The College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church has today announced the death of the Right Reverend Keith Riglin, Bishop of Argyll & The Isles.3 Comments
I reported here in August that the Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney had been suspended, and that the suspension had been lifted when she appealed against it. The Episcopal Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church has now refused the appeal by a majority of three to two. The bishop’s suspension from office now resumes with immediate effect until further notice, while the next stage of the process takes place.1 Comment
There has been a second press release (and the Church Times article has been updated).
Bishop’s suspension is lifted after appeal lodged
August 10, 2022
The suspension of the Rt Rev Anne Dyer has been lifted with immediate effect, after the Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney gave notice of an appeal against the decision to suspend her from office.
It was announced earlier that Bishop Anne had been suspended by the Primus, Bishop Mark Strange, while canonical process takes place following receipt of formal complaints alleging misconduct by the Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney.
The suspension ceases to have effect until the appeal is determined by the Episcopal Synod. It is expected that a meeting of the Episcopal Synod will be arranged as soon as possible.
Press release from the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Canonical process confirmed in Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney
August 10, 2022
The Scottish Episcopal Church can confirm that two formal complaints have been received which allege misconduct by the Rt Rev Anne Dyer, Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney.
Due process will now follow, through the clergy disciplinary canon.
The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop Mark Strange, has suspended the Bishop from office until further notice, following commencement of the disciplinary process.
The suspension will be kept under regular review. It does not constitute disciplinary action and does not imply any assumption that misconduct has been committed.
The Rt Rev Dr John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh, will serve as Acting Bishop of the Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney during this suspension while continuing his duties in the Diocese of Edinburgh, and an Acting Convener will be appointed to the Institute Council.
The Primus said: “The decision to suspend has been taken bearing in mind the interests of both those making the accusations and Bishop Anne.
“I would now ask that those who pray, pray now for the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, for those personally involved in this process, and for Bishop John. Please allow the process to follow its path without speculation or pre-judgment so that, at the end, all have been heard and all have been respected.”
The complaints will be considered in the first instance by the Preliminary Proceedings Committee. The full disciplinary process is detailed under Canon 54 of the Scottish Episcopal Church Code of Canons.
The independent mediation process set up in October last year in response to difficulties experienced in the Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney is expected to be put on hold pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.
The Church Times reports this with background information: Bishop Dyer is suspended from duty in Aberdeen & Orkney.39 Comments
Anglican responses to the Ukrainian crisis include the following.
The archbishops of the Church of England issued a Pastoral letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, together with A Prayer for Ukraine, and urged that Churches prepare for National Day of Prayer for Ukraine. Ely Cathedral provided a translation into Ukrainian.
The Archbishop of York also spoke about Ukraine in a debate in the House of Lords.
The Scottish Episcopal Church issued Primus on Ukraine crisis: “Let us pray today for peace”.
The Church in Wales issued Ukraine – A statement from the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John
The Church of Ireland has published Prayers in a time of war in Ukraine.
All are invited to join together for
Prayers Across Europe for Peace in Ukraine
Tuesday 1st March
1800gmt / 1900cet / 2000eet (Kyiv) / 2100gmt+3 (Moscow)
Led by: Bishop Robert Innes
Rev’d Canon Malcolm Rogers, Chaplain of St Andrew’s, Moscow and Area Dean of Russia and Ukraine and Representatives of Christ Church, Kyiv
Also there is Bishop Robert Prays for Ukraine (for Chaplaincy Service use) which includes a video link.
Earlier, the CofE published ‘Please pray for peace for Ukraine’: the Church of England congregation which meets in Kyiv.
There is much discussion about the religious aspects of the dispute. Commenters include:
Church Times reports:28 Comments
The Scottish Episcopal Church has announced Mediation Steering Group established for Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney.
The Episcopal Synod, comprising all seven diocesan bishops, met online as planned this morning to consider the setting up of an independent mediation process to help the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney move forward from its current difficulties.
The Synod voted to meet in private and then unanimously agreed to set up such a process and appointed a Mediation Steering Group to oversee the process. The remit for the Steering Group is set out below.
The Group will be chaired by David Strang CBE, former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland and former Chief Constable of Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary and Lothian and Borders Police. The other members of the Group will be the Rev Liz Crumlish and Morag Hendry. Further information about each member is set out below.
The bishops are grateful that all three have accepted an invitation to serve and for their willingness to offer their skills and experience to the Church in this way.
The Group will now commence work, initially, on appointing an external mediation organisation to scope, and subsequently undertake, a confidential mediation process. In setting up such a process, it is expected that a range of individuals within the diocese will be consulted.
The Group is aware of the need to move forward swiftly, and further information will be issued on behalf of the Group as soon as it is in a position to provide more details.
The bishops acknowledge that this is a difficult period for the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, and recognises the level of hurt and upset experienced by a number of people. It has also been a challenge for the bishops themselves, and they have listened to a wide variety of differing opinions in recent weeks. They are in the process of considering what additional pastoral support can be made available.
Meanwhile, the bishops invite all members of the Scottish Episcopal Church to join with them in holding the Diocese, and the future mediation process, in their prayers and they encourage members of the Diocese to engage positively with that process, which they hope will help to bring healing.
The press release then lists out the Steering Group Remit and provides further details of the members of that group.
See here for our previous report on this.6 Comments
Updated Sunday and again Friday 17 September
The Scottish Episcopal Church has today, 11 September, published the Review of the Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney by Professor Iain Torrance. The College of Bishops has also published a lengthy explanation of the complications which arose following its receipt on 31 July, which is copied in full below the fold.
Earlier, on 8 September, the College had published this: College instigates mediation process and commits to publish Aberdeen & Orkney review.
The Church Times has a very detailed news report: Review recommends Bishop step back in ‘dysfunctional’ diocese
Another Church Times report: What about those who bullied me, asks Dyer, alleging one-sidedness and a letter to the editor: Heed Torrance on the Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney.41 Comments
This letter to the editor of the Financial Times has been signed by:
The Archbishop of Armagh
The Archbishop of Canterbury
The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
The Archbishop of Wales
The Archbishop of York
As the Anglican primates of the four nations of the United Kingdom and Ireland, we wish to highlight the grave responsibility of peers in the House of Lords today as they debate the UK internal market bill (Report, October 15).
We are taking the rare step of writing together because the decisions implemented in this bill will profoundly affect the future of our countries and the relationships between them.
The bill represents a profound shift in how trading relationships within the UK will be regulated and governed. This will not be a return to a trade regime that existed before UK joined the EU; it will be an entirely novel system, replacing one that evolved slowly and by careful negotiation over decades.
The Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd have made clear that the bill’s weakening of both the principles and the effect of devolved policymaking is of constitutional significance. Moreover, if the bill is made law without consent from devolved legislatures (as will happen if it is not amended to address their concerns), this will further undermine trust and goodwill among those who govern the different parts of the UK.
The bill is, of course, not just concerned with domestic law. It currently asks the country’s highest lawmaking body to equip a government minister to break international law. This has enormous moral, as well as political and legal, consequences.
We believe this would create a disastrous precedent. It is particularly disturbing for all of us who feel a sense of duty and responsibility to the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement — that international treaty on which peace and stability within and between the UK and Ireland depends.
The UK negotiated the Northern Ireland Protocol with the EU to “protect the 1998 Agreement in all its dimensions”.
One year on, in this bill, the UK government is not only preparing to break the protocol, but also to breach a fundamental tenet of the agreement: namely by limiting the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights in Northern Ireland law.
If carefully negotiated terms are not honoured and laws can be “legally” broken, on what foundations does our democracy stand?
We urge lawmakers to consider this bill in the light of values and principles we would wish to characterise relationships across these islands long after the transition period.
The Most Reverend John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh
The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
The Most Reverend Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
The Most Reverend John Davies, Archbishop of Wales
The Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York
The Scottish Episcopal Church published this earlier today (i.e. well before the Church of England announcement): Coronavirus – Cessation of Church Services
The Church in Wales published this at 5.00 pm: Pastoral Declaration of the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales – COVID-19. it includes guidance about baptism, weddings, funerals and confirmations.
The Church of Ireland guidance page remains dated 28 February. However it links to the Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre page dated 5 March, Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for religious services.
But there is also a link to Advice to Clergy (Northern Province) dated 17 March, which says ( my summary, but read the whole page for more detail):
1. Until further notice, all parish organisations and activities should cease.
2. Until further notice, all Sunday and midweek services (gatherings for worship) should be suspended.
3. Until further notice, steps should be taken to ensure that numbers attending funeral services and weddings are kept as low as possible.
The official Church of England website page, which is being updated regularly, is here. It shows the date and time of the most recent update.
It also says:
This page contains guidance, particularly for the Church of England:
We reported here on the short-listed candidates for election as Bishop of Brechin and Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane. The elections took place today and the Rev Canon Ian Paton has been elected as the new Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane, and the Very Rev Andrew Swift has been elected as the new Bishop of Brechin.
Details are here in the official press release: New Bishops elected.7 Comments
Two announcements from the Scottish Episcopal Church this afternoon:
The candidates are:
The Very Rev Dr Francis Bridger, Rector, St Mary’s Church, Broughty Ferry and Priest in Charge St Martin’s Church, Dundee and Dean of the Diocese of Brechin
The Rev Markus Dünzkofer, Rector, St John the Evangelist Church, Edinburgh
The Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans
The Very Rev Andrew Swift, Rector, Holy Trinity Church, Dunoon and St Paul’s Church, Rothesay and Dean of the Diocese of Argyll and The Isles
The candidates are:
The Rev Canon Dr Charlotte Methuen, Professor of Church History at the University of Glasgow and Honorary Assistant Priest, St Margaret’s Church, Newlands
The Rev Christopher Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster
The Rev Canon Ian Paton, Rector, Old St Paul’s Church, Edinburgh
Updated again Thursday
Madeleine Davies has a report in the Church Times: Nye letter warns about same-sex marriage rites
PROPOSALS to incorporate marriage rites used by same-sex couples into the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) of the Episcopal Church in the United States will increase pressure in the Church of England to “dissociate” itself, the secretary general of the Archbishops’ Council, William Nye, has warned.
In a letter to the Episcopal Church’s Task Force on the Study of Marriage, which has produced the proposals, Mr Nye writes that, if the rites — written to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples — are incorporated into the BCP as the only marriage rite, “the pressure to dissociate the Church of England from TEC [the Episcopal Church], in all manner of ways, would increase”. Such a move would also be “potentially damaging” to work in the C of E to create a new teaching document on sexuality (News, 30 June), he writes….
The 8-page letter is contained in a file of responses from other Anglican Communion churches to a consultation request from The Episcopal Church for comments. This forms part of the materials prepared for the forthcoming General Convention in July.
The response from William Nye is now available separately here.
The response from the Scottish Episcopal Church is here.
There is also a response from the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO).
And there are ecumenical responses too.
Reports of this letter have also appeared elsewhere:
The Times (behind paywall) Anglicans threaten split over ‘gay-friendly’ marriage rites
Further mentions:103 Comments
Updated again Friday
…A letter to bishops of the Anglican SEC on Friday accused them of fostering ‘disquiet and division’ by nominating Canon Anne Dyer, the first female bishop in the SEC who is also strongly in favour of gay marriage, to be bishop of the largely conservative Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney.
Dyer is now being urged to step down from her promotion with clergy protesting her appointment.
Two senior clergy have already quit over the issue and the letter threatens that ‘others are considering similar action’ in a diocese that is already struggling to fill a number of empty posts across its 41 churches…
To read the letter in full, and see the entire list of signatories, go to the original news article.
…The protest letter, seen by Christian Today, is signed by seven stipendiary priests, half the clergy in the struggling northern diocese, which was the only one of the SEC’s seven dioceses to reject the proposals to change its teaching on marriage, as well as several non-ordained senior churchgoers.
It accuses the bishops of being ‘divisive and also disrespectful’ by failing to appoint someone conservative clergy would agree with…
The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church has responded to this letter, which can now be more comfortably read from this copy.
Bishop Mark Strange’s reply can be read in full here.
…We have been greatly concerned to receive your letter. We regard it as particularly
regrettable that you have chosen to communicate with us by publicly releasing your
letter and press release without any prior indication to us of your intentions and we are
dismayed at the invidious position in which it places Canon Dyer as the Bishop elect of
the diocese. We deplore that you have sought to subvert the outcome of the canonical
process which led to Canon Dyer’s election. Members of the College are unanimous in
supporting Canon Dyer in her acceptance of election and will continue to support her
throughout her consecration and future episcopal ministry in the diocese…
Do read the whole response.
The Church Times reports this as Scottish Primus accuses protesters against next Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney of ‘subversion’.
First female Bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church is elected the new Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney
The Episcopal Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church today elected the Rev Canon Anne Dyer as the new Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney.
Canon Dyer is Rector of Holy Trinity church, Haddington (since 2011). Her wider church involvement includes being a member of the Scottish Episcopal Institute Council and a member of General Synod.
Being in the first group of women for each of these Orders, Canon Dyer was ordained Deacon in 1987 and Priest in 1994 in Rochester. She served as Warden of Cranmer Hall, Durham and before that was Ministry Development Officer in the Diocese of Rochester. Prior to ordination Anne Dyer read Chemistry at St Anne’s College, Oxford and was a Business Systems Analyst with Unilever before training for ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and studying theology at King’s College London.
Canon Dyer is Chair of the East Lothian Foodbank and is also a regular lecturer across Edinburgh and the Lothians on the subject of fine art and theology.
On hearing of her election Canon Dyer said “I am delighted to be elected by the Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church to serve as Bishop in the United Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney. It will be a privilege to lead the people of this diocese as they continue to make known the love of God to those in their communities and beyond. I am looking forward to both the challenge and excitement of serving and worshipping together in diverse locations across the diocese and to joining the College of Bishops.”
Canon Dyer is the first woman to be elected Bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church. The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted to allow the election of female bishops in 2003. The See of Aberdeen & Orkney became vacant last November when the Rt Rev Dr Robert Gillies retired as Bishop of the Diocese.
The Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church says “I am delighted to welcome the Rev Canon Anne Dyer to the College of Bishops. Anne brings with her a wealth of experience in theological education and mission development, and has so many of the gifts sought by the diocese together with a deeply loving and generous personality. All bodybuilders from all over the work and from the USA want to find a legit provider of anabolic steroids for sale. And I want to recommend to you all awesome online store muscleshero.com with the widest stock in the United States! They have brilliant service: 24/7 online support and all steroid drugs and cycles you can imagine! Try now and find the cheapest prices and full refund guarantee!
I am also delighted that those gifts have allowed us to elect a woman to our College of Bishops. Please pray for Anne, her family, for the congregation at Haddington and for the Diocese of Aberdeen & Orkney as they journey on in faith.”
Canon Dyer was born in 1957, is married and has a daughter.
An open letter has been published on Anglican Mainstream by a number of clergy and laity. The full text and list of signatures is copied below the fold.108 Comments
Today the Episcopal Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church elected the Rt Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness as Primus, as reported here.0 Comments
Scotsman Scottish Episcopal Church votes to allow same-sex marriage and
Leader comment: Churches take the only viable option on gay marriage
Also the Press Association report: Scottish Episcopal Church votes to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies
Christian Today Scottish Episcopal Church permits gay marriage in historic vote10 Comments
GAFCON press release: Missionary Bishop introduced by Archbishop Foley Beach
This includes the following:
Statement on Gafcon Missionary Bishop by Archbishop Foley Beach
Good afternoon. Thank you for being here today. I plan to make a brief statement. Canon Andy Lines will make a brief statement. Rev. David McCarthy will make a brief statement. And then we will have a time for questions.
I speak to you today as the Archbishop and Primate of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America, and as a sitting primate on the Gafcon Primates Council. On behalf of the Chairman of Gafcon, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of All Nigeria, the Assistant Chairman, The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, and the Gafcon Primates Council: Grace and peace to you in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
We continue to have a crisis in the Anglican Communion as the virus of revisionist theology and practice continues to spread to various Provinces. Rather than correcting and disciplining those who have departed from the biblical faith and practice which has been handed down to us from the Apostles, some church leaders are embracing false teaching, and then going even further by promoting it around the world.
The Nairobi Communiqué from the Gafcon meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2013 clearly stated that the Gafcon leadership would not ignore the pleas of the faithful who are trapped in places where false doctrine and practice occur. We promised that we would provide pastoral care and oversight for those who remain faithful to Jesus’ teaching on marriage.
At our April meeting in Lagos, Nigeria, the Gafcon Primates decided to provide a missionary bishop for Europe with the initial focus on those in Scotland and those faithful Anglicans in England outside the Church of England. Today’s decision by the Scottish Episcopal Church to change the biblical and historic definition of marriage has highlighted the need to respond to the cries and pleas of those Scots who today have been marginalized by their leaders. The attempt to redefine marriage is not one that a faithful Christian can support.
The Gafcon Primates have asked our Province, the Anglican Church in North America, to take on the task of providing a missionary bishop for Scotland. Our Province was formed at the direction of Gafcon 2008 after many of the Provinces of Gafcon had provided the same kind of oversight for clergy and congregations in North America. They have asked us to consecrate Canon Andy Lines.
Our College of Bishops discussed and decided to accept this responsibility. Following the Canons of our Province, the Executive Committee of the Province was not only consulted, but also voted unanimously to support this endeavor. We also appointed an oversight Committee of Bishops to provide guidance and accountability for Canon Lines as he walks through our consecration process and to support him after he is consecrated a bishop. Archbishop Robert Duncan is chair of the committee which consists of three diocesan bishops: The Rt. Rev. Bill Atwood, The Rt. Rev. Charlie Master, and The Rt. Rev. David Hicks.
Canon Andy Lines is now canonically resident in the Diocese of the South as a “priest in good standing” after having been transferred from the Province of South America as a priest in good standing.
The Consecration will take place on the morning of 30 June in Wheaton, Illinois and the service will include Primates, Archbishops, and bishops from all over the world. Although the Anglican Church in North America is the consecrating Province, this is an initiative of the wider Anglican Communion…
The Press Pack contains several further items:
Scottish Anglican Network press statement: Fellowship impaired by Scottish vote
Anglican Church in North America GAFCON MISSIONARY BISHOP FOR EUROPE
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Scottish Episcopal Church has voted to make the changes in its canons.
The voting was:
Bishops 80% For 20% Against
Clergy 67.7 For 32.3% Against
Laity 80.6% For 19.4% Against
Official SEC Press Release:
Church votes to allow equal marriage
The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church today voted in favour of altering the church’s Canon on Marriage to remove the definition that marriage is between a man and a woman, and add a new section that acknowledges that there are different understandings of marriage which now allows clergy to solemnise marriage between same sex couples as well as couples of the opposite sex. The revised canon also stipulates that no member of clergy will be required to solemnise a marriage against their conscience.
The voting was in three ‘houses’ of General Synod, namely Bishops, Clergy, Laity and required a two thirds majority to pass. The voting results were:
Bishops 4 – 80%
Clergy 42 – 67.7%
Laity 50 – 80.6%
Bishops 1 – 20%
Clergy 20 – 32.3%
Laity 12 – 19.4%
Responding to the voting outcome, the Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church said:
“This is the end of a long journey. There was the Cascade Process involving people across our church – the Doctrine Committee paper which explored whether a Christian understanding of marriage could extend to same sex couples. We have studied, thought and prayed.
“In the life of the church, end points are often also starting points. This is a momentous step. By removing gender from our marriage canon, our church now affirms that a same sex couple are not just married but are married in the sight of God. They can ‘leave and cleave’. They can express in marriage a commitment to lifelong faithfulness to one another and to the belief that a calling to marriage is for them too a calling to love, forgiveness, sacrifice, truth. A new chapter opens up – inclusion has taken a particular form. But this same decision is difficult and hurtful for others whose integrity in faith tells them that this decision is unscriptural and profoundly wrong. For them this new chapter will feel like an exclusion – as if their church has moved away from them.
“So the journey which we now begin must also be a journey of reconciliation.
“Every faith community must face the issues which are bound up with human sexuality – in their own way and in their own time. Others will arrive at answers different from ours. And the Anglican Communion, which is embedded in our history and to which we are passionately committed – the Anglican Communion will have to explore whether its historic commitment to unity in diversity can embrace this change.
“I have said this many times before: a vote in General Synod changes the canonical position of our church. But it cannot lay to rest the deep differences which this question exposes in this and every other faith community.
“The new Canon itself affirms that there are differing views of marriage in our church. Nobody will be compelled to do anything against their conscience. We affirm that we are a church of diversity and difference, bound together by our oneness in Christ. We shall carry forward in our life two honourable and historic understandings of marriage – one which sees the marriage of same sex couples as an expression of Christ-like acceptance and welcome – and another which says that the traditional view of marriage is God-ordained and scripturally defined.
“That is the journey. That is now the calling of this church. We must and we shall address it with truth, graciousness and acceptance of one another.”
The College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church will now adopt pastoral guidelines and principles to enable clergy who so wish to be nominated to the Registrar General for authorisation to solemnize weddings of same sex couples.16 Comments
GAFCON has issued this press release:
Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) Press Conference
8 June 2017 – Edinburgh, Scotland
On 8 June 2017, the Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) is scheduled to vote to finalise a change to their canons that would attempt to redefine marriage. If this action is taken by the SEC it will further marginalise faithful Anglicans in Scotland who seek to uphold Jesus’ teaching on marriage.
This change comes in the context of a global reformation that is happening in the Anglican Communion. While Anglican provinces such as The Episcopal Church (USA), Anglican Church of Canada, and Scottish Episcopal Church are rejecting the authority of the Bible, faithful Anglicans are uniting through Gafcon to proclaim and defend the unchanging truth in a changing world.
Recognising the pastoral need that arose following the initial SEC vote (in June 2016), in April of this year the Gafcon Primates authorised the consecration of a Missionary Bishop to care for those who seek to remain faithful to the scriptures and Jesus’ teaching on marriage. (See more at: https://www.gafcon.org/news/a-communique-from-the-gafcon-primates-to-members-and-supporters)
On 8 June 2017 Gafcon will hold a press conference in Edinburgh, Scotland at 5pm.
At this press conference the Missionary Bishop will be announced and introduced. He will be joined by a Gafcon Primate and representatives of those whose fellowship with the SEC will be broken by the Synod decision.