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Call for a conservative Evangelical PEV: The Church of England Newspaper, December 13, 2012 December 19, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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Reform has called for the next Bishop of Ebbsfleet to be a conservative Evangelical. In an email sent to its members last week, Reform  wrote “please write to the Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary” to “make the case” that the next Provincial Episcopal Visitor (PEV) be a “conservative Evangelical.”

On 31 Oct 2012 the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Rt. Rev. Jonathan Baker was appointed suffragan Bishop of Fulham in the Diocese of London.  With the retirement of Bishop Wallace Benn of Lewes, no conservative Evangelicals remain in the House of Bishops.

The Rev. John Richardson told The Church of England Newspaper the need for an Evangelical PEV “arises because episcopacy involves certain understandings of both theology and the nature of ministry. There is also the importance of the representative nature of the bishop in Anglicanism, who both gathers and stands for a college of clergy.”

“Now if, in an episcopal church, a particular theology, especially regarding the nature of the college of clergy, has no representation in the episcopate, this is itself a deficiency and arguably renders the College of Bishops inadequate,” Mr. Richardson said.

However, the Rev. Roger Beckwith has observed that conservative Evangelicals have been slow in joining the PEV scheme. Created under the 1993 Act of Synod, Provincial Episcopal Visitors (PEVs) exercise alternative Episcopal oversight for congregations unable to accept the ministry of women priests.  If the local diocesan bishop has participated in the ordination of women as priests, a parish may request that it be placed under the pastoral and sacramental care of a PEV. The parish remains within its local diocese, but the PEV exercises episcopal authority on behalf of the local bishop.

Dr. Beckwith said evangelical clergy “who consider the ordination of women as presbyters unbiblical” did not regard this issue as being the “greatest problem facing the church” in light of “homosexual activity and multi-faith worship being allowed and encouraged as well. To concentrate on the ordination of women would seem to show the lack of a due sense of proportion.”

Another “difficulty” had been churchmanship. In dioceses were the bishop is an Evangelical, “sound in all respects except the ordination of women, an Evangelical parish would not be easily persuaded to ask for an Anglo-Catholic PEV instead,” he said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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Comments

1. David Knudtson - December 20, 2012

Dr Rowan Williams named the Rev Jonathan Baker as the Bishop of Ebbsfleet despite knowing he was an active and senior mason.
The appointment marked a significant U-turn by Dr Williams who had previously said that Freemasonry was “incompatible” with Christianity and had refused to promote Masons to senior posts.


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