Comments: Jesmond: new style bishops explained

The only part of this that really matters is in the second question about male clergy and heterosexual "monogamous" marriage. In the end, it's about keeping the filthy gays and uppity women away from those decent Christians who believe that the Gospel is really about how to hate and discriminate. We have seen these "puritan" movements endlessly. I never fail to be amazed and what lengths these people will go to in order to keep women and gay people "in their place". If they could burn witches and stone gays to death, they might be quite happy to do so. This is what Jesus did, didn't he?

Posted by Adam Armstrong at Sunday, 14 May 2017 at 6:23pm BST

Are they living in cloud cuckoo land? There is nothing to explain how these people can be proper Church of England bishops.

Posted by Susan Cooper at Sunday, 14 May 2017 at 6:59pm BST

I tuned in part way through the Holloway interview and heard Paul and Ashenden. I presumed that these people must have been preceded by some people still in touch with reality, talking sense. Regrettably, this does not seem to have been the case.

I found Holloway's self-righteous certainty insufferable but, what a great idea! You don't think much of your appointed bishop (not least because she is of the wrong gender), so you bring in some overseas bishops, from a church with a very dodgy record over apartheid, and get them to consecrate your curate. So your father-in-God is someone who reports to you. Perfect, but only in the parallel universe of Con-Evo land!

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Sunday, 14 May 2017 at 7:00pm BST

I'd far rather this stuff were shunted off to a ghetto of its own making than allowed to infiltrate the hierarchy so it can be imposed on everyone else. Hopefully, they'll be left to do their thing and take the most vehement con-evos with 'em, allowing the rest of the church to at last welcome all God's people as equals.

Posted by James Byron at Sunday, 14 May 2017 at 8:20pm BST

Serious action required from the Church of England authorities here to clarify whether this will be allowed to proceed and whether the new "Bishop of Jesmond" will be allowed to ordain people as Church of England priests.

"What can we achieve through new style bishops?
The growth of the Church because one of their key roles is to ordain (that is, to authorise and appoint) new ministers who will provide the next generation of ministry in both existing churches and new church plants."

So will these newly ordained ministers be selected for training in accordance with the Church of England selection criteria, or just according to the whim of the "Bishop of Jesmond"? Will they be Church of England ministers/priests deployable anywhere in the Church of England or "Diocese of Jesmond" ministers/priests deployable in "Diocese of Jesmond" churches and plants?

This way chaos lies...

Posted by Cantab at Sunday, 14 May 2017 at 9:29pm BST

I think you captured it, Adam.

Posted by Cynthia at Sunday, 14 May 2017 at 9:34pm BST

The only confusion is Jesmond..where a vicar who believes that re-marriage after divorce is adultery
went to the " Biblical " Church of England in South Africa to rescue them. CESA or REACH is very liberal on divorce and re-marriage.

Posted by robert ian williams at Sunday, 14 May 2017 at 9:50pm BST

Jesmond has had many years of large congregations.... archbishops want large congregations .... nothing will happen to them.....

Posted by S Cooper at Sunday, 14 May 2017 at 10:26pm BST

"So bishops Martin Morrison and John Ellison have helped churches like Jesmond Parish Church, St Oswald’s Walkergate, Christ Church Durham, Holy Trinity Gateshead, St Joseph’s Benwell, and other churches when needed."

Partly for curiosity, partly for clarification...

In what ways have these churches been helped by these bishops and on whose authority have the bishops ministered?

Does this new Bishop receive a Church of England stipend?

Do we yet know where the consecration of him as bishop took place - and why is it being kept a secret?

Posted by Mike G. at Sunday, 14 May 2017 at 11:14pm BST

The Church of England General Synod should be called together to discuss the urgent need to assure the ordinary membership of the Church that Jesmond Parish Church is no longer a legitimate part of the Church of England.

Anything less will cause unnecessary speculation as to the validity of the ongoing relationship of the Church to the State and the Monarchy.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 15 May 2017 at 1:43am BST

No comments, reactions, statements or disciplinary responces (yet?) from ABC or ABY??

Posted by Sara MacVane at Monday, 15 May 2017 at 6:45am BST

Can't see why Ashenden was fielded..he's off, though taking a while to go...and where? It would have bèen better to put Paul against Holloway.

Posted by Perry Butler at Monday, 15 May 2017 at 7:40am BST

I was interested to note that Reach-CESA have distanced themselves from this, just a little. But it needs to meet with measured but effective discipline from the C of E. Since it seems to have been done without the knowledge of GAFCON and AMIE, they and Reach-CESA would be wise to disown it and exercise their own discipline. I wonder if they will?

The arrogance and hubris of Holloway and Pryke is really breath-taking. 'I thank you that I am not a sinner, like this publican...'

Posted by Janet Fife at Monday, 15 May 2017 at 8:39am BST

Having heard the conversation on the morning Sunday programme - then watched ITV drama Grantchester in the evening it made me ashamed that I ever belonged to that wing of the church. As Sydney said "The church is the cause of so much suffering."

Posted by Ray Anglesea at Monday, 15 May 2017 at 9:58am BST

Someone who has a firmer grasp on modern church history than I do might be able to clarify this, but I believe this is very much how the Methodists originally got started - not so much in Britain (where they remained within the Church of England for as long as possible), but in the United States where they quickly started appointing their own bishops much to the annoyance of the Anglican authorities in both countries. The aim of that movement was "not to create a new denomination" either, though it inevitably did so when it became clear that the structures Methodists wanted to create could not be accommodated within the established church. I wonder if this is the sort of example that the good people of Jesmond have in mind. They cannot possibly be so naive as to think that any church that professes any sort of catholicity can permit vicars to go around ordaining bishops willy-nilly on nobody's authority but their own. It is a complete farce.

Posted by rjb at Monday, 15 May 2017 at 2:03pm BST

Why is all the focus on Evangelicals here (other than the fact that they are the ones driving the agenda)? My wife and I went to Malta on holiday back in the spring. We went to St Paul's, the Church of England cathedral, which is the Diocese of Europe. The vicar there made it pretty clear that he had very little allegiance to his diocesan bishop. We were not surprised when we heard their Easter service on Radio 4, that prayers were offered for 'David our Bishop' (the suffragan) and there was no mention of Dr Robert Innes as the Bishop. In my experience, Anglo Catholics are just as good at this schismatic sort of behaviour, when their diocesan bishop does not suit their theological prejudices, as the evangelicals. Both are 'protestants' in the technical sense.

Posted by Paul Tomkins at Monday, 15 May 2017 at 4:38pm BST

One thinks of those "Anglo-Catholic" bishops of Forward in Faith who kept their C of E titles and salaries while going off to make arrangements in Rome for their defection, then trying to bring congregations with them. Even though they were legitimate C of E bishops, their sense of personal entitlement and their active disloyalty makes one wonder if they had any concept of being Catholic. In this case, the only real difference is that they are openly disloyal and couldn't care less about the Catholic reasons for Episcopacy. Their motives are almost the same. One wonders why they don't just become another Protestant sect, as they already are, in fact. It may be that they want some on legitimacy for their ordinations, as well as some connection tigons within the Communion they can exploit. If GAFCON stages an invasion, they can be the beachhead. The truth is that for most rank and file members of the C of E this will mean very little.

Posted by Adam Armstrong at Monday, 15 May 2017 at 7:03pm BST

Yes, rjb, Thomas Coke was "ordained" a Superintendent for Methodist societies by John Wesley in September of 1784, just two months before Scottish Episcopal bishops consecrated Samuel Seabury a bishop. The Evangelicals thus initiated the schism. In 1873, Evangelicals again engineered a schism which resulted in the Reformed Episcopal Church. There were a few other minor Evangelical schisms along the way as well...

Paul Tomkins has a point. Unlike many of the other Tractarians, Dr. Pusey was not overly impressed with bishops...

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Posted by Kurt Hill at Monday, 15 May 2017 at 7:04pm BST

I think that you are wrong, Paul Tomkins, to equate what has happened in Jesmond with Anglo-Catholics requesting alternative episcopal oversight. The latter is a provision put in place by Synod to cater for the perceived needs of that group. I don't like it either, but it is entirely in order as far as the church's canons are concerned, and therefore not schismatic.

An analogous provision has been put in place for conservative evangelicals in the form of Rod Thomas, +Maidstone, but Jesmond have apparently rejected this in favour of consecrating one of their own, entirely outwith any canonical provision, and entirely outwith the CofE. But they can't have it both ways, and their action is definitely schismatic.

As Andrew Brown said in another thread, the only way to ensure your bishop is doing God's work is apparently to become that bishop yourself. It is monstrous hubris, and wholly deplorable. But, shamefully, still no action from the authorities.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Monday, 15 May 2017 at 9:29pm BST

I wonder if it is time for +Cantuar to don the golden cope with the big miter and using the oldest crosier he can carry excommunicate those clergy who wish to undermine the polity, and discipline in the Church of England.

Posted by Anthony Keller at Monday, 15 May 2017 at 10:28pm BST

As others have hinted, I don't understand why rigorous evangelicals care about Catholic order. I find it hard to believe that their theology encompasses the Apostolic Succession and a Catholic understanding of sacramental assurance, with all its overtones (from an evangelical perspective) of limiting the free grace of God. If Jesmond want one of their number to be able to ordain priests, is there any theological reason at all why they need that person to be consecrated by three bishops in the Apostolic succession?

I probably ought to be careful because I'm getting close to questioning why evangelicals are Anglicans at all ....

Posted by John Swanson at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 7:12am BST

It is ugly but is the consecration schismatic? If we recognise the orders of REACH nothing, it is poaching but not schismatic because the orders will be valid. If we don't recognise the orders, then the consecration as bishop was (in our eyes) void. Either way the consecration isn't schismatic.

What is schismatic is if the parish is accepting oversight from REACH. That needs addressing.

Posted by Kate at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 7:14am BST

The Bishops overseeing the vast Diocese in Europe divide it for practical purposes and Italy/Malta are under +David Hamid, who formerly had France, which +Robert Innes now has. Of course people also have predilections...

Posted by crs at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 7:28am BST

"Of course people also have predilections..."
Christopher of course they do. That's human. But the self righteous choosing of your own bishops by simply getting them ordained elsewhere is quite different to a predilection. It's human as well of course. But it isn't, shall we say, quite the Anglican way.

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 8:48am BST

After further investigation, I understand that the Diocese in Europe does not operate an 'Area' system (like London), so David Hamid is no more and no less the Suffragan Bishop. This does not excuse the ecclesially sloppy and, frankly, insolent behaviour of referring to him as 'Our Bishop' when the Diocesan Bishop is canonically the Ordinary for Anglicans in Malta!

Posted by Paul Tomkins at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 9:19am BST

Surely the question of whether the C of E recognises these orders is wholly irrelevant? The world is just heaving with bishops whose orders are recognised, but getting yourself ordained by, let's say, the Holy Father Francis would surely be incompatible with licensed public ministry in the C of E?

Posted by american piskie at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 10:06am BST

Whilst the actions at Jesmond were insultingly disobedient both to Canon Law and to the Bishop of Newcastle in particular, the key issue now is not whether Mr Pryke has recognised ("valid") episcopal orders, but whether he exercises them. There have been many priests in England (and I suspect not a few in the USA) who have been Anglicans in good standing whilst being bishops in some other body. What is critical is that they have renounced the exercise of such orders. The moment Mr Pryke lays ordaining hands on a candidate for ministry, the Rubicon has been crossed.

Posted by cryptogram at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 12:45pm BST

A blatant breach of canonical obedience (which is one of the only things clergy sign up to) should surely be dealt with by a suspension of licence pending investigation, rather than the rather pathetic "rabbit in the headlights" response from ++Sentamu. Compare the shoddy treatment of the late great Bishop Michael Perham.

Posted by turbulent priest at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 1:20pm BST

My comment--which I should have thought was clear--pertained to Malta, whose Cathedral is in Bishop Hamid's region. The Cathedral in Brussels is Bishop Robert's region. It was a response to that comment, obviously. Have a good day.

Posted by crs at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 2:31pm BST

"This does not excuse the ecclesially sloppy and, frankly, insolent behaviour of referring to him as 'Our Bishop' when the Diocesan Bishop is canonically the Ordinary for Anglicans in Malta!"

I for one wasn't defending it, but explaining how it might happen. The original comment averred that the Dean had no allegiance to the Bishop Ordinary, and so that seemed to be the relevant point.

I live in the Diocese and don't care to comment on AC and Evangelical tensions, but would hope people could be generous in their conduct.

Posted by crs at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 2:37pm BST

"If they could burn witches and stone gays to death, they might be quite happy to do so." Adam Armstrong

There is no evidence that the people of Jesmond church want women and gay people to be killed. I think this comment goes too far.

Posted by Laurence Cunnington at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 3:33pm BST

With all due respect to crs, there seems to be a need for some basic ecclesiological lessons here. The Cathedral in Malta is NOT Bishop Hamid's 'region' (whatever that means). It is the jurisdiction of the Diocesan Bishop. As Paul Tomkins has said, there is no 'Area' system in Europe. To give the impression that it has nothing to do with the Diocesan Bishop is indeed sloppy and insolent. As a 'catholic' the incumbent of Malta knows this - and, I suspect, knows what he is doing. I wonder if Bishop Hamid will now correct the Malta incumbent on the matter, especially as he can hardly commend this model of 'catholicity' to our ecumenical partners?

With all due respect to crs and Anthony Dixon, I didn't read Paul Tomkins' comments as equating Jesmond with alternative episcopal oversight. What I 'hear' him saying is that what has happened in Jesmond is what is happening when catholic parishes behave like non-conformists, and choose not to recognise that the Diocesan Bishop is their legal 'Ordinary.' Significantly, Malta is not under alternative episcopal oversight, which makes the behaviour of the incumbent (as reported by Paul Tomkins) hard to justify. I don't see this as a catholic versus evangelical issue. But I do see it is an act of discourtesy and ecclesiastical illiteracy.

Posted by Tom Marshall at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 3:48pm BST

@ Kate & al: You seem to be confused re. Legitimate orders and schismatic behaviour. People in schism usually do have legitimate orders. It usually means that take their orders with them or find an outside source to ordain them. The weird thing about all this is the view of episcopal ordination as having some kind of magical property or bestowing them on the one ordained. Bishops (and priests and deacons) do not view their ordinations or the sacraments they celebrate as personal possessions. They come from-and belong to-the Church as a whole. The bishop is raised up and given permission by the Church to exercise this ministry. A Parish Council or Rector cannot do this. A bishop or priest is for the whole Church and not a private community or sect. Using episcopal ministry in a renegade sense is magic in their eyes, but is not the purpose of their ministry. Protestant evangelicals using episcopal sacramental ministry this way seem to be manipulating God and the grace of the sacrament of ordination. Odd that some Anglo Catholics have done the same thing. The validity of their orders and the Catholic order of the Church are two very different things.

Posted by Adam Armstrong at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 5:55pm BST

Quite right, turbulent priest. One possible outcome of this debacle might be that one or more of the clergy of the 'diocese of Jesmond' suffers a seizure from laughing too much at the pathetic inadequacy of the institutional response thus far. Holloway has shown himself before to be a wily, legalistic operator, and he must have considered that this would be the likely response, especially given his contemptuous threats to institute reciprocal heresy trials. His bluff must be called, and action taken 'this day'.

If REACH orders being recognised is going to be made a key justification for this outrage, then REACH orders need to be unrecognized forthwith. Swanning in and consecrating a serving CofE curate without so much as a 'by your leave' is all the justification that is needed. After all, as Welby said wrt TEC, 'actions have consequences'.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 6:14pm BST

Dear Mr Marshall,

I believe you have misunderstood me.

The Diocese in Europe, as I mentioned, is enormous and has no analogy in England itself (300 parishes and the largest diocese in the AC). To manage it, two Bishops are in charge. As also noted, for practical purposes they share responsibilities, with the arch-deaconries divided between them.

When +David Hamid was given the practical care of France, e.g., he attended the Synod meeting as Bishop. People might fondly refer to him as ‘their Bishop’ for this reason, whatever their attitude toward the Bishop Ordinary.

I can see how the Dean in Malta might do the same when Italy/Malta was shifted to +David as happened in 2016. In addition, however, it was the original commentator who made the judgment that the Dean was antipathetic to the Ordinary. I do not know him or the parish, but accept his comment as true.

My only modest point was to say that there is an innocent way someone in France might refer to +David, or +Robert, as their bishop, depending on who was overseeing on the archdeaconry as explained above.

Throw in the AC and Evangelical predilections and voila, scope for improper conduct, as was suggest in the original remarks.

Have a good evening.

Posted by crs at Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 6:21pm BST

Christopher (crs): how does your (modest) point have any bearing on the Jesmond case? What's the parallel here?

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Wednesday, 17 May 2017 at 7:38am BST

Dear Andrew,

If you read the thread you will see that a commentator wanted to point out that ACs as well as Jesmond types can ignore their Ordinary. The example of Malta was given. My modest point was to agree that people on both sides do have their predilections, but to try to lower the temperature by indicating that the Diocese of Europe does have some peculiarities. Have a good day.

Posted by crs at Wednesday, 17 May 2017 at 8:24am BST

Sorry, crs, you don't get it, hence Tom Marshall's suggestion of ecclesiology lessons. What you are describing is not Anglican polity, any more than Jesmond is; and I am curious as to why you are trying to justify an irregular expression of Anglicanism. Since when has a Suffragan Bishop had his (or her) own Cathedral? Come on. I, too, worship in the Diocese in Europe and I can read between the lines. We will indeed see if Bishop Hamid attempts to prick this particular bubble of dysfunction. Or not.

Posted by Sylvia Templeton at Wednesday, 17 May 2017 at 8:40am BST

'Protestant evangelicals using episcopal sacramental ministry this way seem to be manipulating God and the grace of the sacrament of ordination.'

Ordination, in the Church of England, is not a sacrament (see Article XXV). It is a matter of church order. The conservative evangelicals concerned won't see themselves as manipulating God or getting in on some 'magic' (most people of that persuasion holding a functional view of Orders). They will be seeing Pryke's consecration as a means to an end. Cynical, self-serving, arrogant and schismatic, in my opinion, and should have met with immediate discipline. But not a 'view of episcopal ordination as having some kind of magical property or bestowing them on the one ordained.'

Posted by Janet Fife at Wednesday, 17 May 2017 at 9:11am BST

My gosh, what a strident set of responses! Go for it. Shoot out the lights. Make sure +Hamid reprimands Malta+. Whatever.

I have a PTO in France where +Robert is and I have not heard of a sufficiently big issue needing such insistent action, but Sylvia why not make sure the present arrangements for covering such a large region get your necessary memo on correct ecclesiology?

Ne vous inquietez pas.

Posted by crs at Wednesday, 17 May 2017 at 11:33am BST

@Jane Fife: My words about "magical properties" of ordination were sarcastic. Whatever Article XXXV may say, Anglicans see ordination as conferring a special grace to baptize, absolve, bless, and celebrate the Eucharist (for priests) and to Ordain (for bishops.) no article contradicts that. Whether ordination is a sacrament depends on one's theological position. The "Catholic" view of ordination may be different from the "Protestant" one. If there is no grace conferred, then why bother?

Posted by Adam Armstrong at Wednesday, 17 May 2017 at 1:29pm BST

Sylvia -- to be fair crs didn't say that the suffragan bishop had his own cathedral. I nearly made the same comment as you but having re-checked what he had written I didn't.

What he actually wrote was "... Malta, whose Cathedral is in Bishop Hamid's region" (crs on Tuesday, 16 May 2017 at 2:31pm BST).

Not that the church is Bishop Hamid's cathedral, but that (physically and geographically) it is within the region to which Bishop Hamid gives his attention.

Posted by Simon Kershaw at Wednesday, 17 May 2017 at 1:33pm BST

I must say I have found the hair-trigger responses from people on this thread I do not know surprising.

1. You will search in vain for any direct comment on Jesmond. I happen to share the view of my colleague Andrew Goddard who has written publically. My conservative colleagues opposed Jesmond like actions in the US.
2. Bishop Innes presided at my induction in the Diocese of Europe at my request and also because he was soon to shift his area of attention from Italy/Malta to France.
3. I attended the last Synod meeting at which Bishop David presided as Bishop, in Brittany, and one sensed a mixture of feelings about that but everything cordial and Christianly handled.
4. I have the sense that some who have jumped in here do not actually have a good sense of arrangements in Diocese in Europe, and for some reason took my anodyne comments seeking to keep the peace as some kind of provocation for personal choosing of one's favorite Bishop. I fear that subtlety is the first casuality when people's feelings are strong.
5. I have taught ecclesiology (for my sins), and was in attendance at the session on the polity of the CofE in Europe in 2016. One thing I do know about anglican polity is that tensions are inherent in it, and if one wants something else there is balck-letter canon law to opt for.

I believe the Diocese in Europe has its hands full and does a remarkable job across a vast territory and with limited funds and personnel. My prayers for both Bishops are at the top of my to-do list.

Easter season good wishes.

Posted by crs at Wednesday, 17 May 2017 at 4:24pm BST

The tangent about the Diocese in Europe seems to have taken on a life of its own, so maybe I could make a small point. Catholic theology sees the priest presiding at the eucharist as the Bishop's delegate, and hence (I believe) in the Canon of the Mass the diocesan bishop's name is always included. Some Anglicans have adopted this practice, ensuring that the bishop's name is mentioned in the intercessions if not in the eucharistic prayer. However, even in many anglo-catholic parishes, this isn't a universal practice and it is often a bit hit and miss (and depends on the leader of the prayers who might not be entirely clued up on ecclesiology) whether the bishop gets a mention, or whether the suffragan/area bishop takes priority or not. One might expect Malta cathedral to be a bit more particular about this than the average parish, but I don't think the omission of Bishop Robert's name can be made too much of.

Posted by David Emmott at Wednesday, 17 May 2017 at 5:35pm BST

An earlier thread on the Jesmond debacle has morphed into a discussion about the history of the American churches, and this one seems to be morphing into a discussion about the polity of the Diocese of Europe.

There seems to be fundamental disagreement between crs, Paul Tomkins and other posters about the way the DiE works, and I do not know which interpretation is correct. However, from what has been said, it does sound as if +Hamid has some sort of devolved responsibility for Malta and Italy, with the gracious permission of +Innes, whether or not it has been formalised as an area system. In which case it does not seem to me too unreasonable to refer to +Hamid as 'our bishop', although I agree with Paul that the Ordinary should have been prayed for as well.

I have considerable experience of devious Anglo-Catholic machinations, as I was a member of an Anglo-Catholic parish in 1992 and thereafter, when women first became priests in the CofE. As soon as The Act of Synod became law, a resolution was passed (against my wishes) requesting 'extended episcopal care', and this was duly granted in the form of +Fulham, John Klyberg. Thereafter we initially began to pray for John our bishop (and no-one else). Some of us, who were not in thrall to the tribal FiF faction or its leader, protested that this was not right and that we should be praying for our Ordinary. The best compromise we managed was that we prayed for 'Michael, Bp of Rochester and John our bishop'. It is ironic in the extreme that that same +Michael (Nazir-Ali) is now one of the main instigators of the secessionist GAFCON/AMiE bodies, at the very opposite end of the churchmanship spectrum!

Returning to the original subject of this thread, whilst I agree that the reported action in Malta was at least a bit naughty, it is several orders of magnitude less serious than what has been done at Jesmond.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Wednesday, 17 May 2017 at 7:19pm BST

Adam Armstrong, I apologise for taking your sarcasm seriously. It isn't always easy to recognise irony and sarcasm in the printed word. Personally I would agree that ordination confers a grace suitable for the office. I found the tour by experience at a time when my theology told me otherwise - isn't it good when the Holy Spirit proves bigger than one's theology? However I would not view grace and sacrament as synonyms, grace being a much wider and inclusive thing (thank God). Our Articles do state that the Church of England has but two sacraments, baptism and holy communion. That's our official position, though I'm aware that the more catholic wing of the church do not hold to it. And indeed there can't be many people who agree to every item in all our formularies, though we give general assent to all of them.

But my main point was that we should try to avoid reading into the actions of people from one churchmanship, the motives that might have prompted the same actions had they been performed by someone from a different churchmanship (a point which also applies to the whole Malta argument on this thread).

People of the Reformed persuasion generally see ordination as functional rather than ontological. Jesmond seem to think that ordaining Jonathan Pryke as a bishop will increase their opportunities to spread the gospel, but they certainly won't see it as conferring magical properties on him. They probably won't even see it as conferring a special grace on him, simply as a means to an end. I disagree with them that the consecration will be good for the wider Church, and I'm glad to see some of their Reformed colleagues also disagree with them. The fringes do tend to be fissiparous, and here they are conforming to habit.

Posted by Janet Fife at Thursday, 18 May 2017 at 11:52am BST

Dear Janet: I do understand your viewpoint as consistent with one held by many evangelical Anglicans. My point was that making Pryke a bishop has an unfortunate tinge of wanting his "episcopal powers" so that certain tasks can be performed outside the norms of the C of E. To be more crass, his task is to ordain more like-minded clergy in the Jesmond mood. He is to "beget" as a sort of ecclesiastical stud animal a new line of clergy. The poor theology behind this is that clergy, i.e. Priests are not churned out of some kind of factory. Their ministry is dependent on the whole Church, since they are not ordained for any one place or for a single purpose. I used the word "magic", since the theology behind using episcopacy to populate the church, or at least part of it, with Jepson clones is an abuse of of Ordination, sacrament or not.

Posted by Adam Armstrong at Thursday, 18 May 2017 at 2:42pm BST

As someone once said to me, Evangelicals may not believe in bishops, but they certainly have no doubts about the power bishops possess.

Posted by Garry Lovatt at Monday, 22 May 2017 at 3:26am BST
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