As predicted, the wedge is driven, the oak is being split, the CofE will learn.

Over in Church of England territory, a new thing has come, the Anglican Mission in England (AMIE).  Thinking Anglicans has pointed out this new wedge group. Name kind of reminds one of the Anglican Mission in America (now in the Americas) - AMiA or the American Anglican Council (AAC).  AMIE assures us that they are sticking with the CofE.  Don't count on it.

Earlier today in my last post, I opined, "One day, when the CofE finds its own Anglican Church in England, Scotland and Wales (ACESW) claiming to be the Province of record in the Islands off the coast of Europe, they will understand." I wonder if I'm not right and AMIE is just a snake handlers distance from ACESW.

I think it time for CofE regulars to begin to take seriously the possibilities that GAFCON and like minded so called evangelicals of a certain literalistic stripe are ready to leap. If it works in some parts of Africa, why not in good ol England? 

This blog, and several like it, exist because it took a long time for the leadership of The Episcopal Church to recognize the seriousness of the organizing that led to the development of the Anglican Church in America. 

For some years essayists on Louie Crew's pages and in the few progressive rags in the church had to carry the message that this was not more of the same quarrelsome crowd of the 1980s and 1990's. This crowd was on its way to organizing, believing the time was ripe for a takeover of the minds and hearts of Anglicans in the US and Canada. The catch-up took some time.  Maybe now with the blog world in place and the Internet the odd and powerful tool that it is, CofE regulars will come to the aid of the Church in the Isles.

GAFCON will indeed become an alternative to the Anglican Communion and no matter what happens with the Anglican Covenant, individual dioceses and parishes are likely to slide on over to what begins as a group effort within the CofE and will later look like a major alternative to the CofE as "Anglican."  

Time to pay attention to the first blasts and battles of the fight for the soul of the CofE itself.

I hope I am wrong. But I don't think so. AMIE is no friend of the Anglican Communion.  I can smell the mendacity. 


  1. No one could have predicted....

  2. The English oak won't split. Look how it handled the Dissenters, Non-Jurists, Methodists, Plymouth Brethren and Anglo-catholics. Some retained and absorbed, some ejected.

    Is AMiE any less of a friend of the Communion than you are, Mark? You seem very unfriendly to some of the people who make up the Communion. If you are friendly to me, how about being friendly to my friends in and out of the Communion. We might all be friends if we could find it in ourselves to be kind to all.

    1. Thank you Peter. Very thoughtful Christian and biblical answer; lacking all the hatred and unchristian language of Mark's anger.

  3. I love the kind of ¨friend¨ that moves in, underminds, kisses as* and then collects the insurance money after they stab their hosts in the back--there ought be a movie--perhaps Dark Heart the Brave Heart! We won´t need look far for a very experienced yet cheap cast.

  4. "We won´t need look far for a very experienced yet cheap cast."

    True. I understand that current calculations put 30 silver pieces at about $132.

  5. The Church of England is about to get a taste of the subversion that Rowan Williams facilitated within The Episcopal Church. Pity.

  6. Well, the die is cast as several of us have been harping on this for years. It does no one any good to say I told you so because the victory is pyrrhic. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?

  7. You seem very unfriendly to some of the people who make up the Communion. If you are friendly to me, how about being friendly to my friends in and out of the Communion.

    I look at a plea like this, and try to square it w/ my DVR queue. I've got a documentary about a Transgender Native American teen: murdered. LGBTs in Uganda: threatened by State murder (Ugandan Anglicans cheering the oppression on, others---undoubtedly Christian---involved in actual killing). Just watched a great docu about life for LGBTs in Jerusalem (Jew and Arab): constantly threatened w/ murder (phone calls to an elderly mother of a gay man, saying SHE would be murdered, too), always by the religious fundamentalists. In my local paper yesterday, on the crime blotter: "Anti-Gay Assault".

    But Peter perceives a lack of "friendliness" from Mark (say, towards Ugandan Anglicans?).

    It's the scale of things.

    Yes, it's nice to have friends.

    But first and foremost, it's even better to just be allowed to LIVE.

    Will you speak to some of your "friends" about this, Peter? About the not murdering us? Thanks everso...

  8. As it happens I do not have friends in the Ugandan church but if I did I would talk to them about what is going on. I am sure a friendly conversation with them would be better than other kinds of conversation or non-conversation.

    But Mark's remarks cover quite a few other Anglicans who would no more approve of Uganda's anti-gay actions than I imagine you would approve of Sarah Palin becoming your next president.

  9. In what way will the new group be subversive?

    So far they are open about what they are doing. The writings of conservative English evangelicals are pretty easy to find on the internet. Their agenda is very clear: to call the C of E back to sound reformed principles, to preach the gospel, to plant new churches, and to secure some kind of Anglican episcopal oversight for this work.

    All pretty much standard Anglican practice. I hope ++Rowan and his fellow bishops are supportive of this open agenda.

  10. Christopher (P.)24/6/11 7:15 AM

    Peter-- It's the last on your list that proves the sticking point. A church within a church--a fortress metality--in my mind, just another way of saying "I have no need of you." Although it seems the C of E is more confortable with that model already . . .

  11. Peter, you'll have to forgive my Doubting Thomas persona. I've heard this all before. The good friends you talk about said the same things here. Everything was going to be just fine -- separate but equal being the bottom line. What harm could come of that?

    I know you are familiar with what's happened here in the US so I won't repeat the history. If you truly believe that this movement will be content to work peacefully alongside those they've declared their enemies then you are a kinder, gentler, more naive man than I've reckoned.

    The agenda is always to conquer completely. Their own words prove it. Go back and read the words again. They want to correct those who disagree with them and failing that they want to drive them out of the church entirely or create an alternative church structure.

    It seems to me that Mark is right in echoing Jesus calling us to be gentle as doves but wise as serpents in this case. History informs us that this would be the wisest course.

    WV: gospin: spinning the gospel?

  12. Brian,
    Peter and his "friends" are not kind and they are not gentle. I come from where they preached come back to that "old tyme religion" and the devastation they brought down in San Joaquin is incredible. I do not think Peter is naive, Peter is simply following the "script" of haters. This is the standard pap from a consistent purveyor of "crap". Brian, spread all that on the ground and see if your garden will grow.

  13. At the risk of seeming a tad offensive, Fr Carrell, there are days when I find it difficult to distinguish naiveté from disingenuousness.

  14. I think most here remember that +Minns CANA/ACNA is setting up shop in London. As stated here:

    "I am working with Archbishop Wabukala and Archbishop Peter Jensen to establish a London office for GAFCON. This will require Angela and me to spend periods of time in London to assist GAFCON in its next phase of ministry, but we plan to keep our home in the USA. And, we will, of course, remain connected with the CANA office and with all of you through phone calls, emails, and visits.

    Archbishop Nicholas Okoh — Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Vice-Chairman of GAFCON — is fully supportive of this new assignment and has asked that I continue in my role as Missionary Bishop of CANA. I remain firmly dedicated to CANA’s ministry. CANA's episcopacy is served well by our Suffragan Bishops: Roger Ames, David Anderson, Dave Bena, Amos Fagbamiye. I am grateful to the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria in electing Archdeacon Julian Dobbs and Canon Felix Orji and receiving Bishop Derek Jones as additional Suffragan Bishops to help strengthen the work of CANA throughout North America.

    Our shared life and ministry together bring Angela, Rachel, and me joy for which we give thanks to God. It is an exciting time for all of us. We are helping to establish new dioceses for the ACNA, and continue to see new clergy and congregations apply to join CANA so that they may have a canonically authentic connection to the Anglican Communion as well as in the ACNA. We also have a steady interest from well-qualified candidates for ordination."

    I have wondered what Holy Trinity Igbo and St. Mary's Hammondsworth and the Nigerian Chaplaincy in London might have to do, if at all, with +Minns? I have the following but would appreciate any info:


    The Ven Amatu Onundu Christian-Iwuagwu, Vicar of St Mary the Virgin, Harmondsworth, has been installed as Archdeacon in the Diocese of Ideato, Nigeria.

    Amatu, who previously acted as Commissary in the UK for the (now retired) Bishop of the Ideato diocese, the Rt Revd Godson Echefu, will undertake a number of new duties as Archdeacon including preaching at Diocesan Synod services, leading ordination retreats and preaching at ordination services within the Church of Nigeria. He will play a key role in aiding and assisting the current Bishop of Ideato, the Rt Revd Dr Caleb Maduoma, in pastoral care and office and examining and presenting those who are to be admitted to Holy Orders.

    The Ven Amatu Onundu Christian-Iwuagwu said:

    "Following my appointment as Vicar in the Diocese of London, I have in some occasions described myself as having one leg in the Church of Nigeria and the other in the Church of England.

    "My services to both Churches in my view reflect a true symbolism of the link between the Mother Church – the Church of England and the Church of Nigeria in the Anglican Communion worldwide."

    The installation and collation service took place at the St Peter's Cathedral Church Arondizogu in Imo State Nigeria on Tuesday 23 December 2009. EmilyH

  15. “I do not think Peter is naive, Peter is simply following the "script" of haters. This is the standard pap from a consistent purveyor of ‘crap’”.—Fred S.

    I disagree. Fr. Carrell IS naïve, just like most conservative Kiwis. They personally are not hateful, so they think that all conservatives elsewhere are like them. They are wrong.

    Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY

  16. I'd not be at all surprised if Rowan finds a way to accommodate the newly named group.

  17. All I can say, summoning the full strength of my naivity, is that the conservative Anglicans I have met around the world - Sydney, the US, England - are not 'haters'. But I have not met each and every one of the millions who form part of our Communion, so I have to take your word for it that there are some mouldy cookies in the conservative jar.

    In my naivity I also have believed that some progressive Anglicans have resorted to hateful language when talking about conservative Anglicans. But recognising my naivity I realise I have interpreted wrongly. Its always the language of love in the land of the progressives, isn't it!

  18. You "have to take [our] word for it that there are some mouldy cookies in the conservative jar" but you have "believed that some progressive Anglicans have resorted to hateful language when talking about conservative Anglicans", Fr Carrell? None so blind, Fr Carrell.

  19. The institutional church is always threatened by changing the status quo through progress but terminally blind to the ambition of those who would change the status quo by regression and repression.

    The only thing that smells worse than mendacity is mediocrity.

    Rowan has no idea what is about to hit him. The orthodox chickens have come home to roost.

  20. "What's that smell in this room? Didn't you notice it, Brick? Didn't you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?... There ain't nothin' more powerful than the odor of mendacity... You can smell it. It smells like death."

    Big Daddy, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 1958


  21. "GAFCON will indeed become an alternative to the Anglican Communion"..... Sir, not if most of the AC identifies with GAFCON....which is most of the AC anyway..... is it not clear that even the 'liberal' ABC (and, therefore, the CofE) will not give up its relationships with the biggest provinces for the sake of small provinces (in terms of Sunday attendance)? The Covenant is all about stopping small groups ignoring the mind of the majority in the AC. Sorry, but the majority matters. Even in the CofE, it is not the revisionists who are attracting young Brits....and the ABC knows that very well.... it explains a lot of his actions (especially those which go against his own revisionist writings, if he stil believes what he argued for in the past). There is a realpolitik angle to the the ABC and the AC which I am not sure TEC people get..... numbers attending on a Sunday matter a great deal - that is why GAFCON has no worries re the AC.... it is most of the AC and the CofE does not want to lose its relationships with most of the AC i.e. GAFCON. Observers sent to ACNA....totally consistent with this.

  22. Here we go again! More numbers game! So "the mind of the majority" was right on Good Friday, Observer?

  23. Lapin - just as TEC does not let itself be governed by the views of its minority (ie ACNA), the AC will not let itself be governed by a minority within it.... that what the Covenant is for..... the ABC is working for institutional order...... and the will of the majority of the AC matters.... just as the will of the majority at TEC's GCs matters - for quite common sense reasons. Now, whatever historical links have existed, given the will of the majority of the AC is what it is, will TEC compromise yet more (like BO33 and acquiescing while one bishop was scapegoated in 2008) in order to stay in Rowan's club.... probably, your bishops have form.

  24. the AC will not let itself be governed by a minority within it

    Observer, it looks to me as if the AC will be governed by the Standing Committee, which is quite a tiny minority.

    Keep drumming your drum, and what you say will be so, may well become so, but the SC may also surprise and dismay the GAFCONites. Such power in the hands of the SC can slice both ways, and predicting the future is not always easy or accurate.

  25. Grandmere Mimi - I agree with you that the SC is a tiny minority..... I don't think it's going to govern anything.... for the same reasons that TEC and the US are not run from the London, the SC will not run the AC..... it's a question, not of numbers, but of legitimacy in the AC.

    Now, TEC may feel that it does not want to be taxed by the AC without representation.... perhaps that explains the composition of the SC and its lack of legitimacy?

  26. Observer, we shall see which way it goes.

  27. It would really matter not at all if TEC represented 0.01% of the parishioners of Anglican Communion. Our church is and always has been a totally independent church. Why does the rest of the Anglican Communion have a “right” to have any say at all over what we do?

  28. As far as numbers go Observer, the majority of primates have met and decided that they did not like being a monkey lead around by the tail by a few African primates. They have spoken and returned the Primates Meeting to its original intent, a retreat for primates to enjoy fellowship, study and pray together.

    They may not represent the provinces with the largest populations, but the PM is not based on representation by population. Tiny TEC has one voice, just as does great big Nigeria. And the majority of provinces, whose primates showed up to the meeting, have had their voice heard. The PM has no authority and makes no decisions.

    The ABC was one of the voices that spoke regarding the place of the PM in the AC. So he is not likely to attempt to throw out the majority of provinces that have not sided with the primates who stayed away pouting.

  29. David - best not to kid yourself.... the whole covenant idea is about majority decisions not being violated by small groups.... and look where the ABC has been this week..... you think he is welcome there because he is putting GAFCON in its place?? He cannot...they are most of the AC - however much denial you might like to indulge in re provinces....it is ASA that matters..... it is growth that matters..... and what matters most is changing the mind of the Communion with scrpitural arguments BEFORE unilateral actions.... TEC's GC would expect the same from its 'conservatives'....and does.

  30. Observer: perhaps you'd like to declare yourself as Nersen Pillay, once again doing the broken record technique but exporting it where you are less well known.

    What is forgotten in this dialogue is that churchgoing in the UK is among a tiny minority. When an evangelical church opens up, the population shifts around. I make the comment on my own blog that the entryists of the Church of England can plant as many churches as they like with alternative episcopal oversight, but when it comes to a media church opening up it sucks the life out of any evangelical church. These churches are car park churches because they pull in from far and wide, providing entertainment interpreted as spirituality, and the Anglicans cannot compete with such informality.

  31. Thanks, Pluralist. Been a while, but the spasmodic style rang a loud bell. Thinking Anglicans' "NP" Revivivus.

  32. Someone further up the thread asked about one of my priests, Amatu Christian-Iwuagwu, at S Mary Harmondsworth. Let me be clear that the Nigerian clergy in the Diocese of London, of whom Amatu is one, are entirely under the licence of the Bishop of London and his Area Bishops. They are no part of any alternative structure. Sometimes their dioceses of origin in Nigeria give them honorary titles (as we do in Engalnd with Honorary Canonries and Prebs and the like.

    In London, we're grateful for the ministry of our African origin clergy. I could only wish that some of our English Anglo-Saxon clergy displayed a little of their faithfulness, energy and missional commitment. Please don't get into the habit of thinking that all things Nigerian are to be viewed with suspicion. Liberal stereotyping is no more healthy for the life of our church than ultra-conservative stereotyping.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.