A busy weekend for Canadian Anglicans

I’ve been rather busy this weekend blogging the goings-on in Anglicanism here in Canada, to wit, seven churches leaving the Anglican Church of Canada. For details, go here – the short short version is as follows:

Seven Anglican congregations voted this weekend to accept the episcopal oversight of Bishop Donald Harvey, Moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada, under the Primatial authority of Archbishop Gregory Venables and the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. Most churches accepted this option with decisive majorities.

What this means is that these congregations are requesting spiritual care from and will come under the authority of Bishop Harvey and Archbishop Venables, rather than their former Anglican Church in Canada diocese and bishop who are walking away from established Christian teaching and globally recognized Anglican doctrine.

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15 Responses to A busy weekend for Canadian Anglicans

  1. Jim says:

    Peter
    The Archdeacon of British Columbia has released a letter seeking to explain the actions of the weekend. It’s on the diocesan Intranet system. Is there a way to send it to you?
    One significant comment in his letter is
    our fundamental concern is the pastoral care of those Anglicans in the parish of St. Mary’s who wish to continue under the leadership of the Bishop of British Columbia
    (ed. all 14 of them?)

  2. white rabbit says:

    I would bet an ice cream cone to the southern cone that very few of the members of the seven churches that voted to leave know the first thing about +Harvey and his Avignon. And now that they have left will the homosexual agenda in Canada stop? Will the abortion clinics close, will the strip bars close, will the shops close on Sunday and will divorce be no more and will women priests learn to speak proper English and will multiculturism go away? All that Short and Ingham have accomplished is to make the Anglican Church look even more ridiculous than before.
    The Anglican Church was around long before the present clods rose to power and will be around long after they have gone to their just rewards. They can scatter the flock all they want but God has always had a remnant to keep it going. Their attempt to kill Jesus was a flop and their attempt to kill his church will be another flop.

  3. white rabbit says:

    Jim,Click on the edit button and then click on copy after choosing the part of the letter you wish to copy and then return to this discussion groups Comment: and hit the paste and we can all read it. Thanks

  4. Jim says:

    I had that part figured out (seee my post above)
    It’s a 2-page letter which I was going to forward, and let you determine how to post it.

    Here’s the letter:

    Good Morning:

    I am writing to inform you of recent events relating to the parish of St. Mary of the Incarnation, Metchosin.

    It became apparent last week that a motion to accept an offer of episcopal oversight from the Network and the Province of the Southern Cone of the Americas would be presented to a Special Vestry of the parish on February 17, 2008. On behalf of the Bishop of British Columbia and as his commissary I sought assurances from the clergy and wardens that they would act in accordance with the Bishop’s Letter of January 30, 2008, which required that such motions be ruled out of order. When such assurances were not forthcoming, and on the basis of other actions, I was obliged late on Friday to begin disciplinary action against Archdeacon Sharon Hayton and the Rev. Andrew Hewlett under Canons of the General and Provincial Synods. As part of these disciplinary proceedings I inhibited both from the exercise of ordained ministry. I also required them to refrain from contact with members of the parish, and prohibited them from entering parish property.

    On Sunday, February 18, 2008 I sought to ensure the interests and authority of the Bishop and Diocese of British Columbia in the parish by appointing myself priest-in-charge. I presided at one service on Sunday morning in the parish and arranged for a distinguished retired priest to lead a second. At the two services I informed the congregations of the disciplinary proceedings against the clergy and the fact that they were inhibited. I attended the parish’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) which took place after the second service. John Moran, Diocesan Finance Officer and Constance Isherwood, Diocesan Chancellor, were also present.

    I intended to chair the Special Vestry, which was to take place immediately after the AGM, but the lay leadership of the parish challenged my right as commissary to act as priest-in-charge, and arranged for the Special Vestry Meeting to take place elsewhere in a non-Anglican church; it was made very clear to me that I would not be allowed to be present or to speak, nor would any other representative of the Diocese. Having defied the jurisdiction of the Bishop of British Columbia, the meeting then proceeded to illegally pass a motion to seek the episcopal oversight of Don Harvey, the Anglican Network, and the Church of the Province of the Southern Cone of the Americas.

    The ordained and lay leadership have no canonical or legal grounds on which to proceed as they did, for:
    + a parish has no legal existence except as part of the Diocese;
    + parishes are created, merged, and dissolved by the Bishop and Diocesan Council;
    + the ministry of clergy in parishes belongs first to the bishop, and clergy are appointed and licensed by the Bishop to act on his behalf;
    + at their ordinations clergy promise to obey their bishop, and when appointed to a parish they swear oaths of obedience;
    + the wardens are appointed and elected according to the diocesan canons and regulations, and they are required to declare that they are bound by those canons and regulations; and
    + the parish property is registered in the name of the Synod of the Diocese;.

    It needs to be stressed here that the fundamental theological issue here is not one of human sexuality but of church order. The clergy and church wardens are in breach of the trust that has been given them by the Bishop and under the canons of this Diocese. Individuals always have the right to affiliate or disaffiliate to whatever religious organization they choose, but when people join a parish within this Diocese they bind themselves to be governed by the authority of the Bishop and the rules passed by synod and diocesan council.

    I will be taking counsel with the other Archdeacons and the Dean, as well as with the Chancellor and Diocesan Finance Officer, as to the next steps.

    Please know that our fundamental concern is the pastoral care of those Anglicans in the parish of St. Mary’s who wish to continue under the leadership of the Bishop of British Columbia, as part of the Diocese and the Anglican Church of Canada and through them with the worldwide Anglican Communion.

    I know that some people will be distressed by the actions taken. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to express your concerns; I would be pleased to meet with any of you to discuss the situation.

    Because of the nature of the situation, I request that public statements be made only by me or by those designated to speak for me. Feel free to distribute the information within this e-mail as you see fit. I will be contacting the media to inform them of the situation.

    Finally, I thank those of you who have contacted me with expressions of support, and for those of you who have been praying for me. This has been a stressful and distressing time for all concerned. Please pray for all involved, that God’s will may be done and be seen to be done.

    Yours in Christ,

    Bruce +

    The Ven. D. Bruce Bryant-Scott
    Commissary to the Bishop
    Diocesan Executive Officer & Diocesan Archdeacon
    The Anglican Synod of the Diocese of B. C.
    900 Vancouver Street
    Victoria, B. C. V8V 3V7
    Tel. (250) 386-7781 ext. 108
    1-800-582-8627 ext. 108
    Fax (250) 386-4013

  5. Peter says:

    Thank you again for the info Jim – much appreciated.

    Hello white rabbit, I think you and I will have to disagree on this one. None of those things will happen, like you say, but that doesn’t make this action wrong. Looking internationally, I’d say there are two Anglican churches now, or two religions in one church. I think the true Anglican, or more importantly Christian, ethos and faith is encapsulated in the Network at an institutional level.

    Perhaps this will be resolved in good time – but I do note that there were Arian and Christian churches and juristictions running in parallel for quite some time before all was sorted out. What we do know, all these messes notwithstanding, in that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church. The institutional body of Anglicanism as presently constructed, that is another matter.

  6. Warren says:

    The Anglican Church was around long before the present clods rose to power and will be around long after they have gone to their just rewards.

    I can imagine a proud Roman citizen saying something similar. I have no idea how long the Anglican church will be around, but I know that the gates of hell will not prevail against the true Church (which is made up of far more than just Anglicans).

  7. white rabbit says:

    Thanks Jim for the read. i agree with the bishop that order must prevail but as the angels under Lucifer discovered too late, one only follows ones leader if that leader is in compliance with God.
    Yes Warren, a proud Roman would say that and 2,000 years later the Roman dioces, infiltrated as it is, is still standing.
    Peter, we both agree that the church will always be around but in these perilous times the great falling away (2nd Thess 2:3)seems to be taking place and of course there is always the example of the Church of Ladociea which Jesus Christ himself spews out of his mouth. With the seeming collapse (orchestrated?) of the assorted churches and with the American and European political leadership which is less and less European or Christian planting a Muslim colony (Kosovo) in Europe one can only wonder where we are in the prophetic countdown to the end.

  8. Warren says:

    I didn’t realize that Roman dioces [sic] had citizens.

  9. white rabbit says:

    I am quite certain that a believer in a Roman diocese is a citizen of both heaven and earth.
    Anyway, my Catholic Insight and Rome Watch International both arrived this morning. Rome Watch is thinking that Ian Paisley is a Roman mole which makes me wonder about Ingham and the dissidents. On the other hand Catholic Insight writes, “The most telling verdict on Michael Ingham and his friends is that their post-Christian dance is irrelevant.” The author of the piece goes on to describe him as “silly and dangerous” while cautioning his own people to watch out for equally pretentious people in the Roman Church.
    I am so happy to be a member of a serious church in this flippant age that I’ll double my contribution this Sunday. Now that’s sic.
    Cheers..

  10. Jim says:

    A further letter was released today from the diocesan office, dated
    Feb 21, 2008:

    Good afternoon:

    I am writing you to update you of the latest developments regarding the Parish of St. Mary of the Incarnation, Metchosin.

    Accompanied by the Diocesan Finance Officer and the Chancellor, I met yesterday with the Venerable Sharon Hayton and the Reverend Andrew Hewlett, who were represented by legal counsel. While prepared to continue the disciplinary action against Archdeacon Hayton and Mr. Hewlett, I used the opportunity of meeting with them to discuss non-disciplinary alternatives to resolve the issue of their status in the diocese.

    They have asked for, and I agreed to, a twelve day period of grace in order to consult with others. During this time I will not take any further disciplinary action against them, or use their actions during the twelve days as further grounds for action against them. You will recall that the inhibition required that they not contact members of the parish, but during this period I will not take notice if they do. They have stated their desire to lead worship during this time, and, again, I will not take notice if they do. Strictly speaking, the inhibition is in force but is “suspended” for the twelve days, and the charges are still pending.

    As part of the agreement the Diocese will not interfere during this time with the use of the church buildings by the Metchosin Network Group, but the Diocese does not concede any rights or title to assets.

    This agreement was undertaken in good faith, and any sign of bad faith on either side nullifies it.

    The purpose of this time is to allow both sides to move from defending positions to considering interests, from emotional reaction to reasoned discussion, and to explore a variety of options to resolve the issues. It is incumbent upon us as Christians to seek peaceful resolutions to these kinds of conflicts, if at all possible.

    In the meantime I will be meeting this evening with parishioners of St. Mary’s who wish to remain faithful to the doctrine and discipline of the church as received by our Bishop, Diocese, and the Anglican Church of Canada. The meeting will be focussed on the provision of worship and pastoral care. The Rev. Dolly Beaumont, a retired deacon living in Sooke who used to work at St. Mary’s, has offered to assist in pastoral care, and I have accepted that offer.

    I believe that those who voted last Sunday to accept the offer of alternate episcopal oversight of Don Harvey and the Network have voluntarily removed themselves as individuals from the jurisdiction of the Bishop and Synod of the Diocese of British Columbia. For that reason throughout this e-mail I have referred to them as the “Metchosin Network Group,” and not as the “Parish of St. Mary of the Incarnation.”

    I know that some of you will be dismayed that we have not taken a more assertive approach to these issue. It is important to note that the Diocese has not actually conceded anything. We still hold title to the land, buildings, and their contents. The clergy still have disciplinary action proceeding against them, and the inhibition will be back in full force in a short period of time if a resolution is not found promptly. The option of a “hardline” remains.

    If any of you have any concerns or comments about any of this, please let me know. I thank all of you who have offered your support and prayers for me in this very challenging and stressful time. Please continue in prayer for all concerned, especially Sharon, Andrew, and their families. May the Holy Spirit guide us all as we seek to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed.

    Yours in Christ,

    Bruce +

    The Ven. D. Bruce Bryant-Scott
    Commissary to the Bishop
    Diocesan Executive Officer & Diocesan Archdeacon
    The Anglican Synod of the Diocese of B. C.
    900 Vancouver Street
    Victoria, B. C. V8V 3V7
    Tel. (250) 386-7781 ext. 108
    1-800-582-8627 ext. 108
    Fax (250) 386-4013

  11. Peter says:

    Thank you Jim.

  12. Jim says:

    Tnaks, Peter, although I’m not sure I need the notoriety.

  13. Peter says:

    I tell you what, I’ll keep your name out of it should there be more correspondance! (you can always email me if need be).

  14. Peter says:

    I made a little change to the post as well….

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