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Breakaway 'missionary' bishop defends ordination service

by Eno Adeogun

The controversial 'missionary' bishop Andy Lines will lead the service which will see nine men become priests and deacons within the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE).

Bishop Andy told Premier their aim isn't to split the global Anglican family.

He said: "Our supreme desire is mission and we share that with many churches within the structures of the Church of England.

"I, with my other hat of GAFCON UK, recognise that the majority of our brothers and sisters are still within the structures and we would like as AMiE to work alongside them.

"But the need is in this country for many more local churches to proclaim Christ."

GAFCON, a worldwide group of conservative Anglicans, consecrated Bishop Andy as missionary bishop to Europe in June.

His responsibility was to cater for traditional Anglicans in Scotland, England and across Europe that disagreed with the Scottish Episcopal Church's decision to allow gay weddings.

However, Rev Lee McMunn, AMiE's mission director, said there is more to the mission than simply opposing the Church's teachings on sexuality.

He explained: "It's easy to be known for what you stand against but we want to be assisting in spreading the good news about Jesus, that's our mission."

Until now, AMiE's clergy have either come from the Church of England or have been ordained by overseas bishops.

The nine men - eight will be ordained deacon, and one as priest - all had theological training and went through a process of discernment before being selected.

Some will go on to serve in existing AMiE congregations while others will lead teams engaged in planting new churches.

The diocesan bishop of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), Rt Rev Charles Master will issue a license for each new deacon and presbyter which will state that each of them is under the episcopal supervision of Bishop Andy.


Earlier this year, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby rebuked GAFCON for appointing Bishop Andy.

He said there was no need for a missionary bishop because worshippers could already express a range of views.

Rev McMunn told Premier that it would be "outrageous" if any Church of England member wasn't able to support AMiE's mission.

He said: "It would only be problematic to them if the Church of England thought it was a bad idea for them to be supporting other people advancing the gospel.

"So that would be a decision by the Church of England to make it problematic for them, which would be slightly outrageous."

Rev McMunn insited that AMiE is "centred on the bible and wants to see the gospel proclaimed" so it would be wrong for Church of England clergy to "hinder others who are seeking to support those who are wanting to plant Anglican churches in England".

He went on to say: "It would seem much more sensible for the Church of England to be supportive of what we are doing because of the great need in England to see the gospel spread and the number of churches that need to be planted."

The service will be held at East London Tabernacle Church in Mile End will be an open service and will be streamed live on the AMiE Facebook page.

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