group of parishes is preparing what could be the first step towards a formal split in the Church of England over issues such as homosexuality, with the creation of a new “shadow synod” vowing to uphold traditional teaching.
Representatives of almost a dozen congregations in the Home Counties are due to gather in a church hall in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, later this week for the first session of what they say could eventually develop into an alternative Anglican church in England.
Organisers, drawn from the conservative evangelical wing of Anglicanism, say they have no immediate plans to break away - but are setting up the “embryonic” structures that could be used to do so if the established church moves further in what they see as a liberal direction.
Sy, in the US, I think it’s pretty evenly divided. The Episcopalians got a lot of the Roman priests for awhile and then a lot of Anglican priests left under the various means. Laity? I kind of think we have more ex-Catholics. My parish is probably about a third ex-Catholics, including several ex-priests. I think it’s a natural fit for people on both sides.
Yes, perhaps it is nothing but a cry for help,or an attempt to push reform. However, I have no reason to doubt their sincerity. I do not remember the details, but do recall that several Anglican priests, even bishops, have converted to Catholicism over similar issues. Entire parishes have made the jump, as well.
The current news article is about members of the conservative evangelical wing of Anglicanism. Would these generally be described as “Low Church” Anglicans? If so, they wouldn’t have had much interest in joining the Catholic Church when the earlier migration was occurring.
We already have Anglo-Catholic churches here in the UK, which are big on ceremony and incense, but small on congregation (in my experience). I attended one for a while before I started RCIA, and whilst it was comfortingly familiar (in that there were many echoes of my 1960s childhood CofE experiences), it also seemed stuck in a time which had passed.
I hope any discontented people do what many others have done and come home to the Catholic Church.
Yes, low church, in general. And yes, in that sense, the nascent movement in the CoE doesn’t resemble the development of the Anglican Continuum in the US, that originally being driven primarily by orthodox Anglo-Catholics.
But still, this will be an interesting thing to watch.
The problem is that the C of E has always relied on **balance **- balance between High and Low, and balance between liberals and conservatives. Each time a conservative group withdraws, that tilts the balance farther to the Left. More and more, it becomes a dialogue where only one side is vocal. Close votes that might have been defeated will now get passed. People who once regarded themselves as moderate, or even progressive, now get labelled as reactionary if they speak up.
Unlike the other Anglican provinces that have allowed women to the priesthood and episcopacy the Church of England has continued with a system of alternative episcopal oversight by male Bishops who will not ordain women. So in London where I live there are around 40 parishes (about 1%) who are under the Bishop of Fulham. Most of these parishes are Anglo catholic but there are a couple of conservative evangelical parishes in there too. They make strange bedfellows but I suspect would not all speak with one voice on gay issues as they do on women.
The election of Robinson as a bishop didn’t immediately bother me. It was a bit annoying, but not enough to prompt me to leave. What pushed me over the edge was a variety of issues that cropped up due to that:
*]Our rector made a point of announcing her pride and excitement over the announcement.
*]The constant “buddy Christ” mentality. They had an altar rail, but nobody keeled. I knelt for communion at one point to receive, and a husband/wife pair approached after service asking. I said “We are receiving Christ,no?” And they answer was “Yes, but he’s our brother before God the Father. We stand with him and don’t kneel before him.” I balked saying he’s our Lord and our God. I asked the rector and her response was “Everyone’s relationship with Christ is their own. Some find God more comforting as a brother than as a lord.”
*]And the straw that broke the camel’s back was when I asked whether the ECUSA had any specific teachings on anything, such as the Eucharist, sacraments, homosexual behavior, etc. The answer I was given was that “We define ourselves by how we worship, not by what we believe.” In other words, they believed nothing. There was no substance. I’m reminded of a Chesterton quote: “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” Which seemed exactly where the ECUSA was.
And, Catholicism wasn’t even on my radar. I went to an LCMS church and got concrete definitions of what they believe. And their belief on the Eucharist, the virginity and assumption of Mary, the priesthood, etc, didn’t bother me. It was the vehement objection to praying for the dead. I never saw a problem doing so (even in my AoG days–which I found out later was problematic for them). And it caused me to continue my search.
And it was the Catholic church. And I’ve found not a single teaching in the Church I disagree with. It’s almost as if I was made for the Church, and just took 30 years to find it.
I’ll bet a nickle and a half you can’t find a source for that quote. I’ve been a Chesterton collector for over 50 years, and while I think I know where the words originated, and others agree with me, they’re not Chesterton’s words. Does sound like him, though. And they fit the situation.
Fair enough. I remember the sentiment, did a websearch, and grabbed the first thing that came up. And I found this link, which states:
This quotation actually comes from page 211 of Émile Cammaerts’ book The Laughing Prophet : The Seven Virtues and G. K. Chesterton (1937) in which he quotes Chesterton as having Father Brown say, in “The Oracle of the Dog” (1923): “It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense.” Cammaerts then interposes his own analysis between further quotes from Father Brown: “‘It’s drowning all your old rationalism and scepticism, it’s coming in like a sea; and the name of it is superstition.’ The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything: ‘And a dog is an omen and a cat is a mystery.’” Note that the remark about believing in anything is outside the quotation marks — it is Cammaerts.