Three evangelical bodies in the Church of England have sent a letter of greeting to Bishop Donald Harvey and letters in support of St John’s Shaughnessy.
The Venerable Michael Lawson writes as Chairman of the Church of England Evangelical Council and on their behalf. The letter says the CEEC are deeply conscious that the bishop is a genuine and authentic part of the Anglican Communion, and equally that he offers orthodox ministry. He is, says the letter, facing an atrocious ordeal.
The Steering Group of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in UK and Ireland which includes Bishop Michael Nazir Ali of Rochester and Canon Dr Chris Sugden and Mrs Sarah Finch, both members of General Synod have written to St John’s expressing wholehearted support in this time of great difficulty and shock and sadness that such an action be taken against them at St John’s.
The FoCA letter says they have grave concerns regarding the diocese of New Westminster’s departure from orthodox Christian teaching - which is held by the majority of the Anglican communion.
Dr Philip Giddings, Convenor, Canon Dr Chris Sugden (again), Executive Secretary and Bishop Wallace Benn of Lewes, Trustee wrote to St John’s Shaughnessy on behalf of Anglican Mainstream’s Steering Committee.
They say they recognize in St John’s the marks of authentic Anglican identity, faith and practice and send a message of solidarity, encouragement and support in prayer as the parish enters the judicial process to enable them to continue to use the property and resources that God has entrusted to them in the service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the good of all the people of Vancouver.
There is a challenge in the letters to those who think they are the true members of the Anglican Communion, starting at the top with the Archbishop of Canterbury, including the majority of bishops and parishes in the UK, the majority of Provinces in the Anglican Communion and filtering down to all those LGBT people and supportive heterosexuals who believe they are thoroughly orthodox, genuine, authentic and serving the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The implication is that supporters of Changing Attitude and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Anglicans who reject Lambeth 1.10 and the moratoria on ordinations and blessings are not orthodox or genuine. That is an arrogant implication.
The bishops and General Synod members who have signed are themselves undermining the Windsor Report and the moratoria on cross-provincial interventions.
The three groups are writing in support of a bishop and parish acting in defiance of their own diocesan bishop who is in good standing with his own Province and within the Anglican Communion. Unlike many of the Global South bishops, Bishop Michael Ingham attended the Lambeth conference and has been unwaveringly faithful.
The launch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans on July 6 in London is the next step in a carefully planned strategy to introduce schism to the United Kingdom.
Almost certainly some of those signing these letters wish to see schismatic bishops in England leading schismatic parishes, and all because LGBT Anglicans in the UK want their loving relationships to be affirmed by the church.
Numbers are always important for these people. They claim that those attending Gafcon 2008 represented some 40 million Anglicans world-wide, 70% of the total active membership of 55 million.
Well, this is another grandiose, arrogant claim. If all that they claim is true, then they will eventually replace the present Anglican Communion with their new FoCA model. Time will tell.