Wednesday, 9 June 2004

DEF speaks

Today the St Albans Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship issued the statement reproduced below and the Diocesan Bishop issued a reply. To put this in context, the DEF previously issued two other statements, first this one and then this one.

DEF Statement
9th June 2004
10am for immediate release

St. Albans’ parishes prepare action plan.

An open meeting convened yesterday in St. Albans diocese considered a range of issues arising from the Diocesan Bishop’s support for the appointment of the new Dean of the Cathedral.

Over 70 clergy and laity were present and 17 others had sent indications of support. Thirty-seven parishes were represented.

Having received reports from a number of members who had recently met with the Bishop, considerable concern was expressed and in particular the following issues were discussed.

1. That the Bishop’s action has caused a breakdown of trust and divided the Diocese impinging upon the desire of the Bishop to be seen as a focus of unity.

2. The possibility of seeking alternative Episcopal oversight.

3. The ability of parishes to pay parish share (quota) in the light of lay giving being redirected and members leaving the Church of England.

Reports were received of PCCs considering withholding or suspending parish share commitments.

There was agreement that the grace and glory of the gospel of Christ is being undermined by the issues underlying this appointment.

The Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship, which convened the meeting, was asked to take appropriate action to pursue the matters raised and to work with other evangelical organisations not least to reaffirm the traditional Christian teaching on marriage.

For further information, please contact:
Revd Canon Nick Bell, Vicar of St Mary’s Parish Church, Luton
Tel: 01582 721867, Email:
Canon Mr Philip Lovegrove, OBE, Chairman of the St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance
Tel: 0207 448 4754, Home: 01462 481880, Email:

Bishop’s response
Response by the Bishop of St Albans to the press statement entitled ‘St. Albans’ parishes prepare action plan’ issued on June 9th

The Bishop of St Albans has noted the press release, dated 9th June, issued by the Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship. As that press release has made clear, the Bishop has already met members of the DEF, collectively and individually. He continues to leave the door open and welcomes the opportunity for further dialogue to take place.

What is needed, however, is not simply a conversation between groups and the Diocesan Bishop but also conversations between clergy and laity in the diocese who hold, in sincerity, views about the appointment which differ one from another. Real dialogue is based upon respect and takes place best in an atmosphere of prayerful reflection and mutual charity.

Contact. Capt A Crooks, Bishop’s press officer. 01727 853305

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 9 June 2004 at 2:37 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: St Albans