen told Anglican Ink. “This is not exactly parallel to the GAFCON initiative, and indeed is entirely independent of it. But it does show, I think, that the situation in England is becoming very difficult for those who want to hold the traditional and biblical view,” he said.
Details of the Tuesday consecration have not been made public, and it is not known at this time the names of the bishops who participated in the ceremony and what Bishop Pryke’s brief will be. A request for comments directed to the Rev. David Holloway, vicar of Jesmond, the Church of England’s national press office, and the Bishop of Maidstone, the Rt. Rev. Rod Thomas, have not yet been answered.
However, a paper released at the close of the 27-28 Feb 2017 Jesmond Conference explains the thinking behind the consecration, AI has learned.
The Jesmond Statement argued the identity of the Church of England was not in its buildings, synods, or clergy. The identity of the Church was:
“[G]iven in the judgment of an Employment Tribunal in 2011 when a disaffected clergyman was taking his Bishop and Diocese to Court. The judge, however, ruled: “The Church of England has no legal personality … the title ‘Church of England’ denotes an amalgam of what sometimes seemed an infinite number of bodies with no precise or clear picture … of how the various jigsaw parts interact … the ultimate authority to restructure lies with the Church’s parliament, the General Synod, subject to the Westminster Parliament” (so the Synod is an ultimate body for restructuring but not for revising doctrine or ethics). And this judgment, after a reversing appeal by the clergyman, was upheld after a diocesan final appeal by the Supreme Court of Appeal.
That judgment helps us define the ultimate identity of the Church of England, which is not in its structure, nor even in its ordained ministers. For as the doctrine of the Church determines the authority of the bishops and clergy, we have to go to The Church of England (Worship and Doctrine) Measure 1974 for the defining doctrine of the Church of England. It is there in these words: “The doctrine of the Church of England is grounded in the holy Scriptures, and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal.”
Those also are the words of Canon A5. And it is those words that give you the Christian faith according to the Catholic Western English Reformed tradition. And that is the established faith of this nation and defines the Church of England doctrinally. We consider that that faith needs to be recovered by a new Reformation.
The bishops of the Church of England had failed in their mandate to safeguard and promote the faith. The statement noted: “because the bishops have for so long accepted the defiance of the Church’s teaching and rendered the Church pluralistic, they no longer see their function as leading the Church towards its identifying and agreed agenda,” as set down in its canons.
The leadership of the Church of England’s bishops “has been reduced not to leading the Church to what the Church universal judges to be its common good, but to the desire for ‘good disagreement’. And that, theologically, is between good and evil goals and objectives, with the aim being for the proponents of those divergent goals and objectives ‘to walk together’. That, of course, may be possible in the world, but quite forbidden in the Church,” the statement said.