Comments: Fulcrum Statement on Anglican Mission to England

Who could ever have predicted....

I savor the sweet naiveté of the folks at Fulcrum. Me! - a humble blogger from the southern US, who knows much less than I need to know to comment at all on the Church of England scene - I have warned that the CofE's time for invasion was coming. How could anyone have thought that the invaders would not go for the prize of Anglicanism, the Church of England?

Posted by Grandmère Mimi at Monday, 27 June 2011 at 7:00pm BST

"secret ordinations in Kenya?"

If AMIE is associated with Mr. Martyn Minns, be careful ... very very careful. Bury your silver in the back yard, put lawyers, forensic accountants, and locksmiths on your speed dial.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Monday, 27 June 2011 at 8:41pm BST

Just like many desperate con artists, pick pockets/grabbers and everyday thieves these not-so-attractive-gents, and they are mostly male, will take ¨it¨ any way they can get ¨it¨...I wouldn´t be expecting any ¨nicesties¨ in ¨jolly ol/dear ol´d England¨ as these boys are trained mudwrestlers-- surely you´ve noticed their tracks/facts in the Americas and beyond?

Just what does it take to get your ATTENTION?

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Monday, 27 June 2011 at 8:43pm BST

Is this intervention compatible with the Covenant?

Posted by Alan T Perry at Monday, 27 June 2011 at 10:48pm BST

Allan Perry, whatever gave you the idea that the Covenant is also about diocese poaching, cross-border intervention?
The Covenant is solely about punishing those provinces who dare to think that maybe women and gay people are qualified for priesthood and the episcopate. Making symbolic threats over cross-border intervention is window dressing.

Posted by peterpi - Peter Gross at Monday, 27 June 2011 at 11:13pm BST

It seems to me to be an exciting development, but the protagonists will have to be respectful of the evangelicals who feel unable to part of this new movement. They must be absolutely open about ordinations, but I think if they are sensible they will aim to win support unexpected places. They have demonstrated courage.

Posted by David Gibson at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 12:21am BST

If I may be permitted to expand on what just I just wrote:
Some of the very provinces that want a covenant-style Anglican Communion, a top-down, rigidly doctrinaire, orthodox structure with disciplinary ability against malefactors, back-sliders, heretics -- even if those provinces don't like the present proposed Covenant -- are also the very provinces that seriously engage in cross-border intervention.
I am dubious of any covenant. I am especially dubious of the proposed Covenant that, while on paper may be against cross-border intervention, is an effort to meet the demands of provinces that engage in cross-border intervention.
That's why I answered the way I did.

Posted by Peterpi - Peter Gross at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 12:26am BST

I guess NT Wright telling the GafCon folks that while the US deserved what they did, English evangelicals should not be treated in the same way. I hope he now knows that his permission to plunder The Episcopal Church, along with the ++ABC's total neglect of their behaviors in the US simply emboldened them to come and steal your people, churches and assets with the same string of lying maneuvers they used here.

Get ready, The Evangelical Fagin is afoot!

Posted by Michael Russell at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 1:31am BST

Fulcrum are right to be concerned -- because it is they who are most threatened by this.

Why settle for watered-down C of E evangelicalism, when you can have the real thing?

Posted by Jeremy at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 3:50am BST

If no disciplinary action is taken, what is to stop the liberals starting a similar grouping advocating the changes they want...particularly if women bishops is lost in Synod. Should General Synod members be dismissed if they are linked to AMIE?

Posted by Robert ian Williams at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 7:25am BST

A couple of points here folks:
a. The GAFCON folk have specifically rejected the Covenant. This action simply underlines their rejection of (and further undermines the value of) ++Rowan's beloved Covenant.
b. For the benefit of US commentators, the legal battles over buildings and their ownership etc won't happen here in the UK because the Elizabethan Settlement means that Congregations/Vestries/PCCs don't own their buildings. They exist for ALL those who live in the geographical parish and not simply for those who worship in the buildings. What is more likely to result is legal disputes over the discipline and inhibition of clergy may result but there's no doubt about who owns the real estate.

Posted by Simon B at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 12:22pm BST

I think you are making too much of the cross boarder aspect. As Fulcrum point out this is an evolution of the existing home grown dissent. The main leaders are Messrs Perkin, Sugden, Benn and Nazir-Ali familiar to us all I am sure. I think the others are retired overseas bishops who are already in the UK and probably acting as assistant bishops but my quick googling was not conclusive.

Posted by Dave at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 1:13pm BST

Thanks for the reminder about the very different situation of church buildings in England. I would still advise caution in dealing with these people; they are manipulative, stubborn, and intelligent. Don't underestimate them.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 1:37pm BST

I doubt very much that these people will make much progress in the broader Church. It is, however, impossible not to laugh at the predicament of Fulcrum, like - on the other side -the predicament of Father Hunwicke. People who live by the sword, etc.

Posted by John at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 1:43pm BST

Simon B, for your benefit, US law in most places says the same. That doesn't prevent attempted "alienation of property." With a very very few exceptions, Episcopal congregations, vestries etc. do not "own" their property, but hold it in trust. This is, in fact, based on the same Elizabethan law. There is, as case after case demonstrates, no doubt about who has ultimate custody of the real estate.

But law does not prevent attempts to circumvent it. If there is a difference in England it must lie in some other aspect of the law, perhaps in the enforcement mechanisms. Perhaps what becomes a civil matter in the US is immediately treated as criminal in England. But I do not doubt that some souls, filled with the sense of their own righteousness, will not attempt to claim a parish or two as "theirs."

Posted by Tobias Haller at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 1:55pm BST

@Simon B., Tobias Haller is quite right. A settled body of case law on church property issues has existed for decades in the United States. It demonstrates quite clearly that congregations cannot legally claim church buildings, etc. as their property if they choose to break away from the Episcopal Church and join another organization.

This settled body of case law was disregarded by the leaders of what became ACNA For some reason, they thought it was not going to apply to them. Why, I can't possibly tell you, except that it seems a classic case of groupthink. This has led to multiple, years-long lawsuits between breakaway groups and the Episcopal Church.

I contended from the beginning that no reasonable and knowledgeable person could think that any one of those lawsuits could be won by a breakaway congregation, given the state of the law on the subject. So did others, including a number of conservative leaders in the US. In the event not one breakaway group has won a lawsuit with the Episcopal Church in the US, though several still continue.

Of course, the breakaway groups have cast the Episcopal Church as the villain in all of this. My understanding is that the majority of you Brits believe them. Certainly the majority of your senior bishops have believed them and abetted them in their plans to destroy the Episcopal Church and replace it with their own. A few of those who led your church in open hostilities toward ours have since retired, but the push to recognize ACNA in place of the Episcopal Church continues.

So don't be surprised if the same stealth breakaway movements, and the same lawsuits over church property, start cropping up in the Church of England. You are simply reaping what you have sown.

Posted by Charlotte at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 5:22pm BST

"They must be absolutely open about ordinations"

David G, could you clarify? And *who* (in your opinion) has shown courage? AMIE or Fulcrum?

Posted by JCF at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 8:45pm BST

Simon B, or someone

Please clarify "the Elizabethan Settlement means that Congregations/Vestries/PCCs don't own their buildings".

Who does?

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 9:40pm BST

I think Fulcrum have got a cheek.

They and their ACI mates have fostered discontent and fed schism.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 11:57pm BST

I think the strategy of Minns ( the lord high conspirator) and CANA and everyone else is the establishment of an alternate Communion. They have literally no interest in the Covenant anymore, they are attempting to outflank the Communion and claim its place. Delusions, and all, but Minn et all are aimed in that direction. Arguing about the Covenant is indeed like closing the barn doors after all the horses have escaped, with those who it is meant to placate are long gone.

Posted by Roger at Wednesday, 29 June 2011 at 12:02am BST

Dave wrote, "I think you are making too much of the cross boarder aspect. As Fulcrum point out this is an evolution of the existing home grown dissent. The main leaders are Messrs Perkin, Sugden, Benn and Nazir-Ali familiar to us all I am sure."

Perhaps it would be better to say that there is little evidence of border crossing - yet. The main leaders of AMiA and ACNA (I note them separately because they first arose separately; and even now their connections are voluntary, and not structural) were all known Episcopalians - until they sought foreign support and validation. Nor did we call then "schismatic" until they sought foreign support and validation. There is a place for loyal opposition. What Episcopalians would caution is that there is only a place as long as the opposition is loyal within. The leaders in AMiA and ACNA tried to claim they were loyal opposition within for some time after they started behaving as if they were outside.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Wednesday, 29 June 2011 at 3:13am BST

Locally, the congregation that broke away and wanted the building had a deed/title which declared the property to belong to the vestry of the parish, not the diocese, TEC, etc. I assume deeds etc. are more specific towards the property belonging to the CoE or crown...?

The article and comments in the post above about the diocese voting for women bishops and against the amendment made me wonder if in this instance liberals and AMIE aren't hoping for the same thing--women bishops approved,followed by or including a provision for gays/lesbians with no amendment for the conservatives. I can just see the leaders of AMIE saying," The CoE is throwing the conservatives under the bus and we'll be there to pick up the pieces."

Posted by Chris H. at Wednesday, 29 June 2011 at 3:20am BST

"They and their ACI mates have fostered discontent and fed schism." - Martin Reynolds

Good for them! Things desperately need shaking up, don't they?

Posted by A J Barford at Wednesday, 29 June 2011 at 7:36am BST

In 1829 as a condition of Catholic emancipation the Catholic Church had to give up all claims to property taken from her in the sixteenth century.the Church of England holds the property absolutely, except in the case of a handful of proprietary chapels.

Posted by Robert ian Willaims at Wednesday, 29 June 2011 at 8:06am BST

To anoint Martyn Minns "lord high conspirator" is to sell Canon Dr Rev'd Sugden a wee bit short, isn't it?

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Wednesday, 29 June 2011 at 10:56am BST

In the US, parishes have what amounts to "usufruct" rather than outright ownership of property, even when they hold the deed. An Episcopal Parish cannot sell (or even lease for more than five years) any of its real property without the permission of the Bishop, and in states like NY, the Supreme Court. And if by chance a parish should dissolve, and the property be sold, it does not accrue to the last incumbent parish council or vestry, but to the diocese. This is not just a matter of case law, but of canon and civil law (hence the confusion in Virginia over the US Civil War era statute.)

Posted by Tobias Haller at Wednesday, 29 June 2011 at 2:50pm BST

The real test is how much support will these people have from the laity esp if their parochial leaders begin to get stroppy with their bishop and diocesan authorities. How many did Charles Raven take with him into his independent Anglican" set up in the Wyre Forest?

Posted by Perry Butler at Wednesday, 29 June 2011 at 3:21pm BST

"They and their ACI mates have fostered discontent and fed schism." - Martin Reynolds

Good for them! Things desperately need shaking up, don't they?
Posted by: A J Barford on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 at 7:36am BST

So some sincerely believe, Mr Barford. Not me.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Wednesday, 29 June 2011 at 8:03pm BST

"So some sincerely believe" - Mr Reynolds

I suppose it depends whether or not one relies on the Church for one's livelihood...

Posted by A J Barford at Thursday, 30 June 2011 at 9:10am BST

Talk about reaping the whirlwind - Fulcrum, having been one of the most active proponents of evangelical puritanism with the Church of England, is now seemingly afraid that its own territory within the C.of E. is under threat from the very people they formerly sought to embrace!

Perhaps this will afford some of the opponents of the openness of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada something of the frustrating experience of these Churches in North America that have had to deal with the aggressive tactics of incursion from Provinces of GAFCON into their own areas of Anglican mission!

With people like Canon Sugden wanting to take over the territory of the Church of England - under franchise from the 'Global South' - things look like being very different from what Fulcrum had hoped for.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 30 June 2011 at 12:46pm BST

Some confusion here over Fulcrum I think.

Fulcrum has consistently supported women bishops (and no sell outs to the opponents) and has consistently opposed REFORM, GAFCON, ACNA et al.

Yes, they have supported the covenant and taken a conservative line on same sex partnerships - but look at the discussion boards on their website to see they are hosting open debates amongst evangelicals bon these matters and you will see too many Fulcrum supporters dissenting from the Fulcrum leadership on these two matters. Meanwhile, no debate allowed at Anglican Mainstream...

Posted by Frozenchristian at Friday, 1 July 2011 at 11:43am BST

Well said Frozenchristian

Posted by A J Barford at Saturday, 2 July 2011 at 7:26am BST
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