Monday, July 04, 2011

Group names five bishops ready to defy diocesans

A new conservative Evangelical group, the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), already has three newly ordained clergy waiting to minister in the UK.

The Society, launched at the end of last week, offers alternative episcopal oversight when diocesan bishops “are failing in their canonical duty to uphold sound teaching”.

The three unnamed clerics were ordained in Kenya on 11 June by the Archbishop of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala, who chairs the GAFCON Primates’ Council, formed after the Global Anglican conference in Jerusalem in 2008. All three come from the diocese of Southwark. The diocese said on Wednesday that it had received no request for permission to officiate there.

Dr Williams was in Kenya last week. A Lambeth spokeswoman was unable to say this week whether the two had discussed this development.

The Revd Charles Raven, the dir­ector of the Society for the Prop­agation of Reformed Evan­gelical Anglican Doctrine, wrote on the organisation’s website on Thursday of last week that the three men had gone to Kenya to be ordained “be­cause the English diocesan bishop con­cerned had refused to give any assur­ances that he would uphold bib­lical teach­ing on homosexual practice”.

The chairman of the AMiE steer­ing committee is the Revd Paul Perkin, Vicar of St Mark’s, Battersea Rise, and the group’s secretary is Canon Chris Sugden.

Dr Sugden said that the group was awaiting a response from Dr Wil­liams to Dr Wabukala’s request that the three clergy be granted per­mission to officiate under the Over­seas Clergy Measure. The chairman of Reform, the Rt Revd Rod Thomas, said that “episcopal oversight” of the three men “has been delegated to the AMiE bishops”.

The AMiE has appointed its own “panel” of five bishops “to pro­­vide effective oversight in collaboration with senior clergy”. The panel consists of one serving bishop, the Bishop of Lewes, the Rt Revd Wallace Benn, and four retired bishops: Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the Rt Revd John Ball, the Rt Revd Colin Bazley, and the Rt Revd John Ellison.

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