Friday, February 29, 2008

SIN, Morning Prayer, and Modern Anglicans

A meditation by Peter Toon for all who are sinners, even on this unique day, February 29

One surprising fact about the New Anglicans, that is, those who having left The Episcopal Church and are joined to African dioceses/provinces, is that they are “easy come easy go” about Morning Prayer, and, in general, do not use Evening Prayer. They are very much “Holy Eucharist” centered for the Lord’s Day, and on other days, usually have services that are of the same kind as evangelical and charismatic congregations, not in the Anglican Way.

By not participating as a godly habit and discipline in Morning and Evening Prayer—in church or at home—the New Anglicans (as well as the Old Episcopalians) miss much, from the systematic reading of the Old and New Testaments to the praying of the Psalter, Collects and Canticles.

Here I want only to point out that what is also missed in not saying the Daily Offices is the daily reminder of the nature of human sin, so that it is confessed aright and repented of by the worshippers. It is good to remember that a very important doctrine assumed in the classic Book of Common Prayer is this: truly to confess our sins is genuinely to praise God. Why? Because in acknowledging and turning away from our sins before God, we recognize not only his holy wrath and judgment against sin, but also his mercy and compassion in the forgiving and cleansing of sin.

Today, with the general emphasis on “celebration” and a general dumbing -down of the horrendous nature of sin, too many of us see confession of sin as something to get over with quickly in order to enter into the real thing: “celebration.” In doing so we fail to see that true celebration begins with real confession!

What is sin according to the General Confession

After the call by God to his elect to meet with him (via the Scripture sentences), Morning and Evening Prayer proceed with a message for the assembled people concerning the purpose of their coming together. They are to confess their sins, offer thanks and praise, to hear God’s Holy Word, and to offer petitions.

Confession is offered to God through “The General Confession.” After addressing and identifying God as the almighty and most merciful Father (of the Lord Jesus and baptized Christians), this Prayer allows the assembled people to make a thorough confession of their sin. Here are the words of the Prayer:
  • We have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep
  • We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts
  • We have offended against thy holy laws
  • We have left undone those things which we ought to have done
  • We have done those things which ought not to have done
  • Thus there is no health in us.

Here we certainly have a comprehensive description of our human sinfulness and each of us, through self-examination and in the light of the written Word of God, have much to confess in each and every category.

  • We have not continually remained on the narrow way that leads to everlasting life and we have not stayed content and engaged on the highway of holiness. We have gone off on to other ways and roads which do not lead to the living God.
  • We have too often followed the deceitfulness and covetousness of our hearts, instead of being guided always by the clear teaching of the Lord Jesus.
  • We have broken God’s holy commandments.
  • We have failed to do that which by God’s law we ought to have done—sins of commission.
  • We have done that which by God’s law we ought not to have done—sins of omission.
In and of ourselves, and by ourselves, we cannot begin to save ourselves: we need God’s mercy.
In the light of all this everyone who confesses is “a miserable offender” who looks to the grace of the Father through the Incarnate Son by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit for forgiveness, cleansing and everlasting life. Happily the service continues with the Absolution.

Sin and the contemporary Eucharist

Whether one attends the modern R.C. Mass, a liberal or evangelical/charismatic Anglican Eucharist, or a Lutheran/Methodist Eucharist, what one cannot miss is the emphasis on the horizontal and sharing, and of a community meal, with only a minimal emphasis on the vertical, transcendental, and offering to the high and majestic God. This contrasts greatly with both the older R.C. Mass as a propitiatory offering to the Father in heaven, and on the classic Anglican Order for Holy Communion as an offering of sanctified lives, with praise and thanksgiving, to the Father through the Son to feast at his Messianic Banquet.

And, with relation to sin, the uncovering of it and the need for its forgiveness and cleansing, in those who would receive the sacramental body and blood of the crucified and now exalted Jesus, is made very clear in the traditional Anglican Service. That is, one communicates in both fear and trembling and also with joy unspeakable.

Sin and contemporary Anglican Movements

How one evaluates sin before God not only affects Daily Prayer and Sunday Eucharist but also Anglican polity and business. This is a big subject and one can only touch on it here. However one can state, as a general rule, that the view of sin that characterizes much of recent Liturgy (from 1970s onwards) leads to a different approach to ministry, evangelization, and church politics than does the view of sin within the classic Formularies (BCP, Articles and Ordinal) of the Anglican Way. To give one example: the traditional view of sin, and of the depravity of the human heart/soul, causes one to be very careful in following the motions and inspirations of one’s heart. In seeking guidance over complex modern Anglican questions, that are filled with emotion and conflict, one does not simply trust one’s own bright ideas and disclosures: rather, one carefully examines them in a large context before following them, if at all.

Then in decisions by congregations or parts thereof, by dioceses and varied groups to take this or that side, this or that action, within the present Anglican crisis, the weight given to human sinfulness and how much to trust human nature, even when speaking charismatically and reasonably, will often determine what decision is actually made!

A very clear example of how a novel doctrine of sin leads to innovations in church doctrine and morals is provided by The Episcopal Church itself. When sin is moved to the category of the suppose evils caused by political, economic, social and educational policies, and from that of the failures and depravity of the person and the group, then the world is seen, and salvation is described, in ways that accord with liberal progressive ideologies. The Faith is thereby changed and this begins at the very beginning with the “Baptismal Covenant” so treasured by the present Presiding Bishop.

A less clear (because many of us are within it), but real, example would be the way in which a contemporary dumbed-down doctrine of sin (inherited primarily from the 1979 Episcopal Prayer Book and modern popular Evangelicalism) has affected the way in which the New Anglicans have expressed and conducted themselves from before their secession from TEC right through into association with African Provinces. Many in this movement have paid little attention to what may be called the arguments from the classic Anglican Tradition about Anglican Polity and Procedure and, as it were, casting aside the wisdom of the centuries, and following the common way of American secession, they have followed primarily their own modern “hearts” in the interpretation of the Bible. Thus, for example, godly patience and prudential judgment seem to have been severely lacking from Anglican “orthodox” ranks for some time now.


Only One was not a sinner and had no sin—the Lord Jesus Christ. And he alone is the only Savior of sinners, and the One Mediator between God and man. In this knowledge, we ought to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness and not seek to dissemble or cloak them before the face of almighty God our heavenly Father.


The Revd Dr Peter Toon Feb 29, 2008 Lent III

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Anglican Identity in 2008

On the Importance of Primary Metaphors in Stating and Forming Anglican Identity

Within those who call themselves “orthodox Anglicans,” sharing a common commitment to basic dogma and ethics, and who believe that The Episcopal Church has gone off track and is heading into apostasy, there are differences of opinion, leading to distinct schools of thought and forms of action, which in some cases leads to some hostility.

I want to suggest that each of these schools of thought is held together by one or more basic and powerful metaphors; and around this metaphor there is what cognitive scientists call “frames” – that is mental frames, which govern the way one sees, understands, communicates and acts. A common American way of referring to the presence of a “frame” is “mindset.” (How “frames” are created and how they are changed is not under consideration here, simply the fact of their existence not only in religious faith and affiliation but also and especially in political ideology and affiliation.)

Here are what appear to be the dominant (but not the only) metaphors guiding the individual “orthodox” Anglican groups.


Let us start with the first major secession from The Episcopal Church [TEC] in living memory. Those who exited in 1977 were united in their determination TO CONTINUE what they believed was the true and authentic religion of TEC, the religion that was being abandoned through major changes to such central things as Liturgy, Marriage, and Ordination. To this day their successors desire to be called “The Continuing Church” because, though sadly divided into sub-groups, they really believe that they have preserved and are continuing the real Anglicanism of the original TEC—thus they use the classic Prayer Book, have strict canons on remarriage after divorce, and have no female clergy etc. The major metaphor is CONTINUING – continuing the true faith – and without this Metaphor their identity would be in question in their own ranks. From this metaphor, they derive strength and determination to stand where they stand despite all problems; and it has a great influence on how they see not only TEC and the See of Canterbury, but also the seceders from TEC who followed them twenty or more years later, and are now in competition with them.

Existing for Mission

Well before the crisis caused by the election and consecration of Gene Robinson, and without reference to sexual innovations within TEC, the AMIA (the Anglican Mission in America) was founded with the consecration of Chuck Murphy and John Rodgers by the Archbishops of S E Asia and of Rwanda. The vocation of these two Bishops and those who joined them was to take the Gospel to the thousands of Americans who had never either heard it or received it. This movement came into being to be a means of evangelism, mission, outreach and church-planting in the Americas, and it works not through dioceses but networks and is now a missionary arm of the Province of Rwanda. It exists to propagate the Gospel and thus to grow; to reap the ripe harvest that exists in the Americas. So EXISTING FOR MISSION is the dominant metaphor and decisions of all kinds are made within this controlling idea and intent.

Staying in the Communion

With members both within and without The Episcopal Church, that which calls itself The Anglican Communion Network is united in two basic themes:-- first, opposition to the very recent innovations and developments in TEC; and secondly, a determination to stay within the Anglican Communion even when all links with TEC are severed. In practice, this approach has led to a forging of ties first with various African Provinces and then also with the Province of the Southern Cone of S.A. Further, this commitment to staying in the Anglican Communion via this connection has meant a change in the way in which “Staying in the Communion” is being understood by leaders of ACN. It is no longer defined as requiring being in communion with the See of Canterbury but, following the lead of African Provinces, it dispenses with Canterbury altogether. Instead the Anglican Communion is said to consist in being in communion with those Provinces, which are deemed to be orthodox, and which also support the June Conference in Jerusalem known as GAFCON. So what began a few years ago as a determination to be in the Global Anglican Communion, through acceptance by African Provinces, is now reduced in scope to being in communion basically with the Provinces known as the Global South.

Comprehensiveness has given way to narrowness but the dominant metaphor, STAYING IN THE COMMUNION, is still in place. What this group fears is becoming like the Continuing Churches of 1977 vintage and not being in the official Anglican Communion at all.

Sharing a precious inheritance

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America [CANA] is an extension of the large Anglican Church of Nigeria into the United States. It began solely as a mission for Nigerians, living in the U.S.A., who desired to retain the faith and worship of their home churches rather than those of TEC. But under Archbishop Peter Akinola, and in the crisis of American Anglicanism, CANA became much more – a planting in and sharing of Nigeria’s strong evangelical, biblical form of Anglican worship and mission with the U.S.A., where TEC was judged to be opposed to such ethos and commitment. So quickly CANA acquired bishops and, while ministering to its original Nigerian membership, it is now creating a fast-growing national organization of churches and congregations. The Nigerian Church shares her faith with the people in CANA, and these people in turn share with fellow Americans, and at the same time congregations from TEC and elsewhere also apply to join in this SHARING.

Participation in the Process

All the groups considered above do not regard attendance by invited Bishops to the Lambeth Conference as a moral, or even important, duty. Yet, in contrast, there are those within TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada who seek to be orthodox, but are also committed to the (long) process of reform and renewal begun by the publication of The Windsor Report of 2004 and the implementation of its recommendations. This means taking most seriously the presence and work of the “instruments of unity” of the Global Anglican Communion (i.e., The See of Canterbury, Lambeth Conference, Anglican Consultative Council and Primates’ Meeting) and working to create an Anglican Covenant, as a means to bind provinces together in true worship, faith and morals and to provide for internal discipline where needed. Such participation requires much patience and a willingness to persevere and be as tolerant as possible in negotiation and dialogue. In general, those of this persuasion will not attend GAFCON because they see it as taking away from the importance of the Lambeth Conference a month later. Further, they stand by the present Incumbent of the See of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, even if they fault him for his leadership, for in their estimation the See of Canterbury is necessary for Anglican identity and continuity.


Practically, those who are “Continuing” have little to do with those involved in “Mission,” “Staying in Communion,” “Sharing the precious inheritance,” and “Participating in the Process.” There is some rivalry between those in “Mission” and those “Sharing the precious inheritance;” and there is some hostility between the latter two and “Participating in the Process” because of the motions created by the setting up of GAFCON and the open criticism of the Archbishop of Canterbury by the GAFCON organizers.

Let us be clear that all these groups work with the same Holy Bible, the same inherited Anglican Formularies, and many of the same traditions of worship, doctrine and devotion. However, due to various important factors and reasons in their own situations, they present their Anglican Faith and its implications in different ways with differing priorities and emphases. The dominating metaphor in each case is important for its sheds light on what essentially they are all about, what it is that they think they are doing, and what is their “frame.” It does not give the means to evaluate one over against the other in the light of the divine purpose.

Dr Peter Toon February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Sunday with so many Names—March 2, 2008

Let us reflect upon the Sunday which this year has the date March 2, for it is much undervalued and often misunderstood.

No other Sunday in the Christian Year has been given so many names or titles as the Fourth or Middle Sunday in Lent, the period of forty days from Ash Wednesday to Easter. These names provide a window into the liturgy, doctrine and spiritual discipline—as well as the social customs—of western Christian civilization in days past.

As the western Church used Latin throughout the medieval period, let us begin with the Latin name, Laetare Sunday, which is taken from the Introit sung by the choir at the beginning of Mass on this Sunday, Laetare Jerusalem, “Rejoice, O Jerusalem.” This introit is from Isaiah 54 which is cited in the Epistle of the Mass for the Day, Galatians 4:21ff.

Certain relaxations from the strict discipline of Lent were allowed on this fourth Sunday, of which the most obvious a long time ago were the placing of flowers on the altar, and of the playing of the organ at Mass and Vespers. Rose-colored vestments were allowed instead of purple, and the deacon and subdeacon wore dalmatics, instead of folded chasubles, as on the other Sundays of Lent. So the name Rose Sunday, suggesting the theme of controlled joy for this day, was used.

Arising from the Gospel sung at Mass, which is the account of the feeding by Jesus of the five thousand (John 6), the Sunday has also been called, Refreshment Sunday. So it is not surprising that there arose in England a special food delicacy to eat on this day of relaxed discipline; and this traditionally was Simnel Cake. [This is a rich fruit cake with a layer of almond paste on top and also in the middle. The cake is made with 11 balls of marzipan (a confection made of ground almonds or almond paste, egg whites and sugar, often molded into decorative shapes) icing on top representing the 11 disciples (Judas is not included). The cake was boiled in water, then baked. The Lenten fast dictated that the simnel cake be kept until Easter. The word Simnel is said to have been derived from the Latin word "simila" which means a fine wheat flour mainly used for baking a cake. There is also an interesting legend associated with the use of the word Simnel. It says that once a man called Simon and his wife Nell had an argument over whether the Mothering Sunday cake should be baked or boiled. Ultimately, they did both. So the cake came be to named after both of them and was called, SIM-NELL. ]

In the Church of England it has been a common practice for a long time to call this day. Mothering Sunday. And there are two explanations for this name. First, it was the custom for people to go to the “Mother Church” of their area—the Cathedral or Abbey—on this day and for families to meet up there. Servants were usually released on this day from duties to be able to do this. Often flowers were picked and taken to be given to mothers at the reunion of families. They went “a mothering.” Secondly, in the Epistle for the Day, Galatians 4:21ff. there is found the sentence: “The Jerusalem which is above is free and she is our mother.” So this day, in theological terms, is the celebration of the Church, whose true center is in heaven where the Lord Jesus is, and She (the Bride of Christ) is the mother of all baptized believers. For from her they hear the Word; by her they are baptized and nurtured; from her they receive the Holy Communion; by her they are married and by her they are buried, and sent off to the heavenly Jerusalem.

Regrettably, in the UK Mothering Sunday has been secularized into Mothers’ Day. while in the USA the official, national Mothers’ Day occurs on the Second Sunday in May, allowing churches—if they are orthodox— on March 18 to celebrate the Church as the Bride of Christ and the Mother of the faithful, while not forgetting God the Father. For you cannot have Almighty God as your Father unless the Church is first your Mother!

The Book of Common Prayer (1662 & 1928 USA & 1962 Canada) has both the traditional Epistle (Galatians 4) and Gospel (John 6) as the Lessons for Holy Communion for the fourth Sunday in Lent.

Theological Reflection

The Jerusalem that is above, that is the Lord Jesus Christ and his redeemed people of the new covenant in heaven in an everlasting ordered society and reality, is free – that is, free from all forms of bondage due to sin, the law of Moses, the weakness of the flesh, the conditions of space and time and any other possible means of restriction and constriction. And thus free to love, serve, adore and worship the Holy Trinity.

Further, this heavenly Jerusalem, this perfection of the Church as a fully redeemed, sanctified and glorified people of the new covenant of grace, is for baptized Christians still on earth, “our mother.” That is, those who are the baptized disciples of Jesus Christ, and are pilgrims and sojourners on this earth in transit to the realms above where Christ now is, are to look to, and to regard, God’s Church in her heavenly, everlasting perfection as their “mother”.

Jerusalem as a city on earth was regarded in Old Testament times as not only the city of David and Solomon but also, and more importantly, as the city of God. For there was the Temple, and there was the focus and center of the Covenants, both the Mosaic and the Davidic covenants. Jerusalem was the “mother” of faithful Jews and to her they went in pilgrimage for the great festivals of the Old Covenant; towards her they faced when they prayed; from her bounty they believed that their covenant life before God came; and without her they were as lost people. Jerusalem was nothing less for them than the city of God on earth. and in and around her the final events of human history would take place, as all roads would lead to Jerusalem and all people come there to worship the LORD.

The Church as the new Jerusalem is likewise the very center of the activity of a covenant, this time the new covenant, wherein Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit are engaged in the regenerating, nurturing, teaching, sanctifying and redeeming those who believe the Gospel, repent and are baptized. In this covenant, by the word of the Lord and the power of the Spirit, in Baptism a believer is born again, born into the kingdom of God and the Church. It is the Church as mother who is the sphere where he is born again, where he is nurtured and taught, and where he is fed by the word of God and by the food of the holy Eucharist, the Holy Communion of the body and blood of Christ. The Church as mother caring for her children provides the ministers who do the holy work of administering the sacraments, preaching and teaching, and providing moral and spiritual direction, with pastoral care. Thus the Church as Mother takes care of the new-born persons from their baptism right through to their funeral service and then receives them into her everlasting abode to be fully and really members of the holy and free Jerusalem which is above.

It has often been said that a sinner who desires salvation from God cannot have the First Person of the Holy Trinity, God the Father, as his Father unless he first has the Church, the Church of the Father and the Son, which is the new Jerusalem above, as his mother. This is true, very true, and is what is particularly celebrated on Lent IV.

However, in affirming it, we must realize that the Church is the creation of the Blessed, Holy Trinity and therefore is, in no way whatsoever at all, to be seen as an equal of God the Father. Certainly the new birth, the being born again, occurs within the Church, but it is an act that is only possible by the presence and agency of the Holy Spirit at the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ. And most certainly after a person is born again by the Spirit, he has the high privilege and gospel duty to address the First Person as “Our Father.” The task of the Church is to act like a mother in bringing souls to birth, and in nurturing, feeding, teaching, guiding and caring for them. Yet she only does these things, through her ministers and members, as they are inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit and in obedience to Christ. As the mother actively caring for her family, she is dependent upon the love of the heavenly Father, the grace of the Incarnate Son and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

Just as our Lord Jesus Christ is more than what the eyes saw and the ears heard when they beheld Jesus of Nazareth in Galilee or Judea, so the Church is more than the visible reality of the congregations/churches we know. For the truth about Jesus was/is that he is certainly man, assuredly human, but he is also divine – he is One Person made known in two natures, divine and human – and of course the divine is, as it were, hidden behind the physical appearance of male humanity. Thus the full nature of the Church as the new Jerusalem is also, as it were, hidden behind and experienced through the presenting reality of the preaching of the Word, administering of the Sacraments, exercising of discipline, fellowship, worship, pastoral care and acts of charity of the local churches.

The new Jerusalem is with Christ in perfected glory and she is wholly free – free to love and serve God totally, and she is wholly free to be a people who love each other without any restrictions or reserve; and of course she is free from all sin, weakness and impurity. She is the perfect Bride of Christ.

However, for believers as pilgrims on earth and until the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus and their full redemption, the Jerusalem above is the gracious Mother embracing them in her arms so that they may all know the Father as their Father, and truly be his adopted children. She reaches out to them through the sometimes very ordinary means of grace known in the local church. To have God as our Father we must have the Church as our mother for God has chosen to make us his children through his grace which we receive from the embrace of the Mother, the Jerusalem above which is free.

Dr Peter Toon Lent 2008

Do visit and

Switch to Southern Cone by San Joaquin Appears to Violate Canons of New Province

From The Living Church Posted on: February 26, 2008

The newly available English-language translation of the canons and constitution of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone indicates several inconsistencies with moves by dioceses to switch their affiliation from The Episcopal Church to the South American-based province.

The situation seems especially complicated for the Diocese of San Joaquin which already approved the switch at its annual convention last December. Article two of the Southern Cone constitution limits membership in the province to dioceses “that exist or which may be formed in the Republics of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay and which voluntary declare themselves as integral diocesan members of the province.” Article four of the constitution requires that amendments “be submitted to the Anglican Consultative Council for consideration and then to each diocesan synod for approval.”

In a statement given to a reporter from The Living Church, a spokesman for Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone said the provincial leadership was aware of the constitutional impediments before voting unanimously to issue its “emergency, temporary and pastoral” invitation to affiliate. “Both the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone and the General Synod decided to go ahead because of the nature of the emergency,” the spokesman said.

Another complication involves a Southern Cone canon on bishops which states they “should definitely retire by 68 years of age.” In a recent interview with TLC, Bishop John-David Schofield, who will turn 70 in October, said he had been previously been informed by the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone that the primate could waive the mandatory retirement age requirement on a year-to-year basis, but there is nothing in the constitution or canons to suggest the possibility of such an exception.

The Rev. Van McCalister, public relations officer for the Diocese of San Joaquin, said Bishop Schofield and the delegates to the diocesan convention operated in good faith.

“From our perspective we were invited to join unanimously by the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone,” he said. “We proceeded under the assumption that they had the authority to invite us and that they knew what they were doing.”

The 20-page English-language translation of the Southern Cone constitution and canons made public on Feb. 12 has not been certified as true and correct by legal advisors from the Southern Cone. The document was translated from Spanish to English by staff members from the dioceses of San Joaquin and Fort Worth.

Fort Worth has published the translation on its diocesan website. In November, delegates to Fort Worth’s convention approved the first reading of changes to its constitution and canons. A diocesan task force is evaluating the advantages of remaining with The Episcopal Church or affiliating with the Southern Cone.

Steve Waring

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Why is there no agreement amongst well-intentioned, devout Anglicans.

Reflections from Peter Toon

One of the painful realities of the present state of the Anglican Way, not only in the West but also globally, is that people who were generally of a common mind not too long ago are now divided. I have in mind those who genuinely seek both to be orthodox in doctrine and holy in behavior.
That which divides them cannot be reduced simplistically to one side being more biblically or theologically or ethically sound that the other. Nor can it be reduced to one side being more committed to the Great Commission (Matthew 28, Mark 16) than the other. It is much more complex!

I suggest that the differences are generally to be sought in what is often referred to as “mindset,” being the complex foundation in the soul, out of which people think, feel and act.

Another more accurate way of speaking of this unseen reality is that of the cognitive scientists who refer to “frames.” These are mental structures that shape the way we see the world. So they shape the goals we seek, the plans we make, and what counts as a good or bad outcome of actions. Obviously we cannot hear or see “frames.” They are part of the “cognitive unconscious”—structures in our brains/minds that we cannot consciously access, but we know them by their consequences, by the way we reason and by what we call common sense. [How our “frames” are created and develop and may be changed, cannot be discussed here.]

Two Frames illustrated by the understanding of Communion

The two dominant “mindsets” or “frames” of current “orthodox Anglicanism” share much—e.g., a high view of the authority of Scripture, a solid commitment to the dogmas of the Holy Trinity and Person of Christ, a belief that Jesus is the only Savior, the value of the classic tradition of Common Prayer, the duty of Mission, and so on—but they put doctrines and practical considerations together in different ways with different emphases and consequences.

For example, both sides state that they highly value “the Anglican Communion”; however, they do not mean exactly the same thing in the use of this expression.

For one side, it is impossible to think of the Anglican Communion without thinking of the Church of England, ecclesia Anglicana, as the mother Church and the See of Canterbury as the point of unity for all provinces and dioceses. Here there is a strong tendency to accepting comprehensiveness and being patient to see problems resolved eventually. The alleged weaknesses and failings of the current Archbishop do not affect this position for there is a clear distinction made between the See and the Occupant of Canterbury (who is there for a decade or so).

For the other side, it is certainly possible and even a duty to think of the Anglican Communion without the See of Canterbury (especially when the Incumbent is heretical) and to consist only of those Provinces that are distinctly “orthodox,” and have no fellowship with dioceses or provinces that embrace permanently or experimentally novel practices like same-sex blessings.

In terms of the upcoming Lambeth Conference of July 2008, bishops in the first group tend to see attendance as a moral duty, for this Conference, they hold, exists to strengthen the global Communion, whereas bishops in the second see absence from (what is to them) a compromised meeting as a moral duty—and not only absence as a duty, but also attending instead a conference on mission in Jerusalem known as GAFCON.

Two Frames illustrated by Current American Anglicanism

Amongst those who much desire to see the reformation, renewal and regeneration of the Anglican Way in North America, we find again two dominant “frames” and “mindsets.”

One group welcomes with enthusiasm the “invasion” of the U.S.A. and Canada by Primates and Bishops of overseas provinces, their adopting of congregations seceded from The Episcopal Church, and their setting up missionary networks and dioceses to create Anglican congregations outside The Episcopal Church. Here the well-established rules that one province does not enter another without invitation are set aside, because it is maintained by the invaders that the pursuit of truth takes priority over that of seeking unity. Indeed The Episcopal Church is here seen as being so corrupted as not to have a say in the matter of the saving of souls.

Another group recognizes that The Episcopal Church is far from biblical orthodoxy as a national institution, and that to live within it is usually to suffer deprivation or harassment or persecution of some sort. Further, this group believes that the invasion by overseas provinces is unwarranted and premature and that these Provinces should be going instead to Lambeth 08 in order to fight there for their brethren in The Episcopal Church. Also, it is held that this invasion has probably already lead to the setting up of what will inevitably become a variety of Anglican denominations, and thus any chance of the unity of the Anglican Way in North America is probably already lost.

Again, let us not forget that sincere, well-informed, prayerful and enthusiastic believers in the Lord Jesus are found in both these groups and this is because they have these very different frames and mindsets!

In Conclusion

When we think about it, we recognize that we are familiar in the world of politics with this kind of division through people possessing different frames or mindsets. Republicans and Democrats live in the same country, seem to look at the same facts, and then come to very different policies and conclusions. It cannot be the case that one side is always wiser or more discerning than the other; rather, it would seem to be that the reason why each side sees and interprets differently is that it comes from a different frame or mindset.

Finally, in terms of different mindsets in Christian religion, one only has to look at the rich and massive variety of churches/denominations in the U.S.A. to recognize the existence of frames and mindsets, many similar and yet many very different, existing in this multiplicity of religious institutions.

It would seem to be that though we are finite creatures in space and time we want to think and act as though we are all-knowing and all-wise, and this enters into part of the frame and mindset out of which we think, feel and act. Thus we set up a position that makes absolute claims.

I ask in closing:

Is it too late—even with these powerful frames and mindsets in place—for there to be real dialogue and fellowship between the “Lambeth-attending” and the “Gafcon-attending” Bishops; and also, within North America, between those advocating “invasion” and those opposing “invasion” of overseas Bishops?

Dr Peter Toon February 26 2008

Archbishop Jenson’s understanding of North America: Is it correct?

Archbishop Peter Jensen and the Bishops of Sydney are, I regret to record, not going to the Lambeth Conference 2008. One of the reasons given for not attending has special reference to those of us living in North America, and especially those among us who have been unjustly treated by the hierarchy of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada.

Here is what Dr Jensen wrote:

Fifth, we have a duty of pastoral care to the Anglican Christians in North America and elsewhere who have made their protest against the local innovations. How can they feel confidence in us if we simply attend this conference and have what the world would see as fellowship in the delightful surroundings of Canterbury - studying the Bible, receiving Communion, meeting new people, enjoying gracious hospitality, attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace, while they endure prosecution, dispossession and doubt over their standing as Anglicans? Faced with the terrible choice between unity and truth, they have chosen to live by the truth. Should we not be witnesses that their choice is right?
[ ]

Let us carefully note what he believes is the situation and plight of Anglican Christians in North America (U.S.A. & Canada), who have protested against (what I take it he means) the local, sexual innovations within The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.
He states that, “They endure prosecution, dispossession and doubt over their standing as Anglicans.” And, that “faced with the terrible choice between unity and truth, they have chosen to live by the truth.” And his conclusion is that they should be supported by Sydney. In evaluating the comments of Dr Jensen, I think we need to bear in mind the following facts:

  1. Relatively speaking only a few parishes in Canada have left the Anglican Church of Canada and in all cases it was a parish decision to leave rather than being cast out. Not a few of them have been given much tribulation by the Bishop of New Westminster, but this said, it was their decision to leave this Church and transfer either to Rwanda or the Southern Cone of S.A. We need to be clear that there is no consensus amongst those committed to the classic Anglican Formularies in Canada concerning the duty of, or need for, secession at this moment in time.
  2. The major movement of Episcopalians out from The Episcopal Church [TEC] in the U.S.A., to become Anglicans outside, has also been through voluntary secession of either parts of, or full, congregations—and, in one instance, also of nearly one whole diocese. It was their choice to exit, based on the view that they had in conscience to leave a Church that was definitely going in the wrong direction contrary to the Word of God. In other words, and this is important to grasp, they followed a path that has been going on in the U.S.A. for a long time, where secessions from existing denominations create new denominations, and thereby the number of American religious groups is much increased.
  3. Very few groups and individual persons, lay and clergy, have left TEC because they were literally forced out. Certainly, clergy (I am one) have been refused licenses by Bishops and, further, life inside a given diocese has often been difficult and problematic for many who did not follow the liberal progressive agenda; but the decision to depart permanently was usually made by the seceders. They had the option to stay and suffer and they chose to leave.
  4. Beginning with the major secession of 1977 creating “the Continuing Church[es]” and coming right through to 2008, the movement to create Anglicanism of various kinds outside TEC has been basically a voluntary one, in the well-documented tradition of American religious expansion. However, the reasons given have not been identical from 1977-2008: but all are variations on the alleged apostasy and faithlessness of TEC—from its implantation of women’s ordination and easy remarriage for divorcees in the 1970s to its bad management style, heretical baptismal covenant teaching and support of liberation movements in the 1990s, to the advocating homosexual unions more recently.
  5. The creation of the Anglican Mission in America by Rwanda was well before the major outcry of the consecration of Gene Robinson and had nothing to do with opposing same-sex unions. Rather, it related to the inability of TEC to be a Gospel, missionary Church and the failure of its bishops to be Gospel leaders.
  6. Certainly the exit of a congregation from a diocese has often led to a legal dispute as to the ownership of property. Here, the attitude and behavior of the hierarchy of TEC has often been reprehensible; however, this bad behavior does not remove the possibility that in U.S.A. law the diocese has a right to seek to retain the property—by decent means--for its own “missionary” purposes.
  7. The involvement of a growing number of overseas Bishops, and then most significantly, of whole Provinces inside the U.S.A. most certainly encouraged the secession of groups from TEC, raising high hopes that they were exiting into a situation, which would be wholly superior to the one they left behind.
  8. Indeed this connection with African Provinces also served to create negative views of the present Archbishop of Canterbury and even of the ancient See of Canterbury and the Church of England as the mother Church of the Anglican Family.
  9. Bearing in mind the multiplicity of Anglican jurisdictions and groupings created between 1977 and the Gene Robinson episode in 2002ff., the overseas Primates could have (a) placed their support around AMIA/Rwanda that was already present in the U.S.A., and not invaded themselves, and (b) advised TEC congregations wishing to be orthodoxy to wait for the Lambeth Conference 2008 (where the Global South Primates would fight hard for them) for a resolution and to bear in patience any tribulation coming their way.
No doubt the Anglican situation is very messy and very complex, with those claiming to be “orthodox” existing in a multiplicity of denominations, jurisdictions and networks. Though there are some indications of cooperation, in general these autonomous groups do their own thing according to their own insights and vision and work with others as needed.

Dr Jensen accepts that they have abandoned unity (which is only too clear to anyone who takes a bird’s eye view of the situation) and thinks they all pursue truth. But I ask him, “What truth?” They seem only to be fully unified over their stated position that the church should NOT bless same-sex unions and ordain persons in such arrangements. Over the doctrines of holy matrimony, which Formularies to follow, which liturgy to use, and many other things they proclaim a great variety of views. Most of those in relations to the overseas Primates still are profoundly influenced by the 1979 TEC Prayer Book, which, ironically has one of the primary sources and supports of the growth of infidelity, error and innovation in TEC—and some if not much of this has been taken by the seceders into their new sphere or extra-mural Anglicans. (This is one of the reasons why I worked with AMIA to produce the contemporary language equivalent of the historic, classic Prayer Book – An Anglican Prayer Book (2008) from )

In summary, I just cannot see how Dr Jensen is supporting the varied American Anglicanism by staying away from Lambeth 08! And I do not know of any pastoral support he is giving to churches in the U.S.A. Feb 25 08

Friday, February 22, 2008

“Contending for the Truth” or “Maintaining Christian Unity”?

How is the Anglican Way doing in the U.S.A.?

Do you want to engage in a special Bible Study? Here is what it is. Create two columns in your note book (paper or computer). Read through the Epistles of the New Testament, from Romans to Jude, carefully using a traditional translation (not a paraphrase or a dynamically equivalent rendering), looking for phrases and clauses, even sentences, which highlight the priority and duty of (a) contending for, defending and maintaining the Truth of the Gospel in the church; and (b) working for, defending and maintaining unity in the church.

If I have done the job reasonably well, I think I can anticipate in general terms what you will discover. Both these duties are always and everywhere required of church leaders and church members, and further, and most importantly, they are required to be done always according to the Christian virtues (that is, never done in a secular, worldly, political spirit).

Now in the Epistles we encounter apostles writing to churches which are the first ever in the places where they are planted—from Galatia to Rome. Though they had apostolic foundations or close associations, these churches faced error and immorality, from both within and without; and, further, they faced dissension and conflict over various issues. In writing to churches with such problems, the apostles did not envisage creating a secession by the “righteous remnant” and starting a new church with them in another part of town; but, they made powerful appeals both for the adherence to truth and for fellowship and unity. For the apostles, there was/is one Church of Jesus and this should have one presence in one geographical area, and in that area the one church is the microcosm of the church universal.

Against this background, it is perhaps somewhat misleading and/or dishonest to use texts calling for, say, doctrinal purity, from the Epistles in the modern western situation to support and justify secession and schism. For in doing so, the texts calling for unity, which are also most clear, are conveniently bypassed. One reason why they are so easily bypassed, or not even noticed, may be this: in modern times the Church of God has been divided and subdivided so many times by all kinds of factors, so that westerners habitually think of Christianity as existing in a multiplicity of competitive and changing denominations and groups. And such a picture is the norm for them, so that the unity of the Church as a primary reality is not part of their understanding.

In other words, to apply what seem to be simple exhortations of the Epistles to church situations in the West is usually fraught with difficulty for the rules of application are not clear and evident, and there is no general agreement as to where and how to begin. Inevitably, people often act out of their insulated, privatized judgment and such into secession and new starts because of strongly held convictions. Of course in a given, single congregation, basic rules of loving one another and the like are easy to appreciate and apply even if difficult to live by!! But, once one moves out of the local and simple into the affairs of existing denominations, and into seceding groups from such, the application of the duty to defend the truth is often directly in conflict with the duty to maintain unity. One standard popular Protestant way to avoid some of the conflict is to claim that the Church as Church is invisible, made up of individual believers who relate personally to God through Jesus, and here, it is said, there is always unity. In this way of seeing things, the visible church is the coming together of people who may or may not be in God’s eyes truly his children and truly his believers—so that many types and subdivisions in the visible churches is not really of great moment, being simply how things are in a free country.

On The Anglican Way

In general it is true to say that there has been a strong emphasis on maintaining unity in Anglicanism, at least until the mid to late twentieth century. Thus in The Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. from the 1780s to the 1960s (with the exception of the Civil War when the one Church split into two parts, later to re-unite) there was only one very small secession and that in 1873 of the evangelicals who created “The Reformed Episcopal Church.” In fact, from the late nineteenth century Anglicans lived in the light of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral which laid out four basic principles for uniting with other Christian bodies by Anglican provinces. Anglican leaders were aware of the Protestant tendencies to cause divisions and secessions and so worked hard to maintain basic Anglican Unity, based upon the autonomy and interdependence of each Province.

But from the 1970s things changed. Secession and schism gradually became as common for Anglicans in the U.S.A., as for other main-line Protestants. In 2008 the Anglican Way is not one Way but many ways (groups) often running in parallel, crisscrossing, competing with and ignoring others. And it has multi-national participation from both Africa and South America.
So, in this new situation for Anglicans, the problem of applying biblical teaching is just as difficult as it is in the vast Protestant religious market of the U.S.A. Insulated privatized judgment and claiming a priority for the Church Invisible are common themes. And, inevitably, the call to maintain “truth” wins over the call for “unity” and so the divisions are strengthened and justified. Once released, centrifugal forces will always win over centripetal ones in a modern democratic state committed to individualism and liberty.

And, here is the tragedy: (a) Once this basic American way of being the Christian church dominates the thinking and acting, there is no known way back to the ideal of truth in unity and unity in truth of the Protestant Episcopal Church and the global Anglican Communion of earlier times. (b) This rapid centrifugal movement of American Anglicanism is also unwittingly being much fuelled and impelled by five or more Anglican Provinces—an amazing fact! Any centripetal forces are totally eclipsed by the centrifugal ones! February 22 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Led by African Primates, evangelical Anglicans head for Jerusalem in June 08

The brochure issued by the organizers of GAFCON (Global Anglican Conference) to be held in Israel from June 22 to 28 states the following:

“Anglicans face global challenges. There is no better place than the Holy Land for those committed to the authority of scripture to meet, pray and address the reformation of the church and to equip it for mission.

An initial Consultation in Jordan will include the pilgrimage leadership,
theological resource group, those bishops serving in majority Islamic settings and other key leaders.

The Jerusalem pilgrimage includes visits to Biblical sites and will focus on
worship, prayer, discussions and Bible Study, shaped by the context of
the Holy Land.

Participation in the Global Anglican Future Conference is by invitation only from the Primate, or lead Bishop, to their Bishops, clergy and lay people. Jerusalem pilgrimage from June 22 to June 29 2008.”

Here I do not wish to consider the ecclesiastical politics behind these two meetings and why only certain persons may attend, but, rather, to reflect upon the concept of pilgrimage as a physical activity and as a biblical image.

Biblical Image

In the OT images of pilgrimage point first of all to the annual pilgrimages made by Jewish men and families from many places to festivals held in the Temple in Jerusalem. In the NT these pilgrimages form the background to important moments in the life and saving work of Jesus, the Messiah. Then, in both Testaments, pilgrimage becomes a metaphor for the shape of the earthly life of the godly person, who is headed in one direction to the goal prepared by God, life with him in the heavenly Jerusalem.

Under the Mosaic covenant, Jewish males were required to go to Jerusalem at festival time three times a year to worship in the Temple, where the LORD was present in his Shekinah glory (Exodus 23:17 & Deuteronomy 16:16). Many Psalms portray such pilgrimage—see especially Psalm 84-- and of these the most dramatic are the Psalms of Ascent (120-134), sung by pilgrims as they processed to the Temple.

At the same time, the use of pilgrimage as a metaphor is deeply embedded in the Old Testament, as the people of the covenant, and the godly within the covenant, are pictured as travelling with their God to the future that he has prepared for them. The book of Isaiah is rich in such imagery—e.g., God will make a highway through the wilderness for his people to travel upon, and he will provide protection for them as they travel (35:8; 40:3; 52:7,12) to his final goal.

Turning to the New Testament, Jesus, the faithful Jew/Israelite, makes the pilgrimage to the Temple with his parents and again during his ministry. And then his destiny is taken up with his final and unique pilgrimage to Jerusalem, there to fulfill the will of his Father in heaven in his passion, death and resurrection. He died as the Passover Lamb, who takes away the sin of the world, at Passover time.

But for the first Christians, pilgrimage was not physical but rather a powerful metaphor, often used in the New Testament—not least in the Letter to the Hebrews and in 1 Peter. The goal of the Christian life of faith and faithfulness is not the earthly Zion but, rather, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. Many fine Christian Hymns portray this theme as of course does John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

So while the New Testament often recommends, commands, and requires the absolute necessity of the pilgrimage of faith to the future kingdom of God, it does not—unlike the OT—have any instruction or commands concerning physical pilgrimages to specific places, not even to Nazareth or Jerusalem. Paul desired to go to Rome not for pilgrimage but to preach the Gospel. The whole burden of the apostolic faith is to turn people around so that they do not face the gates of hell in their sinfulness, but, walking with Jesus by grace in faith face the glorious gates of heaven and life everlasting in glory.

Pilgrimages by Christians through history

Since the Jewish Bible is the Christian Old Testament, and since it was read in the Church as the Word of God, it is not surprising that the idea of physical pilgrimages should begin in the Church from the fourth century onwards, maybe earlier. Some well-off pilgrims went to the “holy land” while others went to the graves of martyrs or to places where monks lived in isolation. Later on in the Middle Ages, there were pilgrimages to places where saints had visions and revelations, to the cathedral churches of dioceses on Mothering Sunday, and to a variety of other holy places.

At the time of the Reformation in the sixteenth century, the reformers generally rejected the use of physical pilgrimage, usually for the practical reason that it had become deeply affected by themes of salvation by human merit, the mediation of the BVM and the saints, superstition and indulgences. Instead, they made much of the biblical metaphor of pilgrimage as that which all believers were to experience (in illustration see, for example, the content of many of the official homilies of the Church of England in two books, under the title, The Homilies – order from ). Since the sixteenth century, the general Anglican Evangelical approach has been to make little if anything at all of physical pilgrimage as a religious duty, and to treat as educational any visits to ancient Christian sites and to “the holy land.” Here education suggests a growth in useful knowledge which leads to the more profitable reading of the Bible. In contrast, the spiritual worth of physical pilgrimage has been revived in anglo-catholic circles, but not to the extent of medieval practice.

Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, June 08, GAFCON

This claim by the GAFCON organizers is worth reflecting upon in this context: “There is no better place than the Holy Land for those committed to the authority of scripture to meet, pray and address the reformation of the church and to equip it for mission.”

This claim at first site seems reasonable—after all if one can see Jerusalem and Bethlehem and Jericho one can better imagine the biblical scenes and thus profitably use the Bible.

However, on reflection, it seems to be contrary to the statements of the resurrected and ascending Jesus, who promised that he would be with his disciples wherever they were; and until the end of the age (see Matthew 28, Mark 16). In the period between the Ascension and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus, there is no special or unique place to meet him for by his Spirit, the Paraclete, he is universally available through all space and time. Therefore he is and will be present in Jerusalem and Lagos and Canterbury, when his faithful people call upon him in faith. And Christian mission and the like can be fruitfully discussed and prayed about anywhere in the world—though some places may have better physical facilities and communication possibilities.

But, let us be clear, there is no unique spiritual power, insight and knowledge available when believers meet in Jerusalem— that is, until the Lord of glory returns and visits the ancient Zion, but then there will be no need for an Anglican Pilgrimage!

It is possible—indeed probable— that there is some special influence upon the African Primates which causes them to make this exaggerated claim for Jerusalem.

Several people have suggested to me that there is such an influence, and it is this. Muslims have a duty, as set out in the Koran, to make the special pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. In countries like Nigeria, the Muslims make much of this duty and proudly display a sign of their complete pilgrimage; in response, in the competitive religious atmosphere, Christians sense that they need a viable alternative duty with similar powerful imagery so they can be, as it were, on equal terms with their neighbors. So the idea of pilgrimage to Jerusalem (with all the rich OT background) is becoming for Christians a powerful alternative to pilgrimage to Mecca for Muslims. This Conference therefore probably illustrates that for the contemporary African Anglican Experience the need for pilgrimage as in Old Testament times is real-- but by modern transport and for the purpose of dialogue with and then evangelization of the Muslim.

For the Europeans involved this Conference is to be seen along with the many educational visits made to Israel, but having the special quality of being in the company of devout African Christian leaders. February 20, 2008

Are the new Anglicans forgetting from where they came?

Does the new American Anglicanism ignore its own unique tradition of Eucharistic Worship?

Some thoughts for consideration from Peter Toon

Not a few involved in (a) the recent secessions from The Episcopal Church, and (b) the participation in the new forms of Anglicanism (Anglican Communion Network, Anglican Mission in America, Convocation of Anglicans in America, and so on) believe that they are experiencing a “new reformation,” where the Anglican Way in North America is being recovered in pristine, biblical purity. What other Anglicans and Episcopalians see as a copying on to the Anglican label of the ethos and methods of popular, generic Evangelicalism, to them is a real renewal and reformation, that has global dimensions, and is closely allied with the missionary-minded and biblical emphasis of five or so African Anglican provinces.

So to be within this developing and changing new Anglicanism is often exciting and even exhilarating—and for some there is a prospect of the great pilgrimage to the Holy Land in June! Indeed, so much energy is taken up with working for growth in numbers and planning defense against enemies that there is little time for much else. For example, little time or interest seems to be given to examining the authentic Anglican tradition of worship and doctrine, adopted by the Protestant Episcopal Church and, guided by the providence of God, in its early years, after the departure of the American colonies from Great Britain.

The Common Cause Partners, who may be said in general terms to represent the new Anglicanism, chose in their theological basis to bypass the specific tradition of worship and doctrine of The Protestant Episcopal Church (1780s-1960s), and to commit instead to the larger tradition that is common in the constitutions of most African Provinces, that is, the Formularies of the Church of England as ratified in 1662 (the 39 Articles, the BCP and the Ordinal). This choice makes sense for Common Cause in that it is the African Provinces, which have been deeply involved as the supporters of the New Anglicanism from the beginning, with tiny Rwanda leading the way.

Supporting , but not generally expressed, reasons by the new Anglicanism for going with the 1662 Formularies, and not with the minority tradition of the 1789/1892/1928 (USA) Formularies, could be the following:

This is the Liturgy used by the Seceders of 1977 (“The Continuing Anglicans”) usually in a “high-church” or “anglo-catholic” way and with apparently little missionary zeal—thus not attractive to the new Seceders, who emphasize the Great Commission of Matthew 28.

This is the Liturgy totally abandoned by the Episcopal Church in 1979 when it adopted its new Prayer Book—and this innovatory Prayer Book of 1979 has been the favored liturgy of the new Seceders inside and outside the Episcopal Church. It is the Prayer Book of the New Anglicanism.
Thus, going with the 1662 Formularies allows the new Anglicanism not to have to deal seriously either with the Seceders who preceded them, or the falsely called “BCP 1979” that has been so widely embraced in its midst; but it does allow them to go hand in hand with their African sponsors, as if history began in 2000!

The 1789/1892/1928 USA Tradition

What is it about the American Anglican Liturgical Tradition which gives it a special place in the family of Anglican Liturgies?

The Order for Holy Communion, as created by the new Protestant Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. in the 1780s, and as accepted by the Church of England at that time as an acceptable form of the Anglican tradition, has several major roots. Obviously one was the Order of 1662; another were the modifications and additions made to this Order by the Non-Jurors in the eighteenth century and then made a part of “The Scottish Communion Office” of 1764. The changes incorporated in this 1764 text were all towards following the structure and content of the Eucharistic Prayers of the ancient Churches of the East. In reality, this meant having a clear Oblation (the offering of the holy gifts of bread and wine to the Father) and Invocation (request of the Father that by his Word and Spirit the gifts will become the Body and Blood of Christ) in the Eucharistic (Consecration) Prayer.

In contrast, the 1662 Order avoids any Oblation and works on the premise that the word of the Lord Jesus Christ stating that “this is my Body” and “this is my Blood” is sufficient; for where the Lord speaks the Spirit makes effective what he says.

However, the fact of the matter is that the American Communion Order and Office is different from the 1662 in emphasis and layout, and, in being so, it reflects what may be called the older high-Anglican (not Anglo-Catholic) approach to the Liturgy pioneered and propagated by the learned Non-Jurors after 1689. For all its existence—until the radical innovations of the 1960s and following—the only authorized liturgy for American Episcopalians in the PECUSA was this Communion Office; and thus it is to be regarded as the American Anglican form of the Eucharist .
[Note it was not preserved in Rite One of the 1979 book as people suppose. Rather, something that looked like it but had a different structure, collects, lectionary and devotional and theological content was substituted—see further for details the book by Tarstano & Toon, Neither Orthodoxy nor a Formulary, from ]

It is to be regretted, even lamented, that this unique American Communion Service is little known and rarely used in the new Anglicanism, and is only found in use amongst the older Seceders of 1977 vintage, as well as in a few churches within TEC (e.g. St John’s, Savannah).

An Anglican Prayer Book (2008) from AMIA via PBS

It is possible that there will be a beginning of the use of the American Communion Service first of all in AMIA and then in other forms of the new Anglicanism in the years to come. How so? In contemporary English using the texts as presented in the very new An Anglican Prayer Book (from . In this Prayer Book there is printed in full the three North American forms of the Anglican Order for Holy Communion – the 1662 (used in the colonies and again today in USA and Canada), the 1928 American, and the 1962 Canadian. Thus a congregation may use one only or all of these forms throughout the year.


Any expression of American Episcopalianism or Anglicanism that does not possess and use its own distinctive Order for Holy Communion is not being true to its heritage and is keeping from the people a participation in that heritage of worship, doctrine and devotion.

True Reformation and Renewal often means recovering what was lost and using it with new energy.

Let there be a revival of the godly, reverent, informed and devout use of the American Communion Service. February 19 2008 Dr Peter Toon

Gafcon conference 'rearranged'

Tuesday, 19th February 2008. 5:39pm

By: George Conger.

The Gafcon organizing committee, which is arranging an alternative to the Anglican Lambeth Conference, has announced that the dates and venue of the Jerusalem conference have been changed.

Following consultations with the Bishop in Jerusalem, the Rt Rev Suheil Dawani, the conference will now be broken into two parts: a consultation for church leaders in Jordan from June 18-22 and a pilgrimage to Jerusalem from June 22-29.

"We are very grateful for the feedback that we have received on the many complex issues that confront us,” the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen (pictured) said on Feb 19.

"The emphasis of our time together will be our future in the Anglican Communion and the reformation and renewal of our common life rooted in the Holy Scriptures and our common faith in Jesus Christ,” he said.

On Saturday, the Bishop in Jerusalem, the Rt Rev Suheil Dawani urged Dr Jensen to reconsider holding Gafcon in Jerusalem. During his tour of Australia, Bishop Dawani told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation holding Gafcon in Jerusalem was politically unwise.

"We are dealing with many different issues and we have other priorities there," he said, on “the communicable level, the inter-faith level, as well as on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Last month Dr Jensen and the Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola travelled to Jerusalem to discuss the June meeting, which critics allege will be a rival Lambeth Conference --- a charge vigorously denied by its organizers. Bishop Dawani shared his concerns over the political ramifications of the conference for the small Arab Anglican community within the ongoing Palestinian and Anglican civil wars.

The first week of the meeting will consist of a smaller, invitation only gathering of the conference leadership, its theological resource group, those bishops serving in majority Islamic settings and other key leaders. “The Jerusalem pilgrimage will focus on worship, prayer, discussions and Bible Study, shaped by the context of the Holy Land,” the announcement said.

By separating the conferences political and spiritual components into distinctive components, the Gafcon organizers hope to assuage Bishop Suheil’s fears of dire political consequences for his community, while honouring the Nigerian wish to meet in Jerusalem. Meeting in Israel for a ‘pilgrimage’ and in Jordan for a ‘consultation’ accomplishes this aim, they believe.

The See of Canterbury & Anglicans

Watch for regrets soon by those who may be moving too fast to think clearly

May I make a prediction concerning the present enthusiastic American Anglicans, who have placed themselves, while living in the USA, under the authority of the Provinces of Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, and Southern Cone of S.A.?

It is this: That within a comparatively short time they will begin to regret that their expression of “Anglicanism” has effectively split itself off from communion with the ancient See of Canterbury and the ancient Church of England—and from all that this implies in history, religion and culture.

True enough, there will be all kinds of exciting and innovative aspects to this new imported “Anglicanism” fuelled and propelled by African faith, hope, love, mission courage and even rhythm. Yet the ancient traditions and links of the original Protestant Episcopal Church of the U S A (from the 1790s to the 1960s) will begin to come to mind and a desire will be kindled to renew the ancient connections with the Church of England—as these were so clearly understood and desired in the 1780s even in a republic that had recently broken away from a monarchy.

True enough the various networks, churches, dioceses, convocations and groupings of this new movement will have a definite African flavor, and this will in part distinguish them within the vast array of denominations in the U S A.; and, further, to strengthen their identity, they will seek to present a common front where possible via Common Cause. Yet, from time to time, they will recall what made them unique in the USA in previous generations, that is their claim to be through communion with the Church of England a genuine part of a legitimate jurisdiction of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, whose symbol is the See of Canterbury and whose religion is Reformed Catholicism.

In closing, what also will become clearer as the days go by is that the See and the Archbishop are not the same thing, though clearly related. Much of the moving away from the See of Canterbury by African Provinces in recent months has been fuelled by a growing lack of confidence in the faith, morals and leadership of the present Archbishop. However, this ought not to have turned Bishops away from the See itself (which was there before the present Archbishop took office and will be there when he quits) and through the See from the Ecclesia Anglicana! The confusion of the Incumbent with the See has been one of the great mistakes of so many in the last year or so.

My concern is that when many American Anglicans—and a growing number of Canadians—settle down after the present euphoria of secession, re-ordering and re-routing are over, they will find it impossible to find a way to be restored to the See of Canterbury, and to all that this ancient connection means for Anglican ecclesiology! And they will be deeply disappointed. Feb 18th

Five Primates confirm not going to Lambeth and Lady Primate comments

Five primates announce Lambeth Conference boycott
Presiding Bishop says 'gathering will be diminished by their absence'
By Matthew Davies[Episcopal News Service]

Five Anglican Primates, four from Africa and one from south America, have publicized their intentions to boycott the 2008 Lambeth Conference in a letter responding to a group of English bishops who had urged them to attend the once-a-decade gathering.

Archbishops Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, BenjaminNzimbi of Kenya, Henry Orombi of Uganda, and Gregory Venables of theSouthern Cone -- who make up five of the 38 Anglican Primates -- told the 21English bishops that they would not attend Lambeth in protest to the invitations extended by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Episcopal Church's bishops. Akinola, Kolini and Orombi had all previously announced that they intended to boycott the conference.

Neva Rae Fox, the Episcopal Church's public affairs officer, noted that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is saddened by the primates'decision not to attend Lambeth.

"The gathering will be diminished by their absence, and I imagine that they themselves will miss a gift they might have otherwise received," the Presiding Bishop said. "None of us is called to 'feel at home' except in the full and immediate presence of God. It is our searching, especially with those we find most 'other,' that is likely to lead us into the fuller experience of the body of Christ. Fear of the other is an invitation to seek the face of God, not a threat to be avoided."

Full story:

- - - - -P.S. from PT

I wonder what this does to the people of the diocese of San Joaquin, CA., now in the Southern Cone?

The Bishop was so insistent that communion with Canterbury was absolutely part of his Anglicanism, and here his new Province is acting as if it is NOT really in communion with the See.

Maybe I have missed something.

Likewise for the Canadians with the Southern Cone--most of them loyal subjects of the Queen--they must be upset by this seeming setting aside of Communion with the See (and thus the C of E).

Gafcon Primates reveal their evangelical Ecclesiology

The explanation offered by Five Primates (Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and S. Cone) to a group of English Bishops for not attending the Lambeth Conference needs to be taken most seriously by all committed members of the Anglican Way. Its content tells us much as to how they understand the Church of God and the Anglican Way within it. In short, it may be said that they reflect a strong, generic Evangelical approach and show little of a traditional comprehensive and reformed Catholic approach; and that this regrettably suggests that division and schism are just around the corner.

We note that at the practical level they are not going because:
(a) The Conference is three weeks long and this is a very long time for them and their wives to be with other Bishops and spouses, with whom they have little in common;
(b) Present as Bishops will be the Bishops from the U.S.A. who supported and consecrated Gene Robinson as Bishop, contrary to the mind of the Global Communion;
(c) Members of their own Houses of Bishops have not been invited – i.e., their “Missionary Bishops” working in the U.S.A.;
(d) Their suggestions concerning the postponement of Lambeth 2008 in order for certain goals to be achieved before it met have not been heeded by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Convener of the Conference;
(e) There will likely be a major protest by supporters of Gene Robinson during the Conference and those who have opposed his consecration will be constantly harassed by active homosexual groups;
(f) The way that the Conference is organized—its “western-style process”—makes it difficult for them to get fully involved and to make their position heard and known (as Lambeth 1998 demonstrated) and, further, they have no confidence in the President, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, whom they see as not a friend of orthodoxy.
(g) They are putting their resources into a Conference, GAFCON, to be held before Lambeth 2008 in or near Jerusalem. Here they hope to make clear what the vocation and work of the Anglican Communion ought to be about.

We may agree that these together constitute a powerful reason for not attending a Conference; however, we need also to remember that this is not any Conference but the Lambeth Conference, a unique event starting in 1867, bringing together Anglican Bishops every ten years for consultation. To be absent from such a Gathering certainly needs stronger arguments than those above.

Now let us notice the underlying doctrinal reasons for not attending:
(1) Their view of Canterbury is skewed. That is, they conflate the See of Canterbury with the current Archbishop of Canterbury. No doubt this is easy to do, especially with the poor leadership shown by the present Incumbent. However, in terms of the Anglican doctrine of the Church the distinction is important. The See was there before the present Archbishop was enthroned and will be there after he is gone. To be in “communion” with the See is to be in communion with the Church of England, ecclesia anglicana, the mother Church of the Global Anglican Family. Thus to go to the Lambeth Conference 2008 is to identify with the Church of England both at its primary Cathedral, Canterbury, and in meeting with the Queen, the supreme Governor of the Church of England. Though there will be a measure of pain to bear in going (again, primarily through the mistakes of the Archbishop), the attendance of these Primates and their (invited) colleagues is a moral duty if they truly believe that they are in the Anglican Communion. Symbolically, not to go is to reject the Mother Church and all that It stands for, including the classic Anglican Formularies (to which these Primates and the Global South have stated its commitment).
(2) They do not allow for a certain and real comprehensiveness which has always been present in the Global Anglican Communion—a comprehensiveness that most certainly still fully exists, when the extreme liberal Bishops of North America are not counted. They are many Bishops in the Communion, who are genuinely committed to biblical Christianity in the Anglican Way, and of varied churchmanship, style and ethos, who do not see things in exactly the same way as do these Five—and these Bishops actually include members of the Global South. In particular, these Bishops think that the only way that a Covenant can be agreed and ratified is by a long and maybe tortuous route requiring much patience and pray with careful diplomacy—and a route that starts at Lambeth 08. And so they are ready to start there and be vigilant then and later. But the Five, coming out of a generic Evangelicalism, and desiring to proceed with all speed to deal with outstanding problems and to achieve missionary aims, neglect what may be called the Reformed Catholic dimension of the Anglican Way. The Five think of themselves as the ones to whom the Truth is clear and thus as those duty-bound to go with It, whatever disruption this causes in the Global Anglican Family. Because of the faults of the North Americans, they discount the global College of Bishops ,of which they are part, and with which they have a solemn duty to meet and confer, however difficult and humiliating this can be in the present circumstances (again caused by the failed leadership of the present A of C). They are in the College and ought to meet with the College when it meets!
(3) They do not appear to recognize that what they have each and all done in terms of crossing over into the “territory” of TEC to establish missions, to adopt churches and dioceses, and to treat the U.S.A. as virgin missionary territory, is truly and really innovatory and seen as very disruptive and schismatic in terms of received Anglican polity. If this type of activity were pursued by all 38 provinces then there would be anarchy and confusion everywhere! If Nigeria were invaded, how would it act? And such boundary crossing certainly needs to be explained in depth and detail to their Episcopal colleagues at Lambeth, for many of the latter cannot understand why it is necessary that FIVE provinces must invade TEC –perhaps one, they say, but five! The Five appear to work on the assumption that they are wholly justified in their entry into TEC territory and that anyone who questions this five-fold entry is against the Gospel itself. (We nay note that even some Provinces in the Global South think it wrong.)
(4) They seem not to recognize that in the New Testament (see John 17 & Ephesians), in the classic Formularies, and in the best Anglican teaching ,Truth and Unity belong together, and this Unity is much deeper than mere organizational. By pursuing Truth and opposing error (admirable activities) without paying sufficient heed to Unity, the Five are in the long road creating schism and distorting the Truth they seek to propagate. They are entirely justified in declaring themselves out of communion with the Presiding Bishop and others Bishops of TEC; but they can walk the fine line and maintain this while being in communion with Bishops of over Provinces. Going to Lambeth only requires them to be Christian in behavior to others, not to be in Eucharistic communion with everyone.

Living in America one cannot fail to notice that the American Supermarket of Religions stands as a symbol of what happens when any one group seeks to follow Truth and minimizes the duty of unity; when each of us follows out insulated private judgment and does our own thing then there is chaos. There is an abundance of religious energy in the Supermarket but it is 99 per cent centrifugal! What is needed from the Five now is not the creation of powerful centrifugal forces in the Global Family, but, in contrast, gracious centripetal forces which heal and sanctify across the board.

I pray that they will go to the Lambeth Conference 2008 as members of the global Anglican College of Bishops seeking to maintain truth in unity and unity in truth; and that the Father of all mercies will do wonderful things for his pastors there assembled—and do so despite the plans and schemes of the present Incumbent of the See.

Dr Peter Toon Lent 2 2008 &

Letter from the Five
To Bishop David James and colleagues in C of E


We have received your letter encouraging us to attend the Lambeth Conference with you.

We trust that we are united in faithful obedience to the Scriptures and also to the Anglican Formularies. We understand your desire to continue to support the efforts of the Archbishop of Canterbury. As GAFCON Bishops and primates, we share with you a commitment to the communion and its future. We ask you to understand that we have reached a different conclusion and request you to understand our decision.

We think it is important to let you know our reasons for not acceding to your request, and also to make them public since your letter is public. We have a number of concerns.

First, the Lambeth Conference is not a two hour seminar discussing a contentious issue. It is three weeks in which we bishops and our wives are called to share together our lives, our prayer, our bible study, our meals, our worship and the Lord's Supper, to be a family together.

You will know that some of us have not been able to take communion with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church since February 2005, - a period of about three years. The reason is that TEC took an action to consecrate Gene Robinson as Bishop in 2003 contrary to the resolution of the Lambeth Conference, an action of which they have not repented. The consecrators of Gene Robinson have all been invited to Lambeth, contrary to the statement of the Windsor Report (para 134) that members of the Episcopal Church should "consider in all conscience whether they should withdraw themselves from representative functions in the Anglican Communion".

You will know that some of those who objected to this consecration in the United States and have made arrangements for orthodox oversight from other provinces including ours have been charged with abandonment of communion. Their congregations have either forfeited or are being sued for their properties by the very bishops with whom you wish us to share Christian family fellowship for three weeks.

To do this is an assault on our consciences and our hearts. Further, how can we explain to our church members, that while we and they are formally out of communion with TEC, and provide oversight to these orthodox colleagues, we at the same time live with them at the Lambeth Conference as though nothing had happened? This would be hypocrisy.

We are also concerned that the invitation list reflects a great imbalance. It fails to address fundamental departures from historic faith that have triggered this crisis and yet excludes bishops of our own provinces, of Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda who teach and practice Biblical faith. As constituted, the invitations suggest that institutional structures are superior to the content of the faith itself.

We are also mindful of the press interest in the Conference, and in the presence in some form or other of Gene Robinson and his male partner, and of 30 gay activists. We would be the continual target of activist campaigners and media intrusion. In these circumstances we could not feel at home.

All of us have attended Lambeth before. As far as we are aware, only a few of you have been to a Lambeth Conference. In 1998, we had great difficulty in making our case heard in the face of the process of the conference. At that conference we were blessed with the leadership of Archbishop George Carey who has always been a champion of orthodox biblical teaching on sexuality. We have come to the conclusion, from the failure of the instruments of the Communion to take action either to discipline the Episcopal Church or to protect those who have asked the Communion for protection, that there is no serious space for those of an orthodox persuasion in the councils of the Communion to be themselves or to be taken seriously.

We are therefore not persuaded by your arguments to attend. We have looked at all the facts for some time. To find a solution we have proposed the postponement of the conference, the calling of a Primates' meeting and work towards the conclusion and endorsement of the Anglican Covenant by individual provinces. Our request has not been heeded. We must attend to the care of our bishops, clergy and people.

We must address the issue of the Anglican Communion Covenant, particularly as a revised version has just been published. Many of you are concerned about the need to attend Lambeth to contribute to and influence the debate on the Anglican Communion Covenant to help the working of our Communion for future reference. Currently the prospects do not seem good for what is proposed in any way to engage with our current difficulties or relate to the facts on the ground. The state of our broken Communion is not mended by the Covenant. The Lambeth Conference will only be a place to offer reflections on it. That is why some of us recommended that Lambeth be postponed in order to give space for the reconciling process to take place, a Covenant to be agreed, and Lambeth to be held for those who signed up to the Covenant. This proposal was rejected.

Even if you have decided to go to the Lambeth Conference, we hope that you will respond positively to our invitation to attend GAFCON. You will bring your rich experience of mission and we believe that you will also be enriched by the experience of Anglican bishops and Christians from around the world who are keen to share what God is doing in their midst and what He is teaching them.

We emphasise that this action is not intended to signal that we are walking out of the Communion. We are responding to a need of people committed to and continuing in the apostolic faith to meet and consider how they will walk together in mission and mutual support, and to meet in the one place which is spiritually significant for all of us.

Yours in Christ,

Archbishop Peter Akinola (Nigeria)

Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini (Rwanda)

Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi (Kenya)

Archbishop Henry Orombi (Uganda)

Archbishop Gregory Venables (Southern Cone)

Vancouver Church Joins Southern COne

Article from the Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The HOMILIES--available again: act quickly while there is stock

Good News for those who very disappointed when the stock of the hardback of THE HOMILIES was sold out by the Prayer Book Society.

The two Books of Homilies, under the title THE HOMILIES, is now available in a quality paperback from with postage free to the USA from England.

This edition has been carefully prepared by Ian Robinson, a well-known student of English Literature of the sixteenth century.

Thus for those who have been introduced to the existence of The Homilies through the references to them in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion (which are being studied again in Anglican circles in USA), here is a chance to get an excellent edition of this classic TEXT. As read often in parish churches for close on a century, it deeply affected the actual spoken English as well as the doctrinal understanding of thousands of Christians.

Today it is like a major Catechism to instruct in the Anglican Way of Reformed Catholic Truth, Worship and Devotion.

Go now--do not delay--to and buy a copy!

[If you doubt the importance of The Homilies then please get a copy of THE GODLY KINGDOM OF TUDOR ENGLAND: Great Books of the English Reformation, edited by John E Booty, 1981 and the chapter on the Homilies]

Peter Toon

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Prayer for our friend Rowan

A Prayer for Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Primate of all England [composed in modern English but according to the classic structure of the English Collect and similar prayers]

Heavenly Father, you who, in your providence, appointed Rowan as the Incumbent of the ancient See of Canterbury, and also thereby both made him the Primate of all England and also gave him primacy of honor in the Anglican Communion: hear our fervent prayer for his personal well-being and his good public influence.

Create in him deep commitment to the glorious Gospel of your Son, Jesus our Lord, and to the reform and renewal of his Church in England and throughout the world; Enable him to recognize errors, heresies, immorality and wickedness and banish them from the Church at home and abroad; Help him to bring together into closer fellowship those who love the Lord but are of different backgrounds, cultures and theologies; Bestow upon him, not only the godly wisdom rightly to judge what is good and right for the building up of the Churches, but also the practical ability to commend this; Assist him in bringing practical comfort and support to Anglicans devastated by war, famine and other disasters; Guide him in his understanding of, and outreach to, Muslims in Britain and Europe; and, finally, we pray, Grant to him the qualities of leadership needed to make the Lambeth Conference of July 2008 into a means of grace for the renewal of all the Bishops of the global Anglican Churches: through Jesus Christ our Lord, our only Mediator and Savior. Amen.

The Rev’d Dr Peter Toon, Lent 1, 2008

Abp of Canterbury on Lambeth Conference (Feb 11)

Archbishop of Canterbury speaking at the General Synod of the C of E on Monday 11th Feb on Lambeth Conference---to be less resolutions than previous Conferences but plenary sessions to debate the Draft Covenant are scheduled:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Canterbury, The SEE and The INCUMBENT: Have we got these hopelessly confused?

In Anglican talk, a “see” is the place in which a cathedral church stands and is identified as the seat of authority of a bishop or archbishop.

Thus in the Church of England, Canterbury is the city in which an ancient cathedral church stands; further, it is the seat of authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primate of all England.

Obviously there has been, and is, only One See of Canterbury, but many Archbishops have sat upon the Seat (Cathedra, sedes) in the Cathedral. So in our thinking we can make a clear distinction between the See and the Incumbent Archbishops; and we can note that the See remains the See between the departure of one Archbishop and the election of a new one. The Cathedral, with its Dean and Canons, continues with its daily round of prayer and praise and pilgrims still visit.

The distinction between the See and the Incumbent Archbishop is very important for it allows us to see the See as enduring through the centuries as the symbol of the continuity of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and Faith in this region, and to see the individual Archbishop as committed to that Church and Faith as pastor and teacher. However, a bishop, even an archbishop, is a man, and as such is a sinner and subject to temptation by the world, the flesh and the devil. So an individual Archbishop may teach error and fail as a pastor. During a period when there is a sense that the Incumbent Archbishop is not living, or teaching, or acting in an appropriate way for his high office, then the people of God of his diocese and province remember that he is not the See and they pray for his retirement and the appointment of a faithful and true pastor.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Rowan's major mistake--his friends are pained

Sharia Law in Britain: Rowan, Primate of All England, in favor

We can say things in the family circle that are not appropriately said at the Town Hall Meeting. The Rector can say things to the Church Vestry that are not appropriately part of the announcements on Sunday. The academic can propose ideas and policies in the Senior Common Room that are not suitable for a public lecture. A parent does not speak to the five year old child in the same way as to a teenager. Human beings have long been aware that not every thought—good or bad—in the mind requires expression in words in any company on any occasion. We are to discriminate between what to say, when to say it, how to say it, where to say it and to whom to say it.

In his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan has from time to time made public statements in such areas as sexuality, international politics and American foreign policy, that are perfectly rational in themselves if delivered to friends in an Oxford Common Room; but—with an attentive media and the Web—are read by many in politically populist or common sense way. That is, any subtleties or sub-themes are missed and his statements with little context are sent into the world to be understood at one level only—the crudest one.

With this experience under his belt, it is amazing that Rowan went a few days ago before the legal establishment in England and argued that it was time to allow the use of Muslim Sharia Law within British Law, just as Orthodox Jewish Law is allowed in certain areas. All perfectly reasonable and reflecting an appreciation of the powerful traditions of Islam—but a position which is a minority position in Church and State. Further, the Archbishop was not speaking to friends inside Lambeth Palace but publicly, with the press there to listen and report. Further, he was speaking within a country where tensions between Muslim areas and neighborhoods around them are ripe for explosion. Then also he was speaking as the leader of the bishops of the Anglican Family, and many of them live in situations where they face all kinds of difficulties and problems caused by the local imposition of Sharia Law.

Rowan did not have to make this speech and say what he did. By this one speech, Rowan has lost much support in Britain, the Church of England, and the Anglican Communion of Churches. It appears that he is not able to discriminate between when to share his (complex) thoughts with his friends and when to share them with the world. This failure to discriminate would seen to disqualify him from high office. Regrettably, this business casts another cloud over the forthcoming Lambeth Conference, weakening his leadership and making it now very difficult to persuade the Nigerian Bishops to attend!

Oh how very, very sad! More chastisement of the Lord upon the Anglican Family, already in such pain and confusion. Lent 2008;