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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.

Call for an Evangelical flying bishop for England: Anglican Ink, December 5, 2012 December 5, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Church of England, Women Priests.
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Conservative Evangelicals in the Church of England have asked for the appointment of one of their own to serve as a “flying bishop.

In an email sent to its members this week, Reform noted that with the vacancy for the position of bishop of Ebbsfleet, “please write to the Achrchbishops’ Appointments Secretary” to “make the case” that the next Provincial Episcopal Visitor be a “conservative Evangelical.”

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.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Evangelicals/Catholics lay out conditions for women bishops: Anglican Ink, November 28, 2012 November 28, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Church of England, Women Priests.
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Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals will not block new attempts by the General Synod of the Church of England to introduced legislation permitting the consecration of women clergy to the episcopate, provided adequate safeguards are introduced to protect liberty of conscience, freedom of worship and association for the members of the Church of England opposed to the innovation.

On 28 Nov 2012 the chairman of the Catholic Group in General Synod the Rev. Canon Simon Killwick and the chairman of the conservative Evangelical group Reform the Rev. Preb. Rod Thomas released a statement  pledging their cooperation with the proposals set forth by Archbishops’ Council to reintroduce legislation on women bishops for consideration at the July meeting of General Synod.

At the close of their 27-28 meeting, the Archbishops’ Council released a statement saying that some of their members were saddened and shocked by the outcome of the women’s bishop vote.  Therefore, “the Council decided that a process to admit women to the episcopate needed to be restarted at the next meeting of the General Synod in July 2013.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Reform call to ‘stand up’ for marriage: The Church of England Newspaper, November 4, 2011 November 9, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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The Rev Rod Thomas of Reform

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Reform has called upon the leaders of the Church of England to take a public stand in support of marriage, and voice their opposition to the government’s plans to introduce gay marriage.

In an address to the evangelical group’s annual conference last month, Reform chairman the Rev Rod Thomas asked clergy and lay leaders to do “everything within their power” to oppose attempts to “redefine marriage” away from a life-long relationship between one man and one woman.

“This is a generation-defining moment,” he said. “When the history books are written we will want to be known as those who spoke up publicly for Jesus’ teaching on marriage and against any Government attempts to redefine this God-given institution.”

Reform’s call to defend marriage from government social engineering plans follows similar calls by the Roman Catholic Church and the Free Church of Scotland.

In March, the Conservative-led coalition government will begin a consultation on how to redefine marriage under law – Mr Cameron has decided that the question whether the government should institute the changes has already been settled. The Scottish Executive is currently holding a consultation on redefining marriage.

Catholic leaders have strongly opposed the government’s plans. “Marriage by its very nature is between a man and a woman and it is the essential foundation of family life,” Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark said, adding “the state should uphold this common understanding of marriage rather than attempting to change its meaning.”

The Free Church of Scotland last month joined the Catholic Church in opposing the government. It called the push to change marriage “an irrational determination to force a form of equality upon society which is not rooted in any recognised moral foundation”.

The Church of England needed to follow suit, Mr Thomas said and take “urgent and significant and steps” to support marriage.

“Our churches, our communities and especially our children need us to provide both clarity and compassion in this age of confusion surrounding sexual identity and relationships,” he said to members attending the 18-19 October 2011 meeting at the High Leigh Conference Centre in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.

He also read out a letter from Kenyan Archbishop Eliud Wabukala to Reform, thanking them for their faithfulness.

“I thank God for the witness of Reform as you hold unswervingly to the faith once for all delivered to the saints despite the severe erosion of orthodoxy taking place around you. As the Global South Primates acknowledged at our recent meeting in China ‘it grieves us deeply to observe many Anglican churches in the west yielding to secular pressure to allow unacceptable practices in the name of human rights and equality’.

“So I would like to assure you of my prayers and necessary support. We are building a truly global fellowship in a partnership inspired by the Holy Spirit, marked by prayer, generosity, sacrifice and genuine love. I long to see the day when faithful Anglicans can feel at home in any part of the world and share the joy of true fellowship in the Holy Spirit,” the Archbishop said.